SINGING star Joe McElderry is taking his fans on a tour of his hometown.
Joe, who celebrated his 21st birthday on Saturday, was in South Shields yesterday doing a photoshoot for his new album Here’s What I Believe.
The snaps were taken in some of Joe’s favourite spots in his hometown, including Littlehaven beach, The Groyne, Marsden Grotto and South Pier.
He said: “All the places I’ve chosen for the photoshoot are places I used to hang around as a kid.
“I’d go to the beach every Saturday and go to Minchella’s at the seafront, so I really wanted that to be part of this album.
“Everyone knows that I’m from South Shields, but they never really get to see where I’m from and the places I went when I was growing up, so this really gives them a chance to get to know the real me.
“We could have easily shot this in a studio in London but coming here has made it really special.”
He added: “The album does have some covers on but it’s mostly original songs, and there’s two tracks on there that I co-wrote and one that I wrote myself.
“It’s kind of mid-tempo ballads and some emotional ballads as well – the kind of things that people know me for and will really be able to connect with. I’ve grown a lot vocally in the last year, and with me helping to write some of the songs it’s a very personal album.
“The last two were all covers and I didn’t have much say in the first album, so I’ve really put my stamp on this one.
“I’ve been recording it since January, and being here doing the photoshoot has made it all seem real.
“I just can’t wait to get out there and start performing the songs for everyone. I can’t wait for people to hear them.”
Joe released his first album Wide Awake in 2010, the year after winning The X Factor, under Simon Cowell’s record label Syco. The album went gold after selling more than 100,000 copies.
He then went on to win ITV1’s Popstar to Operastar and was signed to Decca Records, releasing Classic and the follow-up, Classic Christmas – both which also went gold.
Joe said: “Working on this album has been really good. Last year was manic with TV and tours and everything that was going on, so getting to work on the album gave me a chance to slow down a bit and just enjoy myself.”
n Here’s What I Believe is out on September 17.