Home » TV & Movies » I beat Atomic Kitten and Blue to Christmas Number 1 but quit to live in the mountains… fame would have killed me off | The Sun
I beat Atomic Kitten and Blue to Christmas Number 1 but quit to live in the mountains… fame would have killed me off | The Sun
HE sparked one of the great Christmas number one shocks 20 years ago, beating the likes of Sugababes, Atomic Kitten and even Sir Cliff Richard to the top spot.
But today Gary Jules, who bagged the prestigious honour with his cover of Tears For Fears' Mad World, reveals why he turned his back on fame at the height of his success.
The 54-year-old and his pal Michael Andrews found themselves at the centre of an unexpected chart battle after record bosses released the record in December 2003 -two years after it first appeared in the cult movie Donnie Darko.
Bookies had expected The Darkness’ Christmas Time (Don't Let the Bells End) to bag the top spot in a race with Bo Selecta's Proper Crim-Bo, Westlife’ Mandy, Atomic Kitten’s Ladies Night and Sir Cliff’s Santa's List.
Instead it was little-known Californian songwriter Gary who suddenly found himself thrust into the spotlight, sharing a sofa with the likes of Victoria Beckham and Sir Ian McKellen to talk about his surprise victory.
Gary tells The Sun: “I’m glad the success didn't happen when I was 23. I'd probably be dead or something.
Read More Features
Omid Scobie should pipe down and shut up over Harry & Meghan, says Jodie Marsh
THRONE INTO CHAOS
£250K cocaine hauls, affairs & a ‘wildcat’ jail bird… Miss World scandals
“You hear stories of people are confronted with a little bit of fame who self-destruct or transform."
In fact, at the height of his success, Gary's newlywed wife Greta Townsend showed him a positive pregnancy test after a sell-out London show, which changed his view on fame and fortune.
The mayhem of the Mad World tour and strain it had on his self-confidence led him to take a step back from stardom to focus on being a dad to kids Gus and Edie.
For years, he virtually disappeared off the radar, swapping the hills of Hollywood for a sleepy mountain town in North Carolina.
Most read in Music
Radio 1 legend quits after 21 years on air – and his final show is days away
Pop superstar drops huge hint she’s playing Glastonbury 2024 in legends slot
Christmas Number One race is on as Sam Ryder edges closer to winning
The latest Christmas Number One odds – this is who could bag the top spot