On Sept. 16, 2013, the music video for Union J's "Beautiful Life" premiered online. Meanwhile, members of the group are denying a tabloid story that Union J's George Shelley is dating Selena Gomez. According to the U.K. edition of Metro, the Union J members are saying that Shelley and Gomez are "just friends."
Union J was the opening act for Gomez's concert in Lisbon, Portugal, on Sept. 11, 2013. Union J came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012.
"Beautiful Life" is the second single from Union J's self-titled first album on Sony Music's Syco Music/RCA Records. In the U.K. and Ireland, "Beautiful Life" is set for release on Oct. 20, 2013, while the "Union J" album is due out on Oct. 28, 2013.
It is unknown at this point when Union J's album will be released in the United States.
The "Beautiful Life" music video features the members of Union J performing in an outdoor warehouse.
As previously reported, the album's first single, "Carry You," debuted at No. 6 in the U.K. in June 2013. "Carry You" is also on the "Kick-Ass 2" soundtrack.
As previously reported, a Daily Mirror article published on Aug. 28, 2013, reported that Gomez (who is 21) sent a flirtatious video message to Shelley (who is 20), and she made it clear that she wants to date him. And the feeling was apparently mutual.
According to the Daily Mirror, Gomez said in her video message to Shelley: “Hey, George, it’s Selena. I was in London for a bit and I’m bummed I missed you so next time give me call."
Shelley told the Daily Mirror: “Selena’s one of those massive celebrities who doesn’t even know you exist, so I was gob-smacked. I thought it was a lookalike at first. I could feel my cheeks going red and the lads laughed at me. I will try to call Selena beforehand so it’s not too awkward when we meet. My perfect date would be to go the beach at night. We could have a little bonfire.”
Shelley also denied that he and Jesy Nelson of "X Factor" U.K. girl group Little Mix are dating. He commented to the Daily Mirror: “Jesy is one of my best mates. We’re really close. Jesy wouldn’t be at all annoyed if I met up with Selena. She’d probably want to come too.”
It was rumored that Shelley and singer Ella Henderson were dating each other when they were contestants on "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012 (Henderson came in sixth place on the show), but Shelley and Henderson told the media that they were just good friends.
And now, Union J's Josh Cuthbert and JJ Hamblett are denying that Shelley and Gomez are romantically involved with each other.
Hanblett (who is 25) told Metro: "They are just friends. It’s not our place to discuss but they are friends and, obviously, George will say what he wants to say about the situation."
Cuthbert (who is 21) added the rumored Shelley/Gomez hookup in Portugal never happened, "She didn’t get off stage until quite late, so we just went and she invited us all back to her hotel and we had a drink."
Union J isn't the only male group from "The X Factor" that Gomez has chosen as her opening act. As previously reported, Emblem3 (which came in fourth place on "The X Factor" U.S. in 2012) is the opening act of Gomez's 2013 North American tour, which went to Canada in August and goes to the U.S. in October and November. Gomez is on a world tour in support of her 2013 hit album "Stars Dance."
Shelley has often been compared to One Direction's Harry Styles not only because they look like they could be brothers but also because they are the biggest heartthrobs who get the most attention from fans in their respective boy bands. Styles and Shelley are friendly acquaintances.
Styles, who has a reputation for being a playboy, used to date Taylor Swift, who is one of Gomez's closest friends.
However, Union J's Cuthbert insists that Shelley is not a playboy. Cuthbert told Metro: "He’s such a huggy person. He loves hugs. He just hugs people. People who know him will be like”‘awwww!” but people who don’t will think what the hell is going on? He’s like this tidal-wave force when he hugs you. He is the hug whore of the band."
Gomez famously had an on-again/off-again relationship with Justin Bieber since 2010. Their most recent breakup was in January 2013, the same month that Styles and Swift split up.
Union J got a big publicity boost from the movie "Kick-Ass 2." Union J's music video for "Carry You" is prominently featured in a scene in "Kick-Ass 2" where Mindy Macready, also known as superhero Hit-Girl (played by Chloë Grace Moretz), is at a slumber party with three vapid teenage girls from her high school. The girls are trying to teach tomboy Mindy to be more "girly." One of the teen bimbos tells Mindy that being fans of "'Twilight,' Channing Tatum and Union J" are part of being a normal teenage girl. "You can't fight it," she adds.
The girls then show Union J's "Carry You" music video to Mindy. And to her surprise, Mindy starts to get aroused. One of the girls exclaims after seeing the video, "I'm soaked!"
In a group statement, Union J said about the tour: "The thing we love most about music is performing and we are so excited to get out on the road for our first ever tour. Playing our album to fans will be brilliant. We are so excited and promise to put on a really special show.”
Union J was originally a trio called Triple J, consisting of members Josh Cuthbert, Jamie "JJ" Hamblett and Jaymi Hensley. When Triple J auditioned for "The X Factor" U.K. in 2012, the group was eliminated at boot camp. But after the group Rough Copy was disqualified due to visa problems, Triple J was asked back to the competition on the condition that the group add Shelley, who auditioned for "The X Factor" as a guitar-playing solo singer. Shelley was added to the group's lineup, and the group's name was changed to Union J.
"The X Factor" U.K. judge Louis Walsh (who used to manage Westlife and Boyzone) was Union J's mentor on "The X Factor." Although Walsh tried to sign Union J to his management company, Union J ultimately chose to sign with Crown Talent & Media Group, which also manages award-winning singer Jessie J.