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Boy baritone goes one better

PUBLISHED: 15:51 03 April 2008 | UPDATED: 09:38 23 August 2010

HALLE, GERMANY - MARCH 01:  Leona Lewis performs  during the 174th edition of the 'Wetten, dass...?' (Let's Make a Bet) TV show presented by German host Thomas Gottschalk on March 1, 2008 in Halle, Germany.  (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

HALLE, GERMANY - MARCH 01: Leona Lewis performs during the 174th edition of the 'Wetten, dass...?' (Let's Make a Bet) TV show presented by German host Thomas Gottschalk on March 1, 2008 in Halle, Germany. (Photo by Andreas Rentz/Getty Images)

2008 Getty Images

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has done what even X Factor winner Leona Lewis couldn t do, and come first in a singing competition celebrating the best unsigned artists in the UK. Matthew Crane, 15, a pupil at Gads Hill School, Higham, won UK Unsigned, held at the Ha

winner: Matthew Crane of UK Unsigned fame with his first place award.

A 15-YEAR-OLD boy has done what even X Factor winner Leona Lewis couldn't do, and come first in a singing competition celebrating the best unsigned artists in the UK.

Matthew Crane, 15, a pupil at Gads Hill School, Higham, won UK Unsigned, held at the Hackney Empire last Sunday.

Before chart-topping singer Leona Lewis won the X Factor in 2006, she took part in the competition over five years but never reached the final.

Matthew, who was born in Gravesend but now lives in High Halstow is billed as "Britain's youngest baritone", said: "I was actually quite surprised to win it.

"The standard was very high, so when my name was called out I couldn't believe it. But I was very happy."

The competition was the culmination of 10 months of gruelling heats and showcases across the UK.

The competition was split into seven different categories, with Matthew coming first in Teen vocal after his performance of You Raise Me Up, made famous by Westlife.

Judges included executives from record labels Sony BMG, Universal and Shalit Global Management, who manage stars such as Jamelia and Jos Stone.

Matthew's mother Shirleyanne Williams said: "Of course we are very proud of him. This competition was one that we weren't expecting Matthew to win, the majority of acts were very different genres to what he was singing but the fact that he won a competition that Leona Lewis couldn't win is fantastic."

Just three days earlier Matthew won Gads Hill School's Spring Music Festival with a rendition of Toreador.

In September last year Matthew made it through to the boot camp stage of X factor. He had been singing for three years before the appearance and his stunning voice has also seen him make special appearances for his celebrity fans Jordan and Peter Andre.

He won the BBC talent contest Let Me Entertain You in 2006.

n For more information on Matthew and where he will be appearing, visit his website at www.matthewcrane.co.uk.

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