'The Voice' star's gangster grandfather

  • Bang Showbiz
  • 25 April 2012
Tyler James and Amy Winehouse

Tyler James with Amy Winehouse

'The Voice' star Tyler James' grandfather is gangster Albert Reading, who worked for the notorious Kray twins

'The Voice' star Tyler James has a gangster grandfather.

The singer is related to ex-gangster Albert Reading, who worked as a hit-man for the notorious Kray twins.

Albert, 79, served thirty years in prison for his crimes, which included using acid to burn his victims.

Tyler - real name Kenneth Gordon - has no relationship with his grandfather according to friends, but has told this week how he believes his singing career helped him escape a life of crime.

He told The Sun newspaper: "When I was growing up I hung out with my cousins.

"One of them was sent to prison for murder. I could have ended up the same way."

Tyler - a recovering alcoholic - also told how he was left with broken cheekbones and a damaged spine after being beaten up by a gang of 10 thugs.

Speaking of the attack - which had nothing to do with his grandfather - he said: "I was covered in blood. I felt a foot go across my nose and I heard it break.

"It was horrible, terrifying. I was just waiting to get stabbed."

Tyler says he turned to drink after the incident, and to the help of his late friend, Amy Winehouse, who let him stay at her house and was, for a time, his on/off lover.

At the weekend Tyler made it to the live finals of the show beating Heshima Thompson in the Battle round.

Meanwhile, Vince Freeman - who was voted off the BBC show on Saturday (21.04.12) - claims he was "stitched up" and never stood a chance of winning, after he was told by mentor Danny O'Donoghue to tone down his booming voice.

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