Jaymi Hensley is a British pop singer and reality TV personality who is best known for being a member of the boy band ‘Union J’; the other members of the band are Josh Cuthbert and JJ Hamblett. The band, formed in 2011, took part in the ninth series of the British reality TV music competition 'The X Factor' in 2012 and finished fourth. As part of the band, he has released the album 'Union J' in 2013 and 'You Got It All – The Album' in 2014. Some of their most popular songs include 'Carry You', 'Beautiful Life', 'You Got It All' and 'Tonight (We Live Forever)'. Hensley appeared on the BBC game show ‘Pointless Celebrities’ with singer Sinitta in 2015. In December 2016, he made his pantomime debut in the lead role in ‘Peter Pan’ at the White Rock Theatre in Hastings. He is slated to portray the lead role in ‘Aladdin’ panto at the Derngate Theatre in Northampton in 2017. On May 8, 2017, he appeared on the MTV British reality tattoo show, 'Just Tattoo of Us', with his brother Aaron. He is currently a part of ‘Celebrity MasterChef’, the celebrity version of BBC competitive cooking show ‘MasterChef Goes Large’.
The Meteoric Rise to Stardom
Jaymi Hensley met Josh Cuthbert while the two were studying performing arts at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Westminster. Cuthbert had previously failed for the audition of the fourth series of ‘The X Factor’ during the bootcamp stage, but was in touch with Blair Dreelan of Alpha Dog Management, who intended to put him in a band. Dreelan created a band with Hensley and Cuthbert, and later added former jockey Jamie "JJ" Hamblett into the band, naming it the ‘Triple J’. Along with the band, Hensley auditioned for the ninth series of ‘The X Factor’ in London in May 2012.
They successfully progressed through the next stages, but eventually lost to GMD3, which was put through to judges' houses. However, after Rough Copy was forced to withdraw from the show, ‘The X Factor’ producers offered the band to return on the show on the condition that they add soloist George Shelley to the group. The band was subsequently renamed ‘Union J’ and advanced to judges' houses. They became immensely popular on social media, occupying nearly half of the online discussions regarding ‘The X Factor’. After being placed in the bottom two three times, they were eventually eliminated in the semifinals on December 2, 2012, finishing fourth. Nevertheless, the band signed a record deal with Sony Music Entertainment on December 15, 2012 and went on to release their debut single ‘Carry You’ in June 2013, reaching number six in the United Kingdom singles chart.
You May Like
Continue Reading Below
Jaymi Hensley made news not only for his role in the band or the cooking show; an openly gay person, he often uses his position to root for LGBT causes. He first came out to his family and friends when he was fourteen years old. They accepted it without any negativity. Later, during his time on ‘The X Factor’, his mentor Louis Walsh encouraged him to come out publicly. The members of the band knew about his sexuality from the beginning. He made his sexual orientation public on November 18, 2012, with full support of his band mates and Walsh. However, he maintained that he did not choose to reveal this to gain attention; rather, he wanted to be honest and to inspire others who have been struggling with their sexuality. He also revealed that he has been in a relationship with hairstylist Olly Marmon since 2009. He proposed to his boyfriend during a trip to Rome on Christmas in 2010, and the couple finally got engaged in 2014. In March that year, he posed with his fiancé for a photoshoot for Attitude magazine's gay marriage issue.
He has reportedly been close to his former band mate George Shelley, and after Shelley's representative claimed that the other band members were jealous of his success, he issued a statement on behalf of the band that the decision was mutual and there were no hard feelings.
Behind The Curtains
Jaymi Hensley was born as James William Hensley on February 24, 1990 in Luton, a large town in Bedfordshire, England, to Jackie and David Hensley. He has a brother named Aaron. As a child, he was interested in ballet and gymnastics. However, during his early years, he once broke his wrist, and later struggled to maintain weight as he was not exercising as much. As a result, his gymnastics dreams were cut short. He later studied theatre at the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Westminster, which his future band mate Josh Cuthbert also attended. He has 17 tattoos on his body. He is a pet lover and has a dog, a cat and two fish.