Britain’s Got Talent youngster Gabz blew the judges away with a piano rap audition at just 14 years old.
Gabz, born Gabrielle but now goes by the name of Ash and uses they/them pronouns, sauntered onto the stage back in 2013 on series seven of the hit ITV show and unusually for an aspiring star, chose to sing/rap one of their own songs.
Always a bit risky in talent competitions.
Their song, The One, was an instant crowd-pleaser though and mightily impressed all four judges with Simon Cowell even commenting: "I absolutely loved that, really good. I think that's a good little song, a great chorus.
"Produced properly, you may have something there."
Though Gabz did not win BGT, they did reach the final and their single was professionally released, peaking at number six on the UK Singles Chart.
Gabz, from Stevenage in Hertfordshire, was just a fresh-faced school kid when they first auditioned for BGT – something their dad reportedly did not let them do because of their “bad attitude” at home.
Gabz also made the audience chuckle when asked what The One was about. They said it is about “losing the love of your life” – not that they had, but had “seen some films about it”.
Since BGT Gabz has carved a career for themselves as a singer-songwriter. After The One – which was renamed Lighters – they released further singles and their debut EP came out in 2016.
In 2020 they released the EP Self Destruct.
Aside from music, Gabz is a TikTok star with over 112,000 followers and nearly 1.5million likes.
Recently Gabz announced that they were non-binary, using pronouns they/their, and were also changing their name to Ashley.
In an Instagram post they said: "I wanna reintroduce myself… I’m Ashley (Gabz is still my artist name dw) ~ I’ve always hated my full name as it was always too feminine.
"If u didn’t know I’m nonbinary & this journey has been really confusing for me & I’m sure for some of u too.
"You can still call me Gabz that is gonna stay my ‘stage/artist name’ but I’ve decided being nonbinary is no longer going to be a burden for me or hold me back or keep me hiding. I wanna be myself 100% authentically always!"
Adding: "Hopefully in the future loads of kids like me won’t have to grow up so confused not fitting any labels.
"Gonna be way more open with you all sending love, Ashley/Gabz (they/them)" (sic).
They also reportedly set up a GoFundMe page for surgery for chest dysphoria, which they say they have been suffering from “for years”.
They wrote on the page, which is asking for £8,000: “I'm raising money so that I can be able to get the top surgery that I need, this will help to stop my dysphoria so I can finally be comfortable in my own skin.
“As you might be aware the NHS waiting lists are really long and have slowed down because of the lockdowns as well.
“I've been wearing binders which really helps when out in public but causes me a lot of back pain & any help would be really appreciated.”
So far £500 has been pledged.
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