~ Emily Fox for - 07/03/2011 ~

MICHAEL Ball has admitted that at the age of 48, his voice has never felt better.

Michael Ball, who is set to release a brand new album, has admitted that in a music industry that continually focuses on younger artists, he has never felt in better shape to tackle the music market.

He said:  "I've been recording for 20 years and my voice is in the best shape its ever been. The industry has dramatically changed and it's affecting all artists not just me. I have a loyal fan base. I don't sell millions upon millions but what I do sell is constant.

"New artists, that are produced on shows like the X Factor will sell millions on their first album, they make a second and then they're gone."

Ball, who is currently finishing his time performing as Edna Turnblad in the musical Hairspray added: "I've had the best time of my life performing in this show and it will be sad when its over but am looking forward to performing in Sweeney Todd which is a very different challenge."

The new album, named Heroes will feature 15 romantic hits and will be 'very intimate' according to Ball.

He added: "I'm very proud of this album, I wanted to pick songs that weren't as well known that I could put my own slant on. Songs that you don't automatically think...Frank Sinatra or Dean Martin."

The West End performer also spoke of reality TV shows and their bid to find stars, he added: "I love X Factor and shows like it but it is a cruel show. These artists have got a contract before they've even made a record. It's a harsh industry."


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