To last ten years in the fickle industry that is the music business, you earn the right to call yourself a star. To go beyond that you start heading into a different solar system. Irish duo Jedward, John and Edward Grimes, today transcend the bounds of the Milky Way as they mark 11 years since they first headed down the road to becoming household names.
Today marks the date the twins auditioned for X Factor, in Glasgow. They had previously expressed interest in being musical artists, and were well known around Dublin for always attending CD signings, meet and greets, and other events, where they would ask the artists for information about how to get into and get ahead in the music industry.
Irish singer Mundy had one such experience, in April 2009, when John and Edward approached him for a photo at a signing at Dublin’s HMV. Speaking to the Irish Independent in 2010, Mundy said,
“They asked me for advice on how to break into the pop business. They seemed so confident and sure it was going to happen for them. At the time I thought ‘Bless’ — then six months later there they were on ‘X Factor’. I was sitting there at home going, ‘It’s those twins. They’ve done it’,” he said.
Zoom forward 11 years, and Jedward certainly have done it. We’ve covered their history in our past commemorative articles (last year, 2018, 2017, 2016, 2015), so today we’ll focus on what John and Edward have achieved this year.
Covid-19 has put the knockers on a lot of their plans, but rather than focus on the negative, John and Edward have instead turned their focus to issues of a more political nature. Always supportive of human rights causes, Jedward turned heads and won hearts in June when they marched for 5 hours at the head of a Black Lives Matter peaceful protest around the streets of Hollywood and Beverly Hills. The protest made news all around the world, drawing further attention to them which had already begun when it was revealed they were quarantining with best friend Tara Reid. This marked the turn of the tide – which we hope will continue – as people realised that not only were Jedward still around (yes, *we know*, but the general public have short memories), but they also were truly sound people with social consciences.
The levee banks were then broken as Jedward made news every week thereafter. Their iconic first single, ‘Under Pressure/Ice Ice Baby’ – as well as the Rage-directed video – was unceremoniously pulled from all digital media, and as it coincided with Simon Cowell’s departure from Syco Music, eyes naturally turned to him. Although a spokesperson for Cowell denied any involvement, it’s since been revealed that the track is set to be restored.
The duo have also spoken out about influencers who travelled to Ibiza during the pandemic to party and promote themselves and sponsored goods; the dangers of not protecting your skin from the sun; calling out the meme creators who compared them to Ellen DeGeneres and Portia De Rossi; and finally, wading into proper politics, namely the situation in Ireland, where the three main parties were evenly represented in the Dáil, leading to a failure to agree about who would serve as Taoiseach, and the implementation of a rotating Taoiseach deal:
This naturally was met with high praise, and many commenting that Jedward were the obvious and only solution.
Of course, John and Edward released music – in July they dropped the video for ‘Taste The Heat’, the fourth single from last year’s ‘Voice Of A Rebel’ album. This has been followed by ‘Extraordinary’, released this week, and declared by Jedward to be Ireland’s new national anthem – of course!
It remains to be seen what else lays ahead for Jedward this year – this year’s UK tour was meant to go ahead in May, but was moved to August and then postponed again until February – both due to Covid-19 restrictions in the UK. They have at least one more music video up their sleeves, for ‘Teenage Runaway’, and have teased that they will release that next month. Hopefully they will maintain their current position as international treasures, and continue to build on the political stance they’ve so far cultivated. What we know for sure is, in the words of ‘Extraordinary’,
“They say, everyone needs a hero
And that’s what you are to me
You make a better tomorrow
And a brighter day
I know that we could be Extraordinary”
Jedward are heroes, they’re our heroes. Every day is better and brighter with them. Jedward rule OK! Long may they rule!
Watch the music video for ‘Extraordinary’ below: