John and Edward Grimes (born 16 October 1991 in Dublin, Ireland), known professionally as Jedward, are an Irish singing and television presenting duo. They are identical twins and first appeared as John & Edward in the sixth series of The X Factor in 2009, generating a phenomenon of ironic popularity described as "the Jedward paradox". They finished sixth and are now managed by Louis Walsh, who was their mentor during The X Factor.
Jedward have released three albums, Planet Jedward, Victory and Young Love. Planet Jedward and Victory went double platinum in Ireland. They have released nine singles, including "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" (a mash-up of "Under Pressure" by Queen and Vanilla Ice's track "Ice Ice Baby"), "Lipstick", the song with which they represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011, and "Waterline", with which they represented Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012.
Jedward are also known for their television work, including presenting children's series Jedward's Big Adventure and OMG! Jedward's Dream Factory, and for participating in Celebrity Big Brother 8. John and Edward's combined net worth was estimated at €6m in September 2013, and they have been ranked as the fifth most financially successful former The X Factor UK contestants.
Early and personal life:
Identical twin brothers John Paul Henry Daniel Richard Grimes and Edward Peter Anthony Kevin Patrick Grimes were born in Dublin, to teacher Susanna and computer expert John and were raised in Rathangan with their brother, law student Kevin. John is ten minutes older than Edward.
John and Edward's first school was Scoil Bhríde National School in Rathangan. They then attended King's Hospital School for four years, but were bullied for standing out from the rest and their love of pop music, before being moved to the Dublin Institute of Education. The twins competed in school talent shows during their school years and were inspired by Justin Timberlake, Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys. John and Edward were also members of the Lucan Harriers Athletic Club and Dundrum South Dublin athletics club and have competed in several Irish athletic tournaments. In addition, they briefly worked as games testers for Xbox 360 format holder Microsoft and support football clubs Newcastle United and Celtic.
2009: The X Factor:
In 2009, the twins auditioned in Glasgow as a group for the sixth series of The X Factor, under the name John & Edward. Despite being described by judge Simon Cowell as "not very good and incredibly annoying", John & Edward were put through to bootcamp, then made it to judges' houses, where Louis Walsh selected them for the live shows.
The twins' inclusion in the final 12 was a controversial decision, due to their lack of experience, but Walsh stood by them, saying "I don't know how people can hate two nice young kids from Ireland. They've been edited really badly and come across as the people everyone loves to hate... but they're just raw, naïve and innocent and they have the potential to be really good."
John & Edward became known for their unpolished but enthusiastic performances, famously including a version of Britney Spears' "Oops!... I Did It Again", during which they reenacted the Titanic monologue. It was during The X Factor that John & Edward's fans gave them the nickname "Jedward", which was popularised by the press. Despite their inexperience, they were only in the bottom two twice, the first time winning the sing-off against Lucie Jones, the second time being voted off in sixth place, in favour of eventual series runner-up Olly Murs.
2010: Planet Jedward:
After their departure from The X Factor, Jedward, now officially performing under that name, were signed to Modest! Management, however it was later announced that Louis Walsh had reached "an amicable agreement" with Modest!, which allowed him to take the twins on. From February until April 2010, they performed on the X Factor Live tour, where they were credited with the boost in demand for tickets, that led to an extension in the tour run.
Jedward signed a £90,000 one-single contract with Sony Music in January 2010, and shortly after their debut single "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" was release, a mashup of "Under Pressure" and "Ice Ice Baby", with Vanilla Ice contributing guest vocals. The song debuted at number one on the Irish Singles Chart and number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. On March Jedward's Sony contract was culminated, but the following day Universal Music Ireland signed them on a three-album contract.
In April 2010, Jedward began their first solo tour, a 27-date tour of Ireland called the Planet Jedward Tour. Due to popular demand, it was extended with a second 43-date leg in the UK and Ireland. The Irish Independent rated the tour positively, saying that "Jedwardmania is right up there with Beatlemania." In July 2010, Jedward appeared at T4 on the Beach in Weston-super-Mare. During a performance of "Ghostbusters", Edward fell and tore ligaments in his left knee, which eventually required corrective surgery.
Jedward's second single, a cover of the Blink-182 song "All the Small Things", was released in July 2010 and peaked at number 21 on the Irish charts and number 6 on the UK Indie Chart. The same week, Jedward released their debut album Planet Jedward, consisting of covers of a selection of pop, rock and rap songs. It which went straight to number one on the Irish Albums Chart and number 17 on the UK Albums Chart.
Later in July, the twins appeared on the Channel 4 reality show Big Brother and performed "All the Small Things" in the garden as part the housemates' task to "ignore the obvious".
In August 2010, Jedward appeared in their own ITV2 documentary, entitled Jedward: Let Loose, a three-part series in which they moved out of their home for ten days. Jedward: Let Loose covered the launch of their debut album Planet Jedward and also documented Edward's injury at T4 on the Beach and the production of the music videos for "Under Pressure (Ice Ice Baby)" and "All the Small Things". In September, they appeared in OMG! It's Jedward!, a one-hour special on RTE, taking a similar fly-on-the-wall look at the twins.
2011: Eurovision Song Contest, Celebrity Big Brother and Victory:
On 12 February 2011, Jedward released their third single and Eurovision Song Contest entry "Lipstick", which peaked at number one in Ireland. Jedward successfully qualified from the second Eurovision Song Contest semi-final, eventually finishing in eighth place.
After the Eurovision Song Contest, "Lipstick" was released digitally across Europe, where it charted in many countries such as Belgium, Sweden, Germany and most notably Austria where it peaked at number three. The song also peaked at number 8 in the South Korea's international artists' chart. "Lipstick" had featured in a Hyundai advertising campaign in South East Asia.
Shortly after the Eurovision Song Contest, on 23 May, Jedward performed in front of an audience of 60,000 people at College Green in Dublin City ahead of a speech by visiting U.S. President Barack Obama.
In April 2011, Jedward began their second tour, the Bad Behaviour Tour, with a series of dates across Ireland. Jedward's next single "Bad Behaviour" was released in July and reached number one in the Irish charts. This was followed two weeks later by their second album Victory, consisting entirely of original tracks. A new version of Planet Jedward was released by the German branch of Universal Music in July, featuring a mix of tracks from Planet Jedward and new songs from Victory.
On 31 July, the twins began the first leg of their third tour, The Carnival Tour, with 12 shows across Ireland and Northern Ireland. In September Jedward played their first European tour, with dates in Sweden and Germany, followed by a UK tour.
Three days after the first leg finished, Jedward entered the Celebrity Big Brother 8 house. They made it to the final, eventually finishing in third place behind runner-up Kerry Katona and winner Paddy Doherty. The third single from Victory, "Wow Oh Wow" was released in August 2011, with a music video featuring their Celebrity Big Brother housemate Tara Reid.
In December, Jedward starred in the pantomime Jedward and the Beanstalk, a musical comedy version of the fairytale Jack and the Beanstalk. Staged at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, all sessions sold out.
2012: Eurovision Song Contest again and Young Love:
2012 saw Jedward again win the Irish national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest, this time with their song "Waterline". In May, Jedward performed "Waterline" at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012 in Baku, Azerbaijan. After qualifying from their semi-final, they eventually came in 19th place in the grand final.
"Waterline" was also the lead single on the twins' third album Young Love, released in June and debuting at number one in the Irish album charts in its first week. The tracks "Young Love" and "Luminous" were also released as singles. Jedward released the charity single and "unofficial" Irish UEFA Euro 2012 song "Put the Green Cape On", a reworking of "Lipstick".
The duo embarked on the European leg of their Victory Tour in January, playing in Austria, Germany, Sweden, Finland and Estonia. This was followed by the Young Love Tour in Ireland in August. John and Edward also made a promotional visit to Singapore where the new album had enjoyed popular success.
In March the brothers completed the Los Angeles Marathon, attracting media attention with their matching stars-and-stripes outfits and spiky hair, and in June they ran as part of the 2012 Summer Olympics torch relay in Dublin on day 19 of the relay.
The twins starred in their own TV series Jedward's Weird Wild World on UK TV channel 5*, with John and Edward humorously presenting a selection of popular internet videos. Over the Christmas and New Year period RTÉ broadcast the second series of their show OMG! Jedward's Dream Factory, and the second season of their BBC series Jedward's Big Adventure screened in early 2013.
Over the festive season, Jedward starred in their third annual pantomime, Jedward & the Magic Lamp.
2013-present: International breakthrough:
In January 2013, the twins made a promotional visit to Toronto, Canada, appearing twice on MuchMusic's New Music Live show and also made an appearance on Canada AM. While in Toronto, Jedward also filmed a promotional video for the Young Love album track "Happens in the Dark" and previewed a clip from the video on New Music Live.
Later in the month, it was announced that Jedward's three-album contract with Universal Music Ireland would not be renewed. The twins subsequently recorded nine new songs in Los Angeles with producer and songwriter Drew Ryan Scott.
In February, the twins played themselves in an episode of the CBBC sitcom Dani's Castle. They also provided weekly style commentary of the contestants in Sweden's Melodifestivalen competition and made a guest performance at the Melodifestivalen Second Chance show in early March.
The music video for "Happens in the Dark" was premiered on Much Music in March, with the video having been shot in Toronto earlier in the year.
In April the twins filmed a video for the song "What's Your Number?" in New York City. Later in the month they made a promotional visit to Australia, including radio and television appearances.
In June, Jedward joined the line-up of A Night For Christy, a gala concert in aid of Aslan frontman Christy Dignam. The twins performed Aslan's song "She's So Beautiful" with the band. In July the twins performed live shows in Cork and Limerick, with a UK live tour scheduled for September.
In November the twins toured Australia, with performances in Perth, Melbourne and Sydney. While in Australia the duo also released the music video for Young Love album track "Can't Forget You".
In January 2014, the third series of their CBBC television programme Jedward's Big Adventure was broadcast. Due to its popularity, the series run was doubled to 10 episodes.
Eurovision Song Contest:
Jedward have represented Ireland twice in Eurovision Song Contest, once in 2011 and again in 2012.
Eurovision Song Contest 2011:
Jedward were one of five acts bidding to represent Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2011 in Germany with their entry "Lipstick". On 11 February 2011, they won the national selection, beating runner-up Nikki Kavanagh by two points. On 12 May, Jedward performed in the second semi-final in Düsseldorf, and were voted through to the final, which took place on 14 May. They finished in 8th position overall, with 119 points which is Ireland's best result since 2000. They also won the Marcel Bezençon Artistic Award as voted for by the 43 event commentators.
Eurovision Song Contest 2012:
In October 2011, Jedward told MTV that they were interested in again representing Ireland at the Eurovision Song Contest 2012, to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan. In November 2011, RTÉ announced that Jedward would participate in Eurosong 2012. Their mentor this time was the Eurovision winner Linda Martin.
In early February, their entry was revealed to be a pop rock song titled "Waterline". On 24 February, Jedward won Eurosong, winning both the jury and the public vote. In doing so, they are the first act to represent Ireland in Eurovision Song Contest for two consecutive years.
On 22 May they performed in the first semi-final at the Crystal Hall in Baku, Azerbaijan, and earned 92 points, putting them in sixth place and through to the final. On 26 May they performed at the grand final and scored 46 points, putting them in 19th place overall, but managing in 10th place on televotes alone.
Since coming into the limelight in 2009, Jedward have been involved with a number of television programmes in the UK and Ireland, and have also appeared on numerous talk shows and game shows in the UK, Ireland and Europe.
The X Factor
Weekly VT rounds
Friday Night with Jonathan Ross
Series 18, Episode 3
Jedward: Let Loose
Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Series 4, Episode 11
T4 on the Beach
OMG It's Jedward
RTÉ Two documentary
Never Mind the Buzzcocks
Series 24, Episode 3
Eurovision Song Contest 2011
8th Place (119 points)
OMG It's Eurovision
RTÉ Two documentary
8 out of 10 Cats
Series 11, Episode 5
Series 12, Episode 12
Celebrity Big Brother 8
Alan Carr: Chatty Man
OMG! Jedward's Dream Factory
Jedward's Big Adventure
Celebrity Wedding Planner
Series 1, Episode 1
Eurovision Song Contest 2012
19th Place (46 points)
Jedward's Eurovision: Take Two
RTÉ Two documentary
Jedward's Weird Wild World
Since leaving The X Factor, Jedward have been involved with many advertising campaigns in the UK and Ireland. In 2009, agreed to be the subject of a Tourism Ireland radio campaign, which made a tongue-in-cheek apology to the UK for Jedward's antics on The X Factor.
In 2010, Jedward fronted an advertising campaign for Irish fast food chain Abrakebabra. Following this they helped relaunch the Shake n' Vac brand for Glade alongside original Shake n' Vac actress Jenny Logan, in a modern day remake of the popular 1980s advert.
Jedward have also fronted advertising campaigns for East Midlands Trains, Rowntree's Randoms, Nintendo DS game Dragon Quest IX, the Scooby-Doo Mystery Machine tour, Disney Universe and a Travel Supermarket commercial with comedian Omid Djalili. The latter was later banned after the UK Advertising Standards Authority ruled that the advert was misleading.
In 2011, they fronted an advertising campaign for mobile network 3 Ireland, including their own Jedward-branded mobile phone.
Since 2010, Jedward have performed in an annual pantomime over the Christmas and New Year period. Based at the Olympia Theatre in Dublin, the pantomimes also star Linda Martin. John and Edward play themselves and the shows feature Jedward songs. The twins' first show was Cinderella in 2010, where they played the fairy godbrothers. They returned in 2011 with a sell-out season of Jedward and the Beanstalk, and again in 2012 with Jedward and the Magic Lamp. In 2013 their fourth pantomime will be Jedward in Beauty and the Beast.
Jedward have also been signed to Next Models and appeared in fashion magazines such as i-D, Esquire and Grazia.
Jedward are involved with many charity projects, earning them the status as one of the highest rated charity ambassadors in Ireland for 2011.
Jedward are ambassadors for the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (ISPCC) and have fronted an ISPCC poster campaign. The proceeds of their Euro 2012 charity single "Put The Green Cape On" also went to the ISPCC. From 2010 to 2013 Jedward performed annually at the ChildLine Concert, which benefits the ISPCC's ChildLine service.
Also in Ireland, Jedward have been involved with the ISCPA's My Dog Ate It campaign, and promote the Concern Worldwide Fast fundraiser.
Jedward have also been involved with Comic Relief,Sport Relief and Children in Need, in the UK, as well as giving their time to visit children in hospitals.
Jedward have been subjects of commentary on social networking websites and in the media. Many celebrities have also commented on the Jedward phenomenon. Their fans include Peaches Geldof,Pixie Lott, Westlife and Robbie Williams.Taoiseach Brian Cowen also backed the singers, while Leona Lewis said that she worried about them. Others have openly criticised them, with Liam Gallagher stating: "How do you not smack them? I know all about annoying fucking brothers, but nobody comes close to them. What the fuck is happening to British music? And what are those things on their heads?"Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have both expressed their opinions about Jedward as well. On 6 November 2009, Taylor opined on BBC News that "They're not good singers. But you know... eight-year olds love them... you know there's nothing wrong with that - it's entertainment", while in week 6 of the X Factor live shows, when May and Taylor were the finalists' celebrity mentors, May told them "You have something, you really do have something." He also said that "People love them or hate them, that's always a good sign. If they're indifferent then forget it. Some people love you, some people hate you - you got something going for you."
Politicians in both Ireland and the UK have also made their feelings about Jedward heard. The two leading British political parties, Labour and the Conservatives, each released campaign posters parodying the twins. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown came under fire in November 2009 for describing Jedward as "not very good" and later apologised for doing so. Following this, Walsh stated "So Gordon Brown and Simon Cowell both have something in common: neither of them know what the public want." Current Prime Minister David Cameron admitted that he enjoyed watching The X Factor and that Jedward were his favourite act. Cameron also bought a t-shirt with their faces on it.The Irish Independent called Jedward "tone-deaf twins", even though the pair were voted more popular than The Beatles in a teenage poll.