Alex Newell is an American actor and singer. He is best known for his recurring role as Wade "Unique" Adams on Fox's musical comedy-drama Glee, and as being a first season runner-up on Oxygen's The Glee Project.
Newell was born in Lynn, Massachusetts. His father died of cancer when he was six years old, at which point his mother raised him as a single parent. After four years of education in the first class of Kipp Lynn Academy, he moved on to and graduated from Bishop Fenwick High School in 2012, where he was involved in his school's choir, improv club, and costume club; he was also a member of his church choir. Newell was accepted into the Berkley College of Music for fall 2012, but he decided instead to move to Los Angeles to be on Glee when he was asked to rejoin the cast for the show's fourth season. He is "out" as a gay man, as revealed on The Glee Project.
Newell auditioned for the reality television show The Glee Project via YouTube while he was still in high school, and was selected as one of the twelve contestants competing for a seven-episode arc on the show Glee. He appeared in every episode, including the finale, and although he was not named a winner, he was a runner-up alongside Lindsay Pearce. Both Newell and Pearce won two-episode arcs on Glee.
For his Glee Project prize, Newell was cast in the role of Wade "Unique" Adams, a male-to-female transgender teenager who expresses her female identity through music. He first appeared on Glee in the third season episode "Saturday Night Glee-ver."
Newell as Unique returned as a Glee recurring cast member in the fourth season premiere, "The New Rachel." He, along with the rest of the cast, received a Screen Actors Guild Award for Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series nomination in 2012, but lost to Modern Family. For the fifth season, Newell was promoted to main cast.
In October 2013, Newell announced that he had been signed by both Atlantic Records and Deep Well Records. They will release his first studio album, to be produced by Adam Anders.
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