Print | Email Alex Clare gets Close to chart stardom

Chef turned singer hits it big

by: Caroline Westbrook - Last updated: 2012-04-23

Alex Clare

Alex Clare

A North London-based Jewish musician whose previous claim to fame was dating Amy Winehouse looks set for stardom in his own right after one of his songs was used in a Microsoft advert.

Too Close, by chef-turned-singer Alex Clare, can be heard in the computing giant's commercial for the Internet Explorer 9 web browser - and is also proving popular with record buyers, after shooting 21 places up the UK charts on Sunday to reach number 16.

The 25-year-old's success comes after being unceremoniously dropped by his record label Island, leaving him to consider other career options - but now it seems Alex is having the last laugh.

"Obviously record deals are a finite bit of money and I found out I kind of needed to make ends meet," Alex recently told Billboard magazine.

"But I kept getting emails from Island saying 'we want to use your song for an advert' so I said 'yes of course' even though I kept thinking nothing would come of it."

The track, which has also been a top three hit in Germany, is taken from his debut album The Lateness of the Hour (which was released last year), and is also tipped to do well in the US when it is released there later this month.

Alex, who is now based in Golders Green (but according to his Twitter page currently living in Israel) also revealed that Too close was about a former relationship - but denied that it was about Winehouse, whom he dated in 2006.

"There were a lot of emotions there that obviously didn't end up at the time it was happening," he said of the late singer, "but we got to a very good place. We stayed friends above all."

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