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Conor Paul Maynard (born 21 November 1992) is an English singer from Brighton who is signed to EMI subsidiary, Parlophone. Maynard rose to success in 2012 when he was nominated for, and subsequently won, MTV's Brand New for 2012 award. His debut single, "Can't Say No", was released in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2012.
Maynard was born in Brighton, England to an office worker mother, Helen and a builder father, Gary. He has a younger brother Jack and a younger sister Anna. Anna has appeared in some of Conor's covers on YouTube, including "Run" and Neyo's "Beautiful Monster".
On 20 May 2006, Maynard signed up to online video-sharing website YouTube and uploaded his very first video of him singing "Breathe" by fellow British musician Lee Carr. Throughout 2009–present, Maynard uploaded cover versions of songs with rapper and close friend, Anthony "Anth" Melo who resides in Virginia. Together they have covered a variety of songs, including: Chris Brown ("Crawl"), Taio Cruz ("Dynamite"), Rihanna ("Only Girl (In the World)"). Maynard was brought to label attention when American singer/songwriter Ne-Yo watched a cover version of his track "Beautiful Monster" – who contacted the musician soon afterwards, and Ne-Yo became Maynard's mentor.
In November 2011, Maynard received a nomination for MTV's Brand New for 2012 award, competing alongside Delilah, Michael Kiwanuka, Lana Del Rey and Lianne La Havas. It was announced on 31 January 2012 that Maynard had been crowned winner of the award, having received approximately 48% of the public vote. February 2012 saw the reveal that Maynard had been signed to label EMI subsidiary, Parlophone in late 2011 and that work would begin in the coming months on his debut studio album, Contrast. Maynard released the music video for his debut single "Can't Say No" on 1 March 2012, which by September 2012 had already surpassed fourteen million views. The single was met with positive reviews, with Lewis Corner (of Digital Spy) describing it as "playful, fun and immediately leaves you wanting another go", whilst others compared Maynard to Canadian singer Justin Bieber; both vocally and career-wise. However Conor disputes this claim, saying "I'm not like Justin Bieber." but recognises that they both gained popularity from being young and from being found through YouTube.
Maynard's debut single, "Can't Say No", was released in the United Kingdom on 15 April 2012 – debuting at number two on the UK Singles Chart for the week ending 28 April with 74,792 copies sold. The track also saw chart success in Ireland and Scotland, where it peaked at number thirteen and number three respectively. On 1 May, Maynard released the album track "Drowning" as a free download (instant great) for any fans who pre-ordered the upcoming studio album, Contrast. On 5 May, he performed 'Can't Say No' at the 7th annual edition of the TRL Awards in Italy. On June 9, 2012, Maynard performed 'Can't Say No' at the Capital Summertime Ball in front of a 80,000 strong crowd.
Maynard released his 2nd single, "Vegas Girl", on 21 July 2012 in the UK – it debuted and peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart. On 30 July, he released Contrast, which debuted at number 1 on the UK Album Chart on 11 August 2012. The album sold only 17,000 copies in its debut week.
Maynard then released the third single from the album "Turn Around" which featured Ne-Yo, it peaked at number 8 on the UK singles chart.
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Image from Discogs