As a member of the successful U.K. boy band the Wanted, singer Nathan Sykes joined the group through the traditional pop music audition process in 2009 alongside fellow members Max George and Tom Parker. The trio was later joined by Jay McGuiness and Siva Kaneswaran. Born in 1993 and raised in Abbeydale, Gloucester, U.K., Sykes displayed his natural musical and performing ability from the age of six and attended the famous Sylvia Young Theatre School at 11. He returned to Gloucester after completing his GCSE exams and continued to perform. He won several singing competitions throughout his teens, the most memorable being "Britney Spears' Karaoke Kriminals" in 2003, in which his prize was a kiss from Spears herself. He also entered the Junior Eurovision Song Contest in 2004 in the hopes of representing the United Kingdom, but he finished third after Cory Spedding and runner-up Andrew Murray. After he settled into the Wanted, the band proceeded to develop their sound and released their self-titled debut album in 2010. Their first single, "All Time Low," reached number one in the U.K. charts. They swiftly released the follow-up album, Battleground, in 2011.
In April 2013, it was announced that Sykes would have to undergo emergency throat surgery in Los Angeles, California, and the band decided to go on hiatus while he recovered. The timing proved to be unfortunate, as the recording of their third album and a worldwide tour were about to start. After a lengthy period of recuperation, Sykes returned with his fellow bandmates with an emotionally charged performance at the Capital FM Summertime Ball in June 2013. With his vocal ability back on track, he collaborated with singer Ariana Grande on the duet "Almost Is Never Enough," which was featured on the soundtrack to The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones. It was widely praised by his musical peers and marked a triumphant return for the singer after a difficult year. Following the 2014 announcement that the Wanted were breaking up, Sykes signed a recording contract with Global Radio. In early 2015, he released the solo single "More Than You'll Ever Know" and announced that he was working on a debut full-length album with a handful of producers, including Babyface and Diane Warren. His second solo single, "Kiss Me Quick," followed in June 2015. Following a handful of singles, Sykes finally released his debut album, Unfinished Business, in November 2016. ~ Aneet Nijjar