Britain’s favourite choir join Universal Music and celebrate by signing up to sing for Wales v Australia game

Universal Music fought off stiff competition to sign Britain’s favourite Choir, Only Men Aloud!, to a multi-million pound, five-album deal at the Millennium Stadium in Cardiff.

The undisclosed seven-figure sum is believed to be the largest amount ever paid to a choir anywhere in the world and sees yet more talented Welsh singers from the Land of Song destined for worldwide success.

A frenzied bidding war to sign OMA! began the moment the Cardiff choir were crowned champions of the prime-time BBC One show, Last Choir Standing on 30 August. The final programme was seen by over 6 million viewers and saw, OMA!, coming home to take first place with a breath-taking performance that had the judges drowning in superlatives. As the champagne bottles started to pop across the studios, it was confirmed the choir would perform their first royal engagement as guests at this year’s Royal Variety Performance in December.

Competition to sign the victorious choir was so fierce that the choir’s lawyers had allowed Universal just 24 hours in which to seal the deal. Difficulties were further compounded by the choir’s request that the contract be issued in Welsh as well as English, and that the deal be signed in Cardiff, on Welsh soil, and not in London.

Tim Rhys-Evans, founder of the choir and Music Director commented: "The last couple of months have been incredible but signing to Universal is just a dream come true for all of us. And yes, we did make it part of the deal that we signed here in Wales. We’re a Welsh choir with both Welsh and English speaking members and it seemed only fair that we should recognise the part that the whole of Wales has played in our success. As I said, this is a dream come true for us and we couldn’t think of a better place to sign the deal, than the Millennium Stadium, a place where legends are born and dreams come true!"

And just to prove that dreams come true, Only Men Aloud are to appear before the upcoming Wales V Australia match on November 29 at the Millennium Stadium.

Gwyn Dolphin, WRU Head of Marketing said, "Only Men Aloud will perform at Wales’ final international match of 2008 in a pre-match entertainment line-up which should excite the Millennium Stadium crowd and help Warren Gatland’s side round off the year in style.

"With the games against South Africa, New Zealand and Australia almost at sell-out point, and the Wales v Canada Friday night game a great option for families, schools and clubs, we’re sure that Only Men Aloud, along with all the other choirs performing during the November series of games, will help raise the roof in song to create an unforgettable atmosphere."