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Move over Bieber... rival has number two with debut hit

HE already has the doe-eyed good looks and an army of female fans called the Mayniacs. Now Conor Maynard can really be called Britain's Justin Bieber after the musical prodigy displaced the Canadian teen idol from the chart summit with his debut single.

Like Bieber, Maynard found an audience by uploading bedroom-filmed interpretations of current hits to YouTube. The response was instant. He became the UK's fifth most subscribed-to YouTube channel and his worldwide views now total 76 million. Pharrell Williams and Ne-Yo, contacted him to suggest collaborations.

Yesterday Can't Say No entered the chart at No 2, displacing Bieber's single Boyfriend. The single was boosted by Twitter endorsements from Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue.

The success means Maynard can make more noise in his bedroom studio. "When I started, I sang through a PlayStation 2 SingStar microphone. My dad was banging on the walls telling me to shut up. I've got a proper mic now."

Bieber, a year younger than Maynard, uses social media to mobilise his huge fanbase and has sold eight million records during a four-year career.

Although Maynard cannot yet match Bieber's 20 million Twitter Beliebers (he has a mere 175,000 followers), he insists he is the more serious musical proposition. "We're both young and came up through YouTube. But I think I'm making a different kind of sound."

The teenager remains wide-eyed over his brush with fame. "Lily Allen and Kylie Minogue both tweeted about my first single," he said. "That's really cool."


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