English singer, actor and presenter Michael Ashley Ball was born 62 years ago in Bromsgrove, Worcestershire, and is in a long-term relationship.

As a kid, Michael loved singing along with songs by Frank Sinatra and Emma Fitzgerald, albeit he never took any singing lessons.  At the age of 11, he attended a boarding school but was unhappy as he did not fit in this sporting and academic environment.  He was really interested in theatre so during the holidays, his dad used to take him to watch several shows, and particularly Michael was very much impressed by Shakespeare’s play ‘King Lear.  Consequently he frequented a youth theatre, leading him to enrol with a school of acting.

On Saturdays, together with a friend, he performed in the streets to earn some extra money and in 1984 Ball graduated.  His acting career basically started after he left school, when he debuted with a part in the musical ‘Godspell’.  Soon afterwards, Michael auditioned for a major part in the comic opera ‘The Pirates of Penzance and was chosen amongst 600 applicants, rendering him a star.  This was followed by another important role in the famous musical ‘Les Miserables’, but unfortunately, he caught glandular fever and was constrained to rest to recover for almost 2 months.  When he did go back to work, he was still extremely tired, fell into a depression and had no other choice but to abandon the musical.

Between October 1987/88, Michael interpreted the character of Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny in the acclaimed ‘Phantom of the Opera’, followed by another role in another musical ‘Aspects of Love’ the year after.  Michael sang the track ‘Love Changes Everything’ which featured in this musical, and managed to place second in the UK singles chart.  Three years later, he represented his country in the Eurovision Song Contest with the track ‘One Step out of Time’, arriving in second place.  Then, in 2020, together with Captain Tom Moore, he had a number one UK hit, a cover version of ‘You’ll never walk Alone’.

Over the years, Ball continued with his acting as well as singing, and performed in numerous theatrical plays such as ‘Sunset Boulevard’, ‘Les Miserables’, ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, ‘Hairspray’ and many others.  He also released 27 studio albums and 27 singles.  Michael presented various programmes, both on TV and on the radio, as well as published 2 books.

In 2015, Michael was appointed Officer of the Order of the British Empire for his services to musical theatre, whilst in 2022, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from Surrey University.


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