Jack Vidgen (born 17 January 1997) is an Australian singer, best known for winning the fifth season of Australia's Got Talent. He subsequently signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. His debut single, "Yes I Am", was released for digital download on 3 August 2011. Vidgen's debut studio album, also titled Yes I Am, was released on 19 August 2011. The album debuted at number three on the ARIA Albums Chart and was certified gold by the ARIA. His second studio album, Inspire, was released on 27 April 2012, and was less successful than its predecessor, only reaching number 23 on the ARIA Albums Chart.
Jack Vidgen is the son of Steve Vidgen and Rachel Hayton. From 2007 to 2010, Vidgen performed at various events in Sydney, including Schools Spectacular, Eisteddfod, and the local Christmas carols. Vidgen also taught himself how to play the piano and guitar. He attended Balgowlah Boys High School. Following his win on Australia's Got Talent in 2011, Vidgen withdrew from his high school to continue by distance education. In March 2014 it was reported that he had had a lesion removed from behind his eye.
2011: Australia's Got Talent:
Vidgen auditioned for the fifth season of Australia's Got Talent in 2011, singing a rendition of Whitney Houston's "I Have Nothing". The performance earned a standing ovation from both the judges and the audiences. Judge Kyle Sandilands said before the audition, "You're either gonna be amazing or dreadful - both I will enjoy", while judge Brian McFadden was so moved from the performance he ran up on stage to kiss Vidgen's cheek once it was over. The performance has received over 23 million views on YouTube. Vidgen was since dubbed Australia's answer to Justin Bieber and had been inundated with international and local interest. He also attracted the attention of celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton, who posted several blogs of Vidgen's performances on his website.
Vidgen performed on the first semi-final show, singing a cover of "And I Am Telling You I'm Not Going" from the Dreamgirls soundtrack. After the performance, Vidgen earned another standing ovation from the judges and audience. Sandilands told Vidgen that he made him believe in reincarnation as he was sure Vidgen had a black woman inside him, while McFadden said Vidgen had one of the best voices he had ever heard. After winning the public vote from the first semi-final show, Vidgen progressed through to the next round, the final showdown. During this round, Vidgen performed a cover of Adele's "Set Fire to the Rain". After his performance, judge Dannii Minogue said, "Your voice lifts everybody who listens to it", while McFadden joked that he was jealous of Vidgen because he spelled the end for other guys in the music industry. Vidgen once again won the public vote, which made him progress through to the grand final. During this round, Vidgen performed an original song titled, "Yes I Am". A few days later, Vidgen had been the centre of criticism over the song that he claimed to have written himself when it was revealed that he co-wrote the song with two other people. Critics questioned how involved Vidgen was in the writing of the song. On 7 August 2011, Vidgen appeared on Sunday Night and said, "I sort of wrote the lyrics, and then I took them to vocal coach Erana Clark's studio, and we had the producer -- I didn't write the music, I can say that, but I did write the lyrics."
Vidgen was announced the winner of the season during the grand final decider show, which aired on 2 August 2011. He was awarded a prize of $250,000.
Police investigated a threat made against Vidgen posted on Facebook, offering a $500,000 cash reward for anyone who could inflict a "slow, painful and horrible" death on him. The site warned the offer was not a joke and included a photograph of a gun being held to Vidgen's head. Manly Police acting inspector, Gemma Phillips, said they would launch a full investigation into the Facebook site if a formal complaint was lodged by a member of Vidgen's family, and would take action if sufficient evidence was available.
2011-present: Record deal, Yes I Am and Inspire:
Following his win on Australia's Got Talent, Vidgen subsequently signed a recording contract with Sony Music Australia. "Yes I Am" was released for digital download on 3 August 2011, as Vidgen's debut single. The song peaked at number 35 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Vidgen co-wrote the gospel soul-inspired song with former Australian Idol vocal coach Erana Clark and producer A2, who also penned the song, "Fly", for Vidgen's debut studio album also titled Yes I Am. The album was rush-released on 19 August 2011. It contained cover versions Vidgen performed on Australia's Got Talent, which were all produced by musical director Chong Lim, as well as the two original songs. The album debuted and peaked at number three on the ARIA Albums Chart, and was certified gold by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA), for shipments of 35,000 units.
Vidgen's second studio album, Inspire, was released on 27 April 2012. It featured more covers of songs from artists, including Michael Jackson, Bill Withers, Cyndi Lauper, John Lennon, and Beyoncé, among others. The album debuted and peaked at number 23 on the ARIA Albums Chart, failing to match the success of his debut album. Vidgen's second single "Finding You", which was written by The Potbelleez' IIan Kidron, was released digitally on 10 July 2012. He performed the song on Australia's Got Talent the next day.