James William Somerville (born 22 June 1961) is a Scottish pop singer and songwriter. He sang in the 1980s with the pop groups Bronski Beat and The Communards, and has also had a solo career.He is known in particular for his powerful and soulful countertenor/falsetto singing voice. He is openly gay and many of his songs reflect this such as “Smalltown Boy”.
In 1983, Somerville co-founded the synthpop group Bronski Beat,which proceeded to have several hits in the British charts. Their biggest hit was “Smalltown Boy” which reached No. 3 in the UK charts. In the music video Somerville played the song’s titular character who leaves his hostile hometown for the friendlier city. This was a reflection of Somerville’s own experience when he came to London in about 1980, and was able to enjoy the gay scene and also attend the London Gay Teenage Group.