Bars and Melody (also known as BAM) are a British singing/rapping duo consisting of rapper Leondre Devries ("Bars") and singer Charlie Lenehan ("Melody"). They took part in the eighth series of Britain's Got Talent in 2014. During their audition, they were automatically sent into the semi-finals of the competition after the head judge, Simon Cowell, pressed the "golden buzzer," a new feature introduced in the eighth series. They ultimately finished in third place in the series.
After the show, Bars and Melody signed a record deal with Syco Music. Their debut single, "Hopeful", was released on 25 July 2014 and peaked at number five on the UK Singles Chart. They brought out a new song, "Shining Star", on 30 July 2014; this was an extra to their acoustic version of "Hopeful".
Bars and Melody released their debut studio album 143 on 21 August 2015. It debuted at number four in the UK. They refer to their fans as "Bambinos."
2013–14: Formation and Britain's Got Talent
Devries and Lenehan first met in September 2013 on Facebook, after Devries had seen Lenehan's solo performances. They first met in person in January 2014 and decided to form a music duo as Bars and Melody, or B.A.M.
On 8 February 2014, Bars and Melody auditioned in Manchester for the eighth series of Britain's Got Talent. They performed a song based on Twista and Faith Evans' "Hope", with Devries replacing the original verses with ones protesting against bullying. After the audition, the audience began chanting "Push the gold!" and Simon Cowell responded by pressing the golden buzzer, sending them through straight through to the live semi-finals. Their audition has since been viewed on YouTube more than 100 million times.
Before the semi-finals, the boys were interviewed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in the United States, and numerous adverts were posted on Facebook. They advertised Britain's Got Talent and themselves, as well as performing their audition piece. In the BGT semi-final on 29 May, they performed Puff Daddy and Faith Evans' "I'll Be Missing You", coupled with new verses about someone who had recently lost a friend; audience members were given candles to wave during the performance. They won their semi-final and progressed through to the final.
2014–present: 143 and "Friday Download"
Despite not winning, it was reported that Bars and Melody were set to sign a £500,000 record deal. On 15 June 2014, it was announced that they had signed an initial one-single deal with Simon Cowell's record label, Syco. The music video of their song "Hopeful" was released on YouTube on 7 July 2014. Their debut single was released on 27 July 2014 and went straight to number five on the UK Singles Chart. To promote the song, they appeared on television shows such as This Morning and Good Morning Britain as well as The Official Chart on BBC Radio 1.
Bars and Melody also participated in their first HMV signing tour to promote 'Hopeful'. They released the song "Shining Star", which came out as part of Hopeful Acoustic. In 2015, B.A.M released a new single called "Keep Smiling"; it was released on 16 February 2015 and peaked at 52 in the Official Charts Company. The duo went on their debut headline tour, the 'Stay Strong Tour', in March/April 2015 to preview songs from their then upcoming album. Their third official single, "Stay Strong", coincided with the tour and was released alongside a music video on 6 April 2015. Two physical editions of the CD could be purchased with each one containing an image of either Charlie or Leondre. They also participated in a second HMV signing tour for promotion.
They released their fourth single "Beautiful" in June 2015 alongside a music video. The boys released their debut album, 143, on 21 August 2015. It peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart on 28 August 2015. To promote the album they participated in a third HMV signing tour across the UK. Preceding the album was their 'Summer 2015 Tour' which was a United Kingdom only tour to preview songs from 143. This was followed in November by the 143 Album Tour, their third tour overall but first following the release of their debut studio album. This tour was Bars and Melody's first world tour, featuring dates in Poland and the Netherlands
Lenehan first took to the stage at the age of 11 after starting at The Ridings' Federation Winterbourne International Academy. He was taking part in the school's Rock Island Project, and after forming a band with his schoolmates, was chosen as the singer. Following this, his teachers commented on his talent. According to his mother Karen, a teacher came up to her on parents' evening and asked, "Have you heard your Charlie sing? He's really good." This comment really surprised her, as no one in the family had ever been a singer. After unearthing his hidden talent, his grandfather, Dennis, bought him a microphone and speakers.
Lenehan, also writes his own music, later put up videos of himself singing on Facebook and YouTube, some of which attracted 50,000 hits – and was contacted by Devries, who was impressed with his work. The pair started chatting and in January started to meet up and practice together.
Leondre Antonio Devries (born 6 October 2000) is from Port Talbot, Neath Port Talbot, Wales. He attends the Glan Afan Comprehensive School. Devries lives with his mother Victoria. He has a younger sister, Tilly, and three older brothers, Jacob, Ben and Joey. Joey was part of the boy band Overload Generation who participated in the eleventh series of The X Factor. Devries has spoken openly about his experiences of bullying at a young age.
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- 2014: Hopeful EP