Samantha Florence "Sam" Bailey (born 29 June 1977) is an English singer, songwriter and musicals actress, known for winning the tenth series of The X Factor in 2013. Following her win, her debut single, a cover of Demi Lovato's "Skyscraper" was released on 15 December 2013, achieving the Christmas number one on 22 December 2013.[3] She was the first X Factor winner in three years to gain the Christmas number one spot.[4]

On 24 February 2014, Bailey supported Beyoncé on one of the dates of her UK leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour, as well as performing on The X Factor Live Tour. Her debut album The Power of Love was released in March 2014 and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. The album was re-issued in December 2014 as The Power of Love (The Gift Edition). The re-issue features five new tracks - including three Christmas tunes and a reworking of original song "Treasure". In support of the album, Bailey went on her first headline tour in January and February 2015.

In 2016 she was cast as Mamma Morton in the UK tour of the musical Chicago alongside John Partridge and Hayley Tamaddon.

Throughout summer 2016, Bailey toured around Butlins holiday camps.[49] She released her single "Sing My Heart Out" in August, a month ahead of the release of the self-funded and co-written album with the same name. The album charted in the UK on its first week.[50]

In March 2017 she started the Tour "Sing My Heart Out" throughout the U.K.

In 2018 she will be stepping into the role of Betty Simpson in the musical Fat Friends.

Early life

Bailey was born in Bexley, London to parents Ronnie (1950–2008)[6] and Jackie Bailey.[7] She has two brothers, Charlie and Danny.[6] Ronnie died from oral cancer in 2008.[6]

Sam grew up in Sidcup, London[8] and attended Cleeve Park School and Bexley College.[9][10] Before auditioning for The X Factor, she worked as a prison officer at HM Prison Gartree[11] near Market Harborough, Leicestershire. In an interview on Daybreak the day after winning, Bailey said that she would quit her job at the prison.[12]

Music career

Early career

In 1996, then 18-year-old Bailey formed the ska duo Girls Next Door with her friend Julie Nunney and they recorded a song called "Too Late", which was produced by Right Said Fred bassist Clyde Ward. It was reported that Simon Cowell heard the song but turned the duo down because they were not on television,[13] but Bailey later said that this story was not true.

Bailey worked professionally as a prison warden before appearing on The X Factor. On 11 February 2014, "Too Late" was released online by The Sun and it was reported that it could be released as a single. Ward said, "We expect the song to be a hit, not just because Sam is popular but because the public never stopped loving ska."[14] She also previously had a musical career, working on cruises, before she was chosen to appear on that show.

2013: The X Factor

In 2013, Bailey auditioned for the tenth series of The X Factor, singing Beyoncé's "Listen" in her room audition. She received a standing ovation from all four judges afterwards, with Gary Barlow calling her voice "incredible". She was given four "yeses" and progressed through to the arena auditions.[15] She sang "Who's Lovin' You" at the arena, gaining another standing ovation from the audience and bringing Nicole Scherzinger to tears. Scherzinger said "Sam Bailey, everybody remember that name!" and received four yeses again.[16] Bailey was placed in the "over 25s" category at "bootcamp" and was mentored by Sharon Osbourne. She successfully made it through to "judges' houses" and was later chosen by Osbourne for the live shows, along with Lorna Simpson and Shelley Smith.[11] She soon gained the nickname "Screwbo", a portmanteau of "screw" – the name given to prison officers – and "SuBo", due to her audition being reminiscent of that of Susan Boyle's Britain's Got Talent audition in 2009.[11]

Following the eliminations of Simpson in week 1 and Smith in week 2, Bailey became the last over 25 in the competition. On 8 December, she made it to the final along with Nicholas McDonald and Luke Friend.[12] On 14 December, she duetted with X Factor judge Nicole Scherzinger.[2] The following night, she sang her winner's single, a cover of "Skyscraper" by Demi Lovato. Later, having received more than 1 million votes over the course of the weekend, she was announced as the winner.[16] When the voting statistics were announced on The X Factor afterwards, Bailey was revealed to have received the most public votes seven times out of ten.[2] As the winner, she received a £1 million recording contract with Syco Music and the opportunity to support Beyoncé on the UK leg of The Mrs. Carter Show World Tour in February 2014. Bailey was reportedly due to support Beyoncé at ten shows, but that figure was cut down to just one due to The X Factor Live Tour. Her sole show with Beyonce was in Birmingham on 24 February 2014.[2]

A report by The Sun claimed that Bailey had "misled the public" by stating she had no previous singing experience, when in fact she had been performing on cruise ships, in clubs and at music festivals for several years. Bailey defended herself in an interview with the Leicester Mercury, stating: "I have been totally honest that I have sang for 20 years but never made it. What's the problem with that?"[22] An X Factor executive producer also revealed that Bailey had auditioned for the show's fourth series in 2007, but did not get past the first producers' round.[22]

2014–15: The Power of Love

Bailey's winner's single "Skyscraper" was released via digital download on 16 December 2013, the day after she won the show. On 18 December 2013, the single received a physical release, which features three of Bailey's best X Factor performances – "The Power of Love", "Make You Feel My Love" and "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)".[2] On The Xtra Factor after the final, judge Gary Barlow said that he would like to write songs for Bailey.[2] On 22 December, the song debuted atop the UK Singles Chart after selling 149,000 copies in its first week and became the Christmas number one.[3] This made her the first X Factor winner to achieve the Christmas number one spot since Matt Cardle in 2010.[4]

In an interview with the Official Charts Company after "Skyscraper" topped the charts, Bailey said, "2014 is going to be a huge year for me. Basically, I'm in the studio pretty much straight away. We're hoping to get an album out for spring. On the album, I'm going to try and do things a little bit differently."[2] On 21 January 2014, Bailey tweeted that her debut album would be called The Power of Love,[2] named after the Jennifer Rush song which Bailey covered for the album. It was later revealed that the album would be released on 24 March 2014, and contain both cover versions and original material.[2] On 22 January, Bailey appeared at the 19th National Television Awards and sang "The Power of Love".[28] She also performed a duet of "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" with Michael Bolton.[28] This song, and duet, is also featured as one of the tracks on the album. Another duet on the album is "And I Am Telling You" with Nicole Scherzinger, which Bailey originally performed on the X Factor final.[2]

On 18 February 2014, the song "Compass" received its debut airplay on BBC Radio 2.[2] On 30 March, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, making Bailey the first X Factor winner to have a number-one album since Alexandra Burke topped the chart with her debut album Overcome in October 2009.[30] The album sold 72,644 copies in its first week, making it the fastest-selling album of 2014 in the UK at the time, overtaking Pharrell Williams' Girl.[31] In support of the album, Bailey will go on her first headline tour in January and February 2015. The tour will comprise fifteen shows and will begin at the De Montfort Hall in her hometown of Leicester.[32]

The album was re-packaged and re-released on 1 December 2014. The re-issue featured five new tracks - including three Christmas tunes and a reworking of original song "Treasure". As well as the festive songs ("Silent Night", "Please Come Home for Christmas" and "O Holy Night"), the album also included "With You" from Ghost the Musical.[33]

In February 2015, it was announced via Bailey's Twitter account that she had parted ways with Syco Music.

2016: Chicago and Sing My Heart Out

In 2016 she was cast as Mamma Morton in the UK tour of the musical Chicago (musical) alongside John Partridge and Hayley Tamaddon.[51]

Bailey announced on her social media that she had gone to the United States to record her upcoming album. She has been working, among others, with Steve Dorff,[52] writing new songs for an album titled Sing My Heart Out, released on 16 September. The album charted on the Top 40 in the UK on its first week.[50] Sam is co-writer of most of the songs in this new album.

During the summer holidays in 2016 Bailey toured Butlins Holiday Resorts as part of the Butlins Pop tour 2016.[53]

Sam was took the centre stage at De Montfort Hall as Queen of the Flower of Fairies on "Jack and the Beanstalk" at the 2016 Christmas pantomime, next to Jon Clegg.[54]

2017: "Sing my heart out Tour", "Fat Friends - The Musical" and more

After touring througout the UK in 2017, it was officially announced that Sam would be stepping into the role of Betty Simpson in Fat Friends - The musical a comedy musical inspired on the former ITV show Fat Friends. She will join Scottish actress and comedian Elaine C Smith and actress and singer Jodie Prenger. The musical will tour around the UK during 2018.[55]

On November this same year, Bailey joined the music charitable project "Stronger Together" to support of LGBTI people living in fear in Chechnya in collaboration with the 'Living Without Prejudice' (LWP) charity and their activities in bringing awareness to their plight.[56] The single and EP were released in support of the LGBTI people living in fear in Chechnya on the 24th November 2017. The EP reached number 1 in UK i-iTunes Vocal Album Chart in 24 hours.

Personal life

Bailey currently lives in Leicester with her husband Craig Pearson,[35] their three children—Tommy, Brooke, and Miley,[11] and their deaf Springer Spaniel, Molly.[35] Bailey and Pearson met in 2002 and were married in Las Vegas on 29 January 2003.[7]

On 6 March 2014, Bailey announced that she was 10 weeks pregnant with her third child. She tweeted her first ultrasound scan, alongside the caption "Hey everyone...... Meet peanut!!!" At 10:50am on 10 September 2014, Bailey gave birth to daughter Miley Beau. Former mentor and friend Sharon Osbourne is Miley's godmother. In October 2014, Bailey announced via Twitter she is suffering Bell's palsy following Miley's birth.[37]

Bailey is a fan of her local football club, Leicester City.[38]

In June 2014, Bailey announced that she had signed a deal to release her autobiography Daring to Dream. It was released in November 2014.[39]



TitleDetailsPeak chart positionsCertifications & Sales
The Power of Love121
Sing My Heart Out
  • Released: 16 September 2016
  • Label: Tiger Drum
  • Format: Digital download, CD


As lead artist

YearTitlePeak chart positionsCertifications & SalesAlbum
2013"Skyscraper"111The Power of Love
2016"Sing My Heart Out"Sing My Heart Out
"—" denotes a single that did not chart or was not released in that territory.

Promotional singles

2014"Compass"The Power of Love

Charitable singles

2017"Stronger Together"Stronger Together ILGA-Europe charitable collaborative EP

Other charted songs

YearTitlePeak chart positionsAlbum
2014"With You"147The Power of Love


Musical videoclips

  • Skyscraper (2013)
  • Sing my heart out (2016)


  • Chicago - 2016 [59]
  • Fat Friends (the musical) - 2017/2018
  • Vampires Rock (due in 2019) [60]