Capital: € 9 million
Age: 49
Born: 10/13/1970
Country of origin: England
Source of wealth: tenor
Last updated: 2024

Short introduction

The Englishman Paul Potts, who loves to eat, photograph and sing oysters, is humble, inconspicuous and branded by a childhood full of hate and violence. But the working-class child prodigy with once demolished teeth is also the surprising winner of the 2007 British super talent show of the year and a multi-millionaire. Paul Potts got a unique opportunity and took it.

Early life

Paul Robert Potts was born in England in 1970. He grew up with his three siblings in modest circumstances in Fishponds, a suburb of Bristol. Father Roland and mother Yvonne try to maintain the family financially by doing all kinds of activities: driving a bus, cashing in a supermarket, working from home. The pressure on the parents is great. There is a lot of violent arguments. Sometimes Paul gets caught between the fronts, as evidenced by some scars on his body. But he also finds no peace at school. At the age of six, his classmates bullied him and inflicted physical violence on him.

Paul does not believe that he deserves to be in the world, desperately longs for a justification for his existence – and finds it in music. He develops a great interest in operas, likes to sing for his own life – an escape from his miserable everyday life and something that promises safety and joy. After finishing hated school in Bristol, Paul moves to University College in Plymouth, southern England. He is dedicated to the study of philosophy, theology and film studies and successfully completes his bachelor’s degree.

But Potts also takes the further development of his voice very seriously. His determined path leads him to a well-known opera school in Italy. The training is not cheap, costs a few thousand and cannot be completed due to lack of money. But at least Potts manages to fund part of the course with prize money that he wins in 1999 when he takes part in the British talent show “My Kind of Music”. He doesn’t make first place on the show, but the course has been set for the TV format “Britain’s Got Talent”, the English counterpart to Dieter Bohlen’s super talent.

Potts applies demo tapes to various agencies. It’s no surprise that he doesn’t get an answer. His self-esteem, which was never particularly high, is at the bottom. Paul Potts wonders what sense it makes and whether his dream of becoming a singer has any substance. Nevertheless, Potts is a welcome guest on English stages, sings world-famous pieces, including by Giuseppe Verdi. He also works in the branch of a supermarket chain and grants shelves.

In 2001, Potts fell seriously ill: the appendix was inflamed and the doctor found a benign kidney tumor during the operation. Potts also breaks his collarbone in an accident. He has to do a lot in terms of health, has neither the time nor the strength to pursue a regular job or his passion, singing. However, when he feels better, he marries his internet love Julie-Ann and starts working in a cell phone shop. Nevertheless, the money is running out. Five-digit debts have piled up.


2007, Cardiff. New show acts are being sought for the first season “Britain’s Got Talent”. There are many ambitious contenders, including Paul Potts, who actually doesn’t want to go on stage for fear of embarrassing himself. His self-doubt and the memory of past humiliations catch up with him. And the song he is performing could not be more difficult: Puccini’s famous “Nessun Dorma” from the opera Turandot. But the audience rages, the jury, sometimes moved to tears, agrees: Paul Potts, who is only mildly smiled at during his uncertain march on the television stage, must progress.

Puccini seems to bring him luck because Paul actually makes it to the final and wins. He receives the prize money and publishes his debut album, which is the number one hit parade in over a dozen countries. Potts mutates into a YouTube star and receives the German Echo Prize in 2009. More albums have followed over the years. They sell a million copies in total. Potts is not afraid to experiment with different styles and combines classical music with rock, pop and film soundtracks.

Based on his autobiography, the film called “One Chance” was produced, a film that does not correspond to reality in every detail. However, this doesn’t change anything about Potts extraordinary CV from whipping boy to superstar.

Paul Potts now lives with his wife Julie-Ann in Port Talbot, Wales.

Career highlights

In the course of his victory in the British talent show, Paul Potts was allowed to sing in front of great celebrities. For example, he appeared on the American talk show by Oprah Winfrey and sang twice before Queen Elizabeth II. However, the biggest highlight for him was probably to meet his idol Pavarotti. The latter gave him some wise advice regarding his breathing technique, but did not judge anything as devastating as it is shown in the film “One Chance”. Paul Potts can also look back on various challenging engagements, which paved the way for his later glamorous talent show career. For example, he was seen at an amateur opera in Bath, England, and was planning a tour with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra. However, this tour did not take place due to his illness at the time.

Famous quotes

Paul Potts works hard on his voice and is very critical of his singing talent. “It is important to challenge yourself,” he says, of all people, who has had to overcome various hurdles in his life – be it health, interpersonal or financial. He was aware of “how volatile this whole life can be.” His recipe for success: “I take something special every day as if it were the first.”

Amazing facts

Paul Potts is very concerned about God and the world. He says he can’t explain why his life started so difficult and then took such a great turn. “Things just happen,” he says, adding that you can’t always blame someone. When, after winning Britain’s Got Talent, some of his former childhood tormentors came forward to congratulate him and even apologize to him, he reacted evenly and without resentment. Nevertheless, Potts is strongly committed to raising the awareness of bullying, participates in national campaigns and gives lectures in schools to protect others from a similar fate.


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