Bell, a former postal carrier who hails from Edmonds, is the local hero who went deepest into the inaugural season of The X Factor. A spin-off of sorts from American Idol, Simon Cowell’s newest show expanded the age range of the contestants, allowing Bell (now 60, though you’d never know from his looks and voice) to perform in the “over 30s” group. His soulful sound propelled him to final eight before elimination.
He had strong national support on the show, and a good local following performing as LeRoy Bell & His Only Friends. Now, unshackled from Nicole Scherzinger’s tutelage and the constraints of singing two-minute versions of pop songs, Bell will take to the stage for a special New Year’s Eve concert. Tickets start at $32.50, the show starts at 9pm (with reggae artist Clinton Fearon), and Bell should be counting down the minutes close to midnight.
For those not familiar, here’s Bell’s final performance on The X Factor: