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11 May 2023, 16:18
Sam Ryder is a familiar face for TikTok users, but he was a newcomer to millions as they watched represent the UK at Eurovision in 2022.
Sam Ryder performed his song 'Space Man' at the contest in Italy, where he surprised everyone by coming second, something the UK hadn't come close to for well over a decade and a half.
But who is Sam and what has he been up to so far? Here's a simple explainer:
Sam Ryder • Set You Free [N-Trance Cover] (Official Live Acoustic)
Sam Ryder is an English singer, songwriter and social media star.
He first found fame through TikTok, after posting music covers during the first lockdown in the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.
He made his debut as a singer and guitarist back in 2009. He co-founded the band The Morning After, and released two studio albums.
In 2012, he became band Blessed by a Broken Heart's lead singer, but they split a year later.
After a stint as frontman for the American rock band Close Your Eyes, he left them in 2014.
Sam Ryder - SPACE MAN - United Kingdom 🇬🇧 - Official Music Video - Eurovision 2022
In 2016, he travelled to Nashville to record a solo album, but it was never released.
He rose to prominence through TikTok in 2020, when he began posting his music covers. He found new celebrity fans in the likes of Sia, Justin Bieber, Alicia Keys and Elton John, and by the end of the year, he became the most-followed UK artist on the platform.
Sam soon signed a record contract with Parlophone, and in 2021, he released his debut EP, The Sun’s Gonna Rise, followed by a sold-out tour.
His songs include 'Whirlwind', 'Tiny Riot', 'July' and 'More'.
Following his Eurovision success, his debut album There's Nothing but Space, Man! debuted at number one in the UK in 2022, and he was nominated for Best New Artist at the 2023 Brit Awards.
Sam Ryder was born in Essex, and he attended the St John Payne Catholic School in Chelmsford between 2000 and 2007.
He was born on June 25, 1989, and he celebrated his 33rd birthday in 2022.
He began singing as a child, and was inspired to pursue a career in music after seeing the Canadian rock band Sum 41.
Sam is in a relationship with partner Lois Gaskin-Barber, with whom he opened a café in 2017.
According to her post on Instagram, the couple appeared to have started dating in 2011. She wrote: "Today, nine years ago, I finally gave in and said, ‘Yes, let’s see how this goes,’ when we were just two foolish youngsters. The best thought ever."