Already proving their worth as a bill topper at London’s Royal Albert Hall for the Festival of Remembrance last year, 2009’s surprise superstars The Soldiers have had a fantastic year with their debut album 'Coming Home' achieving almost double platinum in just four months.
Although serving as soldiers is their day job, music has always been an integral part of the male vocal group’s lives and these real life heroes won over the public’s affections with their uplifting interpretations of powerful anthems.
Youngest and most recognisable member, 24 year old Lance Corporal Ryan Idzi appeared on X Factor and made it through to the Boot Camp stage of the show after singing Lean On Me. From Caerphilly, South Wales, Idzi has already served in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of the 20th Armoured Brigade. Ryan is now stationed in Senneger, Germany.
Born in Hampshire, Gulf War veteran Sergeant Major Gary Chilton joined the Royal Armoured Corps in 1984 straight from school. He has performed around the world including a special show with Jools Holland at Twickenham. Gary has fought in the Gulf War and was presented with The Gulf Medal by HRH The Prince of Wales upon return. Gary is currently based at The Heavy Cavalry and Cambrai Band in Catterick, North Yorkshire since 2006 and is married with 2 children, Aaron (10) and Megan (7).
One of seven brothers and sisters, Sergeant Richie Maddocks from Oldham, Greater Manchester enlisted into the British Army at the age of 16 and has travelled throughout Europe, Canada, Cyprus, Finland and The Falkland Islands. In 1991, Maddocks was deployed as a medical assistant and awarded The Gulf Medal. He is married to wife Nicci, and the couple own 2 Jack Russell Terriers, Dilly and Duggy.
Producer Nick Patrick (who has worked with Russell Watson, Katherine Jenkins, and who has helped sell over 40 million albums and collectively win 7 Classical BRIT awards) said, “Having worked with some of the UK’s biggest classical recording artists, Gary, Richie and Ryan’s voices are some of the most genuine and heartfelt voices I’ve heard in a long time.”