Alexander George Clare better known as Alex Clare (born 14 September 1985) is a British singer-songwriter. Clare adopted his current stage name, Alex Clare, in 2010, replacing Alexander G. Muertos, a pseudonym he first used whilst still at school. His debut album, The Lateness of the Hour, was released in the UK on 11 July 2011 on Island Records and was produced by Mike Spencer and Major Lazer. The biggest hit from the album, "Too Close", peaked at number 4 on the UK Singles Chart and number 7 on the US Billboard Hot 100. The song was nominated for the Brit Award for Best British Single at the 2013 BRIT Awards. Early life edit: Clare was born in Southwark, London, England. He grew up listening to his father's jazz records and was drawn to blues and soul (Donny Hathaway, Stevie Wonder), which eventually led to interests in drum and bass, dubstep and UK garage. Though Clare took up the trumpet and drums as a youngster, he eventually placed an emphasis on guitar and songwriting, playing open mic nights with original material. Clare attended Bishop Challoner School in Beckenham and there after Westminster Kingsway College from 2002 studying an NVQ in catering. Music career edit: A demo earned him a deal with the Island label in the UK. His debut album, The Lateness of the Hour, produced by Mike Spencer and Major Lazer was released in July 2011. The first single from the album was "Up All Night", followed by "Too Close" and "Treading Water". On 19 May 2011, Reggie Yates made Alex Clare's cover of Prince's "When Doves Cry" his Song of the Day. A day later, the Dutch radio station 3FM announced single "Too Close" to be the '3FM's Megahit of that week. On 21 June 2011, Clare performed at the Queens' College, Cambridge May Ball. On 14 August 2011, Clare performed at the Summer Well festival in Buftea, Romania. Following the disappointing performance of the album, Clare was dropped from his record contract with Universal Island in the UK. In 2012, Clare's song "Too Close" was featured in several Internet Explorer 9 advertisements. Following its use, the song debuted at #68 on the US Billboard Hot 100, and later reached #7, becoming his first Top 10 hit. Clare saw success on the German charts too, topping the charts at #1. On 16 May, Clare's song peaked at #4 on the UK Singles Chart. In mid-2012 it was announced that Universal Republic was going defunct moving artists from its roster to Republic Records including Alex Clare. In 2012 he sang the role of Voice of Humanity on the album Jeff Wayne's Musical Version of The War of the Worlds - The New Generation along with Gary Barlow, Joss Stone and Liam Neeson. Personal life edit: Clare's upbringing was "very, very secular", and he became more religious during the mid-2000s. He is now an Orthodox Jew, and as such will not perform, travel or work on the Jewish Sabbath or religious holidays. Clare has said he lost one record deal opportunity due to his Sabbath observance, but has found other ways to continue his career successfully. Clare also keeps kosher and travels with his own sets of pots and pans. While on tour, Clare maintains a schedule of learning Jewish topics in the Talmud and studies the Tanya. Before gaining critical success, Clare dated British singer Amy Winehouse for a year. They met while he performed and worked at a bar she frequented, the Hawley Arms in Camden, North London. He lives in Golders Green, an area in northwest London, but often travels to Jerusalem when his work permits.