Will Young says he faced 'snobbery' after Pop Idol win that left him wanting to 'rail against pop'

Will Young pictured above is releasing his ninth studio album this year (Jamie Noise)
Will Young pictured above is releasing his ninth studio album this year (Jamie Noise)

Will Young has spoken about the “snobbery” he faced after winning Pop Idol - and how he has now managed to overcome it to create pop music again.

The 45-year-old found fame on the ITV singing competition in 2002, beating Gareth Gates to be crowned the winner in a final that was watched by 14 million viewers.

In the years that followed, Young demonstrated his talent performing with Queen, winning two Brit Awards, and releasing eight studio albums.

Despite receiving both commerical and critical acclaim for his music, the singer confessed that he initially turned his back on pop because of the stigma he felt about winning the talent show.

However, Young revealed he is ready to embrace the genre again.

“I think for me it was about finally feeling more content and being able to go back to embracing joyous unashamed pop music,” Young admitted.

Young pictured alongside Ant and Dec in 2002 (PA)
Young pictured alongside Ant and Dec in 2002 (PA)

“Probably coming from a talent show and the snobbery that has come with that over the years, I would sometimes rail against pop but now I love it.”

2023 proved to be an especially emotional year for him both on stage and screen. Months after releasing his 2022 Channel 4 documentary about his late twin brother's alcoholism, Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert, he turned his attention toward the London stage.

Young starred in Song From Far Away, a one-man play by the Olivier and Tony award-winning playwright Simon Stephens about a bereaved man that began touring the UK last February.

Following the emotional show, the Leave Right Now hitmaker said he is ready to dive head first into making joyful music – and his new single Falling Deep, released on Thursday, is just that.

He said: “It has been a brilliant thing to go back to the stage. I think it did help me go towards the fun of making music even more.

“Performing a monologue night after night was invigorating and a huge challenge, yet so rewarding and energising.

“It has been such a tough time and to be out the other side, it is just so exciting to produce a complete pop album. I’m remembering my roots of pop and completely welcoming it. It’s time to celebrate and have fun.”

The singer has released his new single Falling Deep (Jamie Noise)
The singer has released his new single Falling Deep (Jamie Noise)

Now in a new era of his career, the Ivor Novello-winning artist also revealed that he was adamant to only work with dancers around his own age - who knew “what a Nintendo Gameboy was” - for his latest music video.

He said: “I wanted to work with dancers my age as I think sometimes there can be such a focus on youth in the dance world for all performers, and older performers come with such grace and wisdom."

“It was a fantastic day working with people my age. We all knew what a Nintendo Gameboy was and I think especially women can be overlooked when they age, so it felt very important to work with men and women for the project,” he quipped.

Young is gearing up to release his ninth studio album, Light It Up, this year and will embark on an intimate UK tour this September featuring acoustic performances, stories and conversation.

Tickets go on sale Friday April 26.