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Number one hit for singer slated by music guru Cowell

PUBLISHED: 18:08 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:41 25 August 2010

TOP SLOT: Shane Hampsheir nearly quit singing after Simon Cowell’s (left) comments.

TOP SLOT: Shane Hampsheir nearly quit singing after Simon Cowell’s (left) comments.

A SINGER who was told by X-Factor iceman Simon Cowell: Not even a magician could make you sing has topped an album chart.

A SINGER who was told by X-Factor iceman Simon Cowell: "Not even a magician could make you sing" has topped an album chart.

Shane Hampsheir, 21, from Hartley, revealed he nearly quit singing after his run-in with Cowell but proved his star qualities landing the title song on hit compilation album Home.

He was invited by Universal Records to sing the Michael Bublé track on the album featuring songs by Elton John and Girls Aloud.

Mr Hampsheir, who is launching a musical show in Eltham this weekend, described his X-Factor trauma as a 16-year-old and said: "I was feeling confident but then Simon Cowell asked me why I thought I had the X-Factor.

"I wasn't expecting it, I fell apart and my confidence went out the window. After singing, Sharon Osbourne asked if I could hear my own voice and, not wanting to be too cocky, just replied 'yes'.

"Louis Walsh told me I needed to get a vocal coach. But then Simon Cowell said to me: 'Not even a magician could make you sing.' I left the room feeling stunned and baffled. For two days I kept asking people if I could sing and if it was worth carrying on. But I came to my senses and knew I didn't need the X-Factor to make it."

The experience toughened him up and his first move was to buy a PA sound system, learning his craft at smoke-filled pubs and clubs across the region.

He counts his first big break as a near sell-out concert at the Mick Jagger Centre, Shepherd's Lane, a day before his 18th birthday.

He said: "From that me and my dad came up with the idea of singing with a big band - all we had to do was find 17 musicians!"

That's when a collaboration started with the Ben Beddoes Big Band, which has enjoyed success at venues across Kent and south-east London.

Performing solo last summer in front of 28,000 England cricket fans at Lord's he said: "I can only describe it as a 'mad' experience to have that many people enjoying themselves, clapping, cheering, it was just mad."

He has aired on Radio 2, a recording taken from the Hartley Jazz Picnic with the Mike Richards Big Band.

This Sunday at the Bob Hope theatre, Eltham, he is producing a musical theatre show featuring singing and dancing from hit West End shows Les Miserables, Chicago and Hairspray.

If successful the show will be rolled out to other venues.

He hasn't spoken with Simon Cowell since his bust up and added: "I don't think our paths will cross again."

jules.cooper@archant.co.uk

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