14-year-old Ryan Lofthouse pulled the judges’ heartstrings with an uplifting cover of Bruce Springsteen’s deadset classic “Dancing in the Dark” on a blind audition for The Voice Kids UK. It was a really special moment for the English schoolboy, as he got the nod from judge Danny Jones, who fronts Ryan’s favourite band McFly.
Ryan’s parents shed tears of happiness as they saw their son not only progress to the next round, but also play with his hero when Jones grabbed a guitar and did a spontaneous jam with the teen. The duo performed McFly’s UK number-one hit “Obviously”, which Ryan already knew as he is such a big fan of the band. Check out the video below.
Ryan, who is from Willington, County Durham, was left visibly emotional from the turn of events, calling it “the best thing ever” before running to hug his mother, Carolyn, dad Mal, and brothers Tom and Declan, who watched the performance from the side of the stage. His journey on the show wasn’t over yet though.
Jones went on to mentor Ryan throughout the Voice Kids during the 2019 season. The teen later appeared in round two, performing David Bowie and Queen’s smash hit “Under Pressure” as part of a vocal trio with two other contestants. In the performance, which you can watch below, you can see the benefit of Jones’s coaching as the young singer has already ratcheted up his vocal skills and the emotion he brings to the piece.
The young rocker was eliminated in the second round by Sam Wilkinson, who eventually won the entire series. Ryan, who is now 18, continued his music career and updates fans on his activities via his Instagram page @thetyneryan. He is currently fronting indie pop band The Tyne, who have 389,000 followers on Tik Tok. The group’s most popular song so far is “(Not a) Love Song”, which is an upbeat bop with 232,000 streams on Spotify.
Even as a youngster Ryan had excellent taste in music though, which can be seen in his choice of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark”. The track is one of Springsteen’s most enduring songs and is by far his most popular song on Spotify, with 581 million streams on the platform.
Springsteen wrote the song after a clash with his producer Jon Landau, who told him his forthcoming album Born in the U.S.A. “needed a single”. The rocker reacted angrily, as he’d already written 70 songs for the album, including two of his biggest hits “I’m on Fire” and “Born in the U.S.A.”.
Nonetheless, the Boss did sit down in his hotel room and knocked out “Dancing in the Dark” in a single night. The rest is history. The song is led by Springsteen’s vulnerable vocals and in a change of pace for the star, an upbeat synthesizer melody.
“Dancing in the Dark” was released as the lead single for Born in the U.S.A. and became Springsteen’s biggest hit. It subsequently propelled the album to be his biggest seller as well as one of the highest-selling albums of all time, shifting 30 million copies worldwide.