[This article is a brief summary of the much longer Wikipedia article]
William Robert Young (born 20 January 1979) is a British singer-songwriter and actor from Wokingham, England, who came to prominence after winning the 2002 inaugural series of the ITV talent contest Pop Idol, making him the first winner of the worldwide Idol franchise. His double A-sided debut single "Anything Is Possible" / "Evergreen" was released two weeks after the show's finale and became the fastest-selling debut single in the UK. Young also came in fifth place in World Idol performing the single "Light My Fire" written by the band The Doors.
As a teenager, Young studied politics at the University of Exeter before moving to London, where he studied musical theatre at Arts Educational School. Young put his studies on hold in late 2001 to become a contestant on Pop Idol. After winning the competition the following year, he released his debut album From Now On (2002) which went straight to number one. Friday's Child (2003) followed and enjoyed greater success, eventually going platinum five times in the UK and spawning three top five singles. His following albums Keep On (2005), Let It Go (2008) and Echoes (2011) also went multi-platinum and his most recent release 85% Proof (2015) became his fourth UK number-one album. His albums have spawned many songs that have achieved top ten positions in the UK, four of which went to the number one spot. Young has also undertaken numerous concert tours, and has accumulated multiple honours, including two Brit Awards from 12 nominations, and the estimated worldwide sale of over eight million albums. Young's net worth was estimated at £13.5 million in April 2012.
Alongside his music career, Young has acted in film, on stage and in television. For his performance in the 2013 London revival of the musical Cabaret, he was nominated for the Laurence Olivier Award for Best Actor in a Musical. He has also participated in philanthropy and released books Anything is Possible (2002), On Camera, Off Duty (2004) and his autobiography Funny Peculiar (2012).
Will Young was born on 20 January 1979 in Wokingham, Berkshire, and is the second-oldest child of Robin Young, a company director of an engineering firm, and Annabel Young (née Griffith), a plant nursery gardener. Born six weeks prematurely, he is ten minutes older than his twin brother, Rupert. He also has an older sister Emma.
Young was brought up in Hungerford, and was initially educated at Kingsbury Hill School in Marlborough, Wiltshire, before attending Horris Hill Preparatory School, Newbury, between the ages of eight and thirteen.
His first appearance on stage was at the age of four when he played a fir tree in a school production and had one line to speak. At Horris Hill, Young was head chorister in the school choir, and at the age of nine he learned how to play the piano. Young recalls that at Horris Hill, pupils were taught that they were more privileged than pupils from state schools, and that one day he wrote a letter stating, "I must pass common entrance to take me to public school, otherwise I'll be going to state school and everyone will be very disappointed." At thirteen, Young and his brother were enrolled at Wellington College in Crowthorne, Berkshire, a public boarding school. Young appeared in several school productions and often gave speeches in assembly, despite later admitting that he never felt completely comfortable being the centre of attention.
He went on to have an active career as a singer (2001 - present) and later as an actor (2005 - present).