X Factor singer Sam Lavery set for her first solo tour
X Factor finalist Sam Lavery is set to embark on her first solo tour, including two dates in her native North East.
The 18-year-old singer from Durham will appear at the Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Friday, January 26, and Think Tank? in Newcastle the following night, along with dates in Birmingham and London.
Sam said: “I am so excited for my tour, not only to show everyone the new music I’ve been working on, but to meet everyone who has supported me throughout my journey so far.
"The atmosphere is going to be electric and I can’t wait to get on stage in front of everyone.”
Sam finished seventh in the 2016 edition of the TV talent show, which has unearthed stars such as One Direction, Little Mix, Olly Murs and JLS.
Although she didn't win, the show's creator Simon Cowell tipped her for stardom, while judge Nicole Scherzinger described her as a "warrior princess", saying her voice "has fire behind it".
Sam started singing at the age of 10, when, during a school trip to Holy Island, she took part in a talent contest, and realised how much she loved singing.
"It felt natural and I loved every second. From then on I've never stopped!" she said.
In 2014 Sam entered the SoundWaves Music Competition, which aims to find and develop emerging artists, and won it.
She honed her talent by entering singing competitions and performing at open mic nights around the North East, and passed an audition to go on The X Factor in 2016.
After impressing the judges with her powerful vocals, she made it through Bootcamp and to the Six Chair Challenge before being sent home.
However, she was given a second chance when she was selected as a wildcard for the judges' houses stage by Louis Walsh.
She was mentored by Simon Cowell, who advised her after her first performance to tone down her make-up, as she was "over-styled".
Heeding his advice, she went from strength to strength, and received a standing ovation from all four judges for her rendition of Michael Jackson's Earth Song in week three of the live shows.
Sam made it to week six before being eliminated, but Cowell told her not to worry, as Ella Henderson went on to have a No. 1 single and album, despite finishing sixth in 2012.
She performed every night on The X Factor Live Tour at arenas around the UK and Ireland early this year, and independently released her debut single, Walk Away, in May.
It picked up lots of radio airplay, and she performed at the Pride Of Britain Awards, at MTV alongside Example, Louisa and Diversity, on special guest dates with Matt Goss of Bros, and at the Party In The Park in Newcastle.
A fitness fanatic, she also found time to train six days a week, do the Great North Run, and indulge her love of extreme sports like paragliding, gliding and scuba diving in caves.
Now she's ready to fulfil Cowell's prediction that she will be a pop star, releasing her second single, Beat Of You, and embarking on her own tour.
Tickets are available from www.ticketweb.co.uk and www.seetickets.com.