On July 24 1990, Jay McGuiness was born. Today marks his 26th birthday and he’s definitely got a lot to smile about.
Jay first stole our hearts six years ago as one fifth of boyband The Wanted. Their debut single ‘All Time Low’ shot to number one in the UK, and this was the beginning of a memorable journey for the group. They found success worldwide, with hit singles across the globe as well as sold out tours. In 2014, they announced that they would be taking a hiatus.
In August 2015, it was confirmed that Jay would be taking part in series 13 of Strictly Come Dancing. Partnered with Aliona Vilani, Jay made it through every week with his creative and heartfelt dances. He gained incredible public support along the way thanks to the dances and his endearing personality. It was no surprise, therefore, that on December 19, Jay and Aliona were crowned the winners of Strictly, lifting the glitterball trophy.
Since then, Jay has continued with the dancing. He became the overall champion on the Strictly Come Dancing tour at the start of 2016, winning 24 out of the 30 shows. It has also been announced that he and Aliona will be performing in the Keep Dancing tour later this year, as special guests in Milton Keynes, Wimbledon and Edinburgh.
Not contempt with dancing alone, it has also been announced that Jay will star as Josh Baskin in Big The Musical. The musical, starring Denise Van Outen, Diana Vickers and Gary Wilmot, will hit Plymouth and Dublin later this year, before opening in the West End in 2017.
Whilst we know and love Jay from his time in The Wanted, it’s also great to see his kind and compassionate self growing from strength to strength as he takes on new challenges. His talent knows no bounds, and whether he’s singing, dancing or acting, we’re pretty sure that he’s destined for continued success.
To celebrate Jay’s birthday, we’re going to throw it back to some of the best The Wanted videos and Strictly dances! So sit back, reminisce and honour Bird’s birthday by watching all things Jay.
1. All Time Low
The song might be called ‘All Time Low’, but it was an All Time High for The Wanted as it kickstarted their fantastic career. Jay has one of our favourite solos in this song, “When I’m standing on the yellow line waiting at the station, or I’m late for work, a vital presentation. If you call me now girl without reservation, I would try to break through”. This song made us fall in love with his vocals. The lyric also inspired TW fans to take a picture of themselves ‘standing on the yellow line waiting at the station’ at least once in their lives.
2. Heart Vacancy
With The Wanted’s second single, came one of our favourite middle eights of all time. Jay’s “When Iiiiiiiii talk to youuuuuuu on the phoooooooone, listen close” line is iconic among the TW fanbase. Long may it live.
3. Gold Forever
The Wanted released ‘Gold Forever’ as the official Comic Relief song back in 2011. The hilarious video included a number of in-jokes with the fans but also created a whole bunch more – butterfly chicken dance anyone?
4. Glad You Came
Arguably one of The Wanted’s biggest hits, the accompanying video showcases the lads having the time of their lives on holiday. Famous Jay moments from the video include his jazzy shirt and awkward dance moves, of which in hindsight, are rather ironic considering his actual dancing talent!
For us, ‘Warzone’ was one of The Wanted’s most underrated songs. It’s an emotional and haunting track, with a powerful chorus as well as elements of dub step, which sounds a strange concoction but truly works. The video is just as powerful, with each member discovering their girlfriends are cheating on them. Jay’s vocals truly shine in this song, and we just want to give him a cuddle over his heartache (whilst praying that he doesn’t fall off that burning car).
6. Chasing The Sun
‘Chasing The Sun’ was released in 2012 and was the theme song for Ice Age: Continental Drift. Part of the video features the guys being given sun-shaped tattoos from mysterious ladies. Whilst the other lads appear bemused or annoyed, Jay seems pretty content with his which is unsurprising considering his love for tattoos. Jay also sings that he’s “never down”, which the TWfanmily found funny in a literal sense, considering his notoriety for falling over.
7. Walks Like Rihanna
‘Walks Like Rihanna’ was one The Wanted’s most commercially successful singles, although it doesn’t rate that highly amongst fans. Nonetheless, we’ve included the boyband-inspired video in our list purely for the comedic value of Jay’s dancing near the end. It’s gif-able material, and at the time you could never imagine the man behind these Gangnam and Irish dancing moves becoming a Strictly champion!
Which leads us nicely on to our next video….
The first of three dances we’ve chosen from Jay’s time on Strictly Come Dancing, this beautiful rumba melted hearts across the country. Dancing to ‘Falling Slowly’ from the musical Once, this spinetingling dance earned them 39 points in week 11 of the competition. Jay and dance partner Aliona Vilani have since performed this during the Strictly tour at the start of the year.
Jaliona’s Doctor Who inspired Charleston was a series highlight for sure. They received 37 points in week 12, along with another 34 for their Viennese Waltz, earning them a well deserved spot in the final.
Last but not least, Jaliona’s jive which became the most iconic dance routine from series 13. In fact, many have deemed it as one of the best dances in Strictly history. The Pulp Fiction inspired jive earned the pair 37 points in week three, the highest ever week three score in the history of the competition. They also received the first 10 of the series for this slick routine. Let’s relive it one more time…
Jay McGuiness, we wish you the happiest of birthdays. May your day be bright, happy and fun-filled, you deserve it. We look forward to your next journey as Josh in Big The Musical and can’t wait to see what else the future has in store for you.
Remember to send your birthday wishes to Jay over on his Twitter.
Header Credit: Jay McGuiness Instagram