JLS star Aston Merrygold's life in Peterborough before finding fame

Aston Merrygold grew up in Peterborough
-Credit: (Image: PA)

JLS had huge success after coming second on the X Factor on 2008 - and recently made a comeback. One of the band's main members, Aston Merrygold, has found great success in life since the popular show, but before his famous lifestyle he lived a simple life in Peterborough.

Peterborough native Aston Merrygold's career kickstarted after he applied to be on the X Factor. His boyband JLS were the runners-up to Alexandra Burke back in its fifth series, which led to fans across the county screaming his name at the band's peak.

Though they didn't win X Factor, JLS were quickly signed and released their first single Beat Again in 2009, which debuted at No. 1 on the UK singles chart. The group, formerly called Jack The Lad Swing, sold out arenas and ended up with five number one singles - selling more than 10 million records worldwide.

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JLS split up in 2013 but later reunited for a UK and Ireland tour in 2023. But it's not only JLS that has kept the singer busy. The 36-year-old also has his own solo albums. His debut single in 2015 "Get Stupid" was used in the official TV advert of the Samsung Galaxy S9.

Boyband JLS reunited for a tour in 2023
Boyband JLS reunited for a tour in 2023 -Credit:Getty Images

He has also appeared on popular shows such as The Masked Singer and Strictly Come Dancing, quickly becoming a fan favourite, and even being a judge on Sky 1's Got To Dance alongside Pussycat Doll Kimberly Wyatt and Diversity's Ashley Banjo.

What you may not know, though, is that his successful career came after a normal childhood in Peterborough, where he discovered his passion for performing. Aston was born on February 13, 1988 to a Jamaican father and a Northern Irish mother. He was born and raised in the Cambridgeshire city, along with his brothers and sister.

He is one of seven children - five brothers and one sister - between his biological and step parents. He attended Jack Hunt School in Bradwell Road in Netherton, Peterborough which he has since credited as the place where he discovered his love of singing and dancing.

In fact, after their stint on the X Factor, Aston and his fellow bandmembers came back to Jack Hunt School for a special performance. The singer has come a long way since his Cambridgeshire childhood in his personal life too. He now has three children with his partner, dancer Sarah Louise Richards. They welcomed their latest baby girl in March 2024.

Even through his success, the star has never forgotten his roots. Back in 2011 he had a Peterborough inspired tattoo done on his arm that shows the city's beautiful cathedral.