I was asked to attend the memorial service for Stephen Lawrence at St Martin in the Fields, a beautiful church in Trafalgar Square on 22 April and I was so honoured to be a part of something so significant and so positive, despite how tragic the reason for gathering was.
For four years JLS followed a formulaic schedule of a lead single release every summer, followed by a less radio friendly ballad in the final quarter of the year, allowing their follow-up conveyor belt 12-track album to be released just in time for Christmas upon the peak of its momentum.
On Wednesday it was announced that JLS the boy band that became loved by thousands after appearing on the X-Factor five years ago are going to split up after their final tour in December. But is this just a chance of getting a publicity boost and making people dash out to buy some memorabilia while it is still widely available?
The problem with The Voice is that it's full of double standards and contradictions, shifting notably from what the shows principles were initially laid out to stand for.
As an artist you go through different stages of your career, one that requires you to be on the road and under the limelight. The other one where you hide yourself for many months whilst you write music and prepare the new material that describes where you are, both musically and artistically.
The talent show derives its sense of fairness by appropriating the apparatus of democracy. We vote for our favourite singer (or at least the one with the most sympathetic cancer-related anecdote) and they are duly elevated to the plutocratic realm of celebrity, however transitory their tenure.
He's conquered the world of TV, but is Simon Cowell ready for a change of direction as he fronts a campaign for better healthcare? It could be the most unlikely career turn around than the Terminator Arnold Schwarzenegger becoming Governor of LA.
This is a particularly special year for me as I am planning to become part of the action. I have been intending to enter a TV Talent show for so many years, I can hardly remember when the delusion began. Be it The X-Factor, Britain's Got Talent, I'd Do Anything or Any Dream Will Do (I was badly advised there) it has long been a dream of mine to win a commercial primetime trauma-vehicle.
So I've discovered using the power of research that all racism is baseless. Racism is based on the belief that one race is better than another, and it's just not true. Never ever. Which is a massive statement. Usually when someone says 'never ever' it's complete rubbish, and they actually mean, 'all the freaking time'.
The Brit Awards 2013: a masterclass in politeness, pleasant behaviour, modesty, good old formulaic pop music and accomplished banjo strumming for anyone over 21. Their mother's would have been proud. But that's precisely the point, their mothers shouldn't be proud.
Overwhelmingly I find that cultural silos exist more outside of the classical or operatic field. The charge of cultural elitism against people who love the classical arts is deeply ironic when I think of the many I speak to who partake of little more than Robbie Williams and X Factor.
You can learn all the singing technique and confidence on offer but raw talent and star quality cannot be taught. This seemed to be the ethos behind the X Factor; an indefinable star quality that makes someone watchable. A 17-week course cannot teach somebody that.
Well Paula 'I can't trust anyone ever again' Hamilton donned her best John McCririck finest and juttered out of the house, to a chorus of 'who are ya.' Let's be honest here; the woman was clearly on the edge before she slid down to the basement, as I have witnessed her arguing with herself and performing the most erratic karate known to man
There's one thing that really gets my horned goat in this grand scheme of things. REALITY TV! Please, don't get your head turned in an Exorcist style and think it's the way to fame and fortune, kiddies! Believe me. I might be a rock star, all glitter, fake blood, make-up and theatrics (with awesome rock anthems of course) but you've no idea the hard graft and craft that's gone into my career. The problem is with wanting to be a reality TV star, you're only famous for a little while. You can't live on that fame forever.
This year the spectrum of songs going for Christmas number one on the Vodafone Big Top 40 is as random as ever from credible contenders, charity records and viral sensations. It's up to you and your downloads of course. All we'll say is choose carefully!
If I could have one Christmas wish, it would be for our politicians to stop being too embarrassed to stand by culture and support it for fear of being branded 'elitist'. The Arts are for everyone, and nothing embodies this better than the volunteers who worked tirelessly to create the opening ceremony this summer.