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£1m voice - X Factor winner Dalton Harris set to become global megastar

Published:Sunday | December 2, 2018 | 12:00 AMStephanie Lyew/Gleaner Writer
Dalton Harris, 2018 winner of 'The X Factor' TV show

Minutes after Dalton Harris was declared winner of the 2018 edition of UK talent show 'The X Factor', Prime Minister Andrew Holness congratulated the Jamaican singer on Twitter, sharing, "The entire Jamaica is proud of you. Your phenomenal talent is now unleashed on the world."

Holness later said in a statement, "Dalton is a phenomenal talent who underscores the fact that Jamaica, though a small island developing state, produces some of the world's best talent in entertainment and culture. Dalton's victory, the first by a Jamaican on 'The X Factor' competition, and his history-making performances have placed him in a league of excellent entertainers."

Minister of Culture, Gender, Entertainment and Sport Olivia 'Babsy' Grange shared the same sentiment, as she acknowledged Harris' win as a "well-deserved victory for a young man with immense talent who works very hard".

She said that Harris' victory "caps a very good week for the promotion and celebration of Jamaican musical talent".

In truth and in fact, no one is named an 'X Factor' winner by accident. Harris worked with seeming extraordinary calculation for the moment that arrived last night when the British reality television music competition crowned him the champion of its 15th season.

Crouching as the decision was announced, the only expression that could escape Harris' lips was, "Ohhh."

Then a breathless Harris asked 'The X Factor' host Dermot O'Leary, as if in disbelief, "I won 'The X Factor'?"

"You won 'The X Factor'," O'Leary replied.




It came as no surprise to the judges, as throughout the competition, Harris' mentor Louis Tomlinson and his colleagues Simon Cowell, Robbie Williams and Ayda Fields repeatedly remarked that out of all the performers to grace 'The X Factor' stage, Harris was "probably the best singer in this competition, if not the best singer the competition has ever seen".

The remarks at the finals were no different from those on Saturday when Harris performed Donny Hathaway's 1970s classic love song A Song For You, and yesterday after the performance of his debut single The Power of Love, featuring 2012 'The X Factor' winner James Arthur (who also joined the Jamaican singer on stage).

Even yesterday's guest performer, Nile Rodgers, who had previously sat on the judging panel as a substitute for Robbie Williams one week, had good things to say about the Jamaican singer.

The popular 1970s singer/guitarist said, "Dalton's performance has been flawless throughout this season, and for him to do that was impressive."




As the grand finale drew to a close, it was announced that Anthony Russell had received the least number of votes, and would be going home in third place, which left Cowell's mentee, Scarlett Lee, and Jamaica's Dalton Harris.

Both contestants were standouts from the auditions on, but Harris took home the prize - a £1 million (J$162,632,400) recording contract with the Sony-owned Syco Music.

When it was over, the three competitors embraced just before Harris returned to the stage for the encore.

"Dalton's victory comes at a time when the world is celebrating Jamaica's most important musical creation, reggae, which UNESCO added to its list of intangible cultural treasures for humanity. And here comes another Jamaican treasure in the form of Dalton Harris, who has now won 'The X Factor', after winning our local 'Rising Stars'," said Grange.

"He has shown to the world the kind of talent we produce in Jamaica and is now set to become a global megastar. I couldn't be happier for his success."

The minister attended 'The X Factor' finals on her way from a meeting of the UNESCO Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage in the Republic of Mauritius.

Harris, who hails from the rural community of Sanguinetti in northwest Clarendon, will also participate in the X Factor Arena Tour 2019, which is scheduled to begin on Friday, February 15 in Nottingham, England, and is expected to end at the Belfast SSE Arena in Ireland.