With a classic rags-to-riches talent contest fairy tale ending, Scottish jazz singer Leon Jackson surprised audiences across the U.K. by becoming the fourth winner of the hugely popular The X Factor. Born in Whitburn, West Lothian, in 1988, Jackson was brought up by his single mother and worked as a Gap clothing store sales assistant before his meteoric rise to fame. Astonishingly, he only discovered he could sing at the age of 18, after friends entered him in a karaoke competition. Inspired by contemporary jazz, and in particular Michael Bublé, Leon began practicing daily, and just months before he was due to start an architectural technology course at Napier University, he applied for ITV's The X-Factor. After getting through both the audition stage in Glasgow and the "boot camp" stage in London, Jackson traveled to Ibiza, where he was chosen by his mentor, Dannii Minogue, to compete in the live finals.