FOUR chords proved to be a winning combination for a talented young performer as he was crowned the winner of the inaugural RU:Talented competition.

Ty Lewis, a 14-year-old singer from Billingham in Teesside, in the North East of England, hit the right note with judges, including RU group executive chairman Richard Upshall, when he performed his “four-chord mashup” of songs at the final of the talent contest.

The contest, which invited entries from anyone under the age of 16 in the Teesside area with any talent, was organised by artist management company RU:Listening in partnership with KYM (Know Your Money) Middlesbrough and in aid of TFM Radio’s charity Cash For Kids.

The top 10 finalists chosen– five singers and five dancers – battled it out at KYM on Wednesday, June 3 for the chance to walk away with the £500 cash prize as well as a sponsorship package from RU:Listening.

As part of the competition, finalists were set the challenge of raising funds for Cash for Kids, with the amount raised being taken into account when judges picked their winner. With bag packs, a fundraising event and bucket collections, winner Ty managed to raised around £1,400, “smashing” his own initial £500 target. The fantastic total raised for the charity was more than £7,500, including a £500 match funding donation from Santander.
Ty, who says he’s been singing “around the house since I could talk, pretty much”, and who took up guitar around two years ago, said: “I’ve done regional things before, but this is only the second competition in which I’ve won something. A few weeks ago I entered a talent show and won in my age category but not overall, so this is a big step up for me.

“I’m speechless; overwhelmed. It’s so surreal. I can’t believe it.”