Collabro are an English boy band who won the eighth series of Britain's Got Talent in 2014. Specialising in musical theatre, the group consists of Michael Auger, Richard Hadfield, Jamie Lambert, Matthew Pagan and Thomas J Redgrave.
The band have an enthusiastic following who they refer to as their "Collaborators" and famous fans include Jade Thirlwall from Little Mix. Their debut album Stars was released on 18 August 2014 and debuted at number one in the UK.
2014: Formation, Britain's Got Talent and Stars
Collabro formed in January 2014. Pagan and Lambert knew one another already, and used social media to find three additional singers to complete the band's line-up. Pagan and Lambert held auditions where they found Auger and Redgrave. They found Hadfield on YouTube singing "Bring Him Home". They sang together for the first time at the Miller pub in London Bridge. It was not long after this that they decided to audition for Britain's Got Talent, as they had 'nothing to lose'.
In February 2014, only a month after forming, Collabro auditioned in London for the eighth series of Britain's Got Talent. They received a standing ovation from both the audience and judges Simon Cowell, Amanda Holden, Alesha Dixon and David Walliams for their rendition of the song "Stars" from the musical Les Misérables. The judges were initially seen to have low expectations due to their styling and the fact that they had only been together for a month at the time. Cowell claimed that "Britain really has got talent" (a comment he repeated in the live semi-final) and they received a unanimous "yes" verdict from the judging panel, with Cowell also describing their performance as a "hit record", while Holden was reduced to tears.
On 25 May, it was announced that the band had been chosen by the judges to progress to the live semi-finals. They competed in the first semi-final on 26 May, performing the song "Bring Him Home" from Les Misérables. The performance was praised by all four judges, again receiving a standing ovation, and they received the highest number of votes from the public (receiving 62.3% of the total votes cast), ensuring their automatic progression to the final.
During the live final on 7 June, Collabro performed a different arrangement of their audition song "Stars" for which they received 26.5% of the vote, winning the competition by a wide margin.
It was confirmed on 12 June 2014 that Collabro had signed a record deal with Cowell's record label Syco Music and would be releasing their debut album on 28 July. On 17 June, they announced that they would be going on their first ever tour, along with runner-up Lucy Kay, in 2015.
The group's debut album Stars, which includes cover versions of songs such as "All of Me" and "Let It Go", was released on 18 August and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. On 31 October, it was announced that the album would be re-released as . The re-released version features the seasonal "White Christmas" and "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" as well as "Falling Slowly" from the musical Once and "Say Something".
2015: Act Two
On 22 April, Collabro revealed they had signed a record deal with Sony Masterworks in the US for £1 million. They will have a US release sometime this summer. The following week, they announced that their second album would be called Act Two and would be released on 1 June. It debuted at #2 in the UK Albums Chart.
Other public appearances
On 25 April 2014, the group appeared on the ITV television programme This Morning to discuss their appearance on Britain's Got Talent and they performed the song "Let It Go" on the show on 11 July. On 18 May 2014, Collabro (excluding Hadfield) appeared at the Soccer Six charity football tournament at The Valley, home ground of Charlton Athletic F.C.. They made appearances on QVC and Weekend to further promote the album.
They also performed at the 2014 Royal Variety Performance in front of the Royal Family, which is part of the prize for winning Britain's Got Talent. On 9 May 2015, they performed at VE Day 70: A Party to Remember in Horse Guards Parade, London.
Michael Auger (born 6 March 1990) lives in Petersfield. At the time of Collabro's BGT audition, he was working at a petrol station.
He attended Churcher's College in Hampshire before moving to Alton College where he studied A Levels in Maths, Further Maths, Chemistry, Biology and Geography. He later attended the University of Bath to study Accounting and Finance.
Richard Hadfield (born 1 December 1993) lives in Portslade. At the time of Collabro's BGT audition, he was working as a labourer.
Hadfield attended Hurstpierpoint College in West Sussex, busking during the school holidays to earn money to pay the school's fees.
Jamie Lambert (born 19 June 1989), was raised in Washington, Tyne and Wear. At the time of Collabro's BGT audition, he was working part-time in the finance department of Barts Health NHS Trust in London. He previously worked at the South Tyneside NHS Foundation Trust of which his mother, Lorraine Lambert, is the chief executive. He also has a sister called Caytee.
Lambert has performed solo at a number of events including mayoral charity events, the South Tyneside Summer Festival, and Cancer Connections in South Shields. He has also won regional talent competitions Open Zone Idol and Talent on the Tyne. He came out in the press as gay.
Matthew "Matt" Pagan (born 25 July 1993) was raised in Carlisle, Cumbria. At the time of Collabro's BGT audition, he was working as a kitchen salesman.
Thomas J Redgrave
Thomas J Redgrave (born Thomas Leak on 28 August 1989 in Grimsby) is from Saltfleetby. He chose his stage surname from a theatre poster.
He studied at Monks' Dyke Tennyson College. He performed in St James' Choir for seven years and was also part of the Louth Playgoers Group. At the time of Collabro's BGT audition, he was working in a Japanese restaurant.