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Childhood snaps reveal X Factor star Luke Friend has always loved his funky hair style

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: November 22, 2013

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THE family of local X Factor star Luke Friend have opened their family photo album— so fans can see what he was like as a young child.

And it would seem from an early age, Luke was keen to carve out his own style with funky hair styles.

Luke's hair has received a lot of attention ever since his first audition for The X Factor, but last weekend the singer shocked fans as he underwent a makeover and lost his dreads during a photoshoot with heat magazine.

The singer, who found himself in the sing-off on Sunday evening, told the magazine: 'The shoot’s awesome – a lot different to what I’ve done before.'

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The Devon-born star, who sports a tuxedo for the shoot,  said: 'The only thing is, I think I need to lose a bit of weight. I’ve got a bit of a tummy. I don’t worry about it, though. Chicks dig the chub!'

Adding: 'I’ll never be ripped, though. I don’t want to be. It’s too much effort.'

Luke, 17, was born at Leeds General Infirmary on April 30, 1996.

He first showed signs of loving music as a toddler.

"Certainly by the age of two he loved music and dancing and by age three, he was doing skits after dinner for our guests," said his mum Sue Potts.

"The first CD he bought was Bad by Michael Jackson and he used to do a sublime rendition of Michael's I Want You Back, before his voice broke.

Since moving to Devon aged 13, he's gone on to star in numerous productions at Coombeshead Academy in Newton Abbot, including being involved in a school project which took him to the West End to perform at the Victoria Palace Theatre in a production of Billy Elliot.

The school won a competition to appear in the one-off performance, where Luke played Billy's gay mate Michael in the show.

"He absolutely loved this and especially meeting Cameron Mackintosh who asked him to audition the next time the Michael part was up for grabs," said Sue.

"Unfortunately, Luke had grown too much when this came around."

Luke has a brother Tom, who is 26, and a sister Alesha, 29, whose wedding he played at this year in May in the Lake District.

"He had a lot of people in tears with his rendition of Lover of the Light by Mumford and Sons and On A Day Like This by Elbow when Alesha and James were walking up and down the aisle," said Sue. "Both Tom and Alesha are very proud of Luke's achievements and love seeing him playing at gigs."

Luke isn't the only musical one in the family. His cousin Holly, known as Halle, is in a new girlband Love Beats Riot and he also has other cousins who have won lots of singing competitions.

His family are rooting for him and are making the trip to London as much as they can to see him perform each week on the X Factor.

"We are proud of everything he does as he always gives his best," said Sue.

"We are most proud though of the way Luke handles himself.

"He is always grounded and just the same boy with the beautiful soul, as caring and humble as he has always been.

"We would just like to say a huge thank you to all of his supporters especially all of our friends and family who have helped spread the word over the last few weeks, putting up posters and banners and, of course, looking after Luke's dog Gizmo while we are in London," said Sue.

"Luke would also like to say a big thank you to all of his friends and fans for keeping the faith and voting for him."

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