X Factor contestant Benji Matthews 'technically died' in battle with meningitis

Benji Matthews

X Factor 2017 contestant Benji Matthews 'technically died' during a battle with meningitis.

The singerhas wowed The X Factor judges on this year's series show but the teenager almost lost his life when he was only months old.

“When I was a baby I did have meningitis,” he revealed this week. “I don’t remember any of it of course.

“I actually died, obviously I was resuscitated. I don’t remember it, but it’s always cool to tell people that I’ve died before.”

Speaking to CornwallLive, Benji said the impact of the illness left him unable to properly communicate until he was six.

Benji Matthews
Benji Matthews

The now 17-year-old told how music provided him a way to express himself.

Benji added: “I think I started taking it more seriously after Whitney Houston died. I had just seen the Bodyguard film, I sung the theme tune at my old youth group and I got a standing ovation. It was pretty magic actually and that inspired me to keep going.”

Meanwhile, discussing his audition on The X Factor, Benji confessed: “I loved the audition, but it was so scary to meet the judges. The whole day you are guided around and looked after and then walking down the hallway to the main audition room – you’re on your own.

“I remember standing outside of the door and asking if I could come in. I was so nervous.”

Giggly Benji wowed the judges with an Alicia Keys cover at this first audition.

"Sorry I've got a really nervous annoying giggle," Benji told the judges after entering the audition room where he performed If I Ain't Got You.

And it impressed Simon Cowell, Sharon Osbourne, Louis Walsh and Nicole Scherzinger who put him through to Boot Camp.

You can watch a clip of Benji Matthews on The X Factor above.

The X Factor 2017 airs Saturday and Sunday night on ITV.

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