A TRUE Welshman, Aled Jones began singing stood on his grandmother’s table aged two while she played the piano.
The lovable Aled became a household name after singing Walking in the Air as a young choir boy.
The song became forever associated with Christmas, due to being featured in the evergreen Raymond Briggs animation The Snowman.
It made Aled a huge international star, although it wasn’t his voice on the film but that of Peter Auty.
Aled joined Bangor Cathedral choir as a nine-year-old chorister. His talent was introduced to the world thanks to a lady in the congregation who wrote to a local recording company suggesting they record his voice before it broke. They arrived at the cathedral, recorded an album and the rest is history.
Aled, who speaks both English and Welsh, went on to record 16 albums as a boy and was soon in great demand as a soloist on TV and radio.
He has performed on many of the world’s greatest concert platforms in the UK and around the world.
He has sung in the Vatican in Rome, in the Hollywood Bowl in Los Angeles and on numerous occasions for the Royal Family - one of the highlights being a private performance for the Prince and Princess of Wales in their living room at Kensington Palace.
Aled retired from boy soprano singing on his 16th birthday – he was in the middle of recording an album when he had to call it a day.
He was advised by his hero, the Welsh tenor Stuart Burrows, not to sing publicly for five years once his voice broke.
The official line was that he wanted to end his career on a high note!
Following this enforced ‘retirement’ he concentrated on his school examinations and tennis game (he played for his county), but Aled always knew he would sing again.
After taking his A-level exams, he left his home on Anglesey and moved to London to study at the Royal Academy of Music.
He went on to study at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School before winning the lead role in Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.
He became the main presenter of the BBC’s flagship religious programme Songs of Praise and now also presents his own shows on BBC Radio 2, Radio 3 and Radio Wales.
To his great amazement, Aled was the subject of the last ever This is Your Life on the BBC and was surprised on stage at the Royal Albert Hall during the filming of the Songs of Praise Big Sing.
He then released another album called Higher and followed this with a stunning album of carols.
He appeared as a contestant on the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing in 2004 and won a whole new army of fans who loved his dancing performances.
In 2007, Aled featured on BBC1 show Play It Again where he had to learn to play the drums from scratch. The culmination being that he played drums for Chris De Burgh in Dusseldorf in front of 15,000 people.
Aled’s singing career blossomed again in 2002, when Songs of Praise asked him to sing on the programme. The viewers loved it and this led to the release of his first real adult album – Aled – which was a storming success and went to Number One in the Classical Charts, in the UK and as far afield as Australia.
The married father has since released two singles with Sir Terry Wogan in aid of the Children in Need Appeal and has nearly 30 albums to his name – selling more than six million copies to date.
• Aled will perform in the Villa Marina Royal Hall on Friday, October 7 with special guests Murray’s Road School Choir. Tickets, which cost £22, are available from the Villa Marina reception, the Sea Terminal Welcome Centre, the box office on 600555 or online at www.villagaiety.com