Peak UK Chart Position: #45 in March 2007.

Celebrating his birthday today will be Lemar Obika, born in Tottenham, North London, who turns 39. Perhaps the highest-profile name to have emerged from the BBC’s Fame Academy, he is also a double-BRIT Awards winner, and also the recipient of three MOBO Awards. He pursued a music career rather than study Pharmacy at Cardiff University, but after his initial attempt stalled, he ended up working for NatWest as an accounts manager. His first single post-Fame Academy remains his biggest hit: “Dance (With U)” getting to number two in August 2003.

Quick facts:

  • Lemar came third in the original series of Fame Academy in late 2002, behind winner David Sneddon, and runner-up Sinéad Quinn.
  • His debut single “Got Me Saying Ooh” in October 2001 was never released due to restructuring at RCA Records.
  • Since then, he has scored seven top ten singles in the UK, including “If There’s Any Justice”, “It’s Not That Easy”, and “Lullaby”.
  • His sixth, and most recent album, “The Letter”, was released in October 2015.
  • He is also one of the artists included on 2004’s Band Aid 20 remake of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”

“Tick Tock” was his first single to miss the top forty, although strangely for a track with a definite summer vibe, it was released in March 2007. The familiar sample on the single version (the Kardinal Beats remix) is taken from Color Me Badd’s 1991 chart-topper “I Wanna Sex You Up”. The weekly Top of the Pops had ceased by this time, but the track still got an airing, as sister show TOTP2 was still being broadcast.

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