VIDEO: Xmas 'rapped' as Craig David wows 15,000 at sold out Meadowhall Christmas Live
Christmas rapping of a different kind saw comeback king Craig David herald the start of the festive shopping season at Sheffield's Meadowhall.
The 36-year-old rapper, singer, songwriter and record producer, who stormed back to the top of the charts with his latest album, wowed 15,000 revellers at the mall's sold out Christmas Live pop concert.
The X Factor 2016 champ Matt Terry, who was in the charts last year with When Christmas Comes Around, was also on the bill with a line-up including The X Factor finalists 5 After Midnight, singer-songwriter Raye and DJ and producer James Hype, with Kelli-Leigh, whose single More Than Friends was a huge summer smash.
VIDEO: Watch our video report - at the top of this page - including chats with all the stars backstage, performance highlights, a look at the new Meadowhall Christmas lights and more highlights in store at the shopping mall this year.
Meadowhall Christmas Live, in association with Capital FM, was hosted by Capital Breakfast Presenters Adam and JoJo and a spectacular festive firework display finale launched the start of Christmas.
Around Â£15,000 raised from the concert will go towards Meadowhall’s charity of the year Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Capital’s charity, Global’s Make Some Noise - that helps small charities and projects across the UK.
It's also beginning to look a lot like Christmas inside Sheffield's new-look Meadowhall as it also switched on its new Chic and contemporary Christmas lights.
Meadowhall, with over 290 retailers, more than 50 places to eat and drink and 12,000 free parking spaces, celebrated its 25th anniversary in 2015 announcing a Â£60 million internal refurbishment programme, which is now almost complete.
This year's Christmas highlights at the centre will include a daily parade of a family of realistic reindeer puppets, led by Santa Claus, from November 22 to December 18, Monday to Saturday, 11.30am, 4pm and 6pm, with no evening show on Tuesdays, and Sunday, 11.30am to 4pm.
A Meadowhall Christmas Artisan Market will showcases fine food, drink and craft producers from across Yorkshire in Park Lane, on the weekends of November 17 to 19 and December 1 to 3.
Richard Pinfold, Marketing Director at Meadowhall, said: “Christmas Live just keeps getting better and better. This year tickets sold out within days so, for the first time, we arranged for the whole concert to be streamed live on social media. That meant those disappointed not to get tickets were still able to join us and enjoy the show.”
“With the artists playing to a sell-out crowd once again, it also means a great fund-raising night for two fantastic charities.
“Christmas Live always marks the start of Christmas in the centre and it’s the first of many events taking place in Meadowhall throughout November and December. This year is extra special as Meadowhall has just completed its Â£60m transformation so the malls are looking even more spectacular and the new Christmas decorations are adding that extra magic this year.”
Headliner Craig David gave fans a classic set f old and new songs - celebrating his return to the top of the charts with latest long over due album Following My Intuition, his first chart-topper since 2000 debut, Born to Do It.
The singing superstar, best know for his global hit 7 Days, has sold over 15 million records worldwide in an 18-year career but he believes this is his time to shine again - his next and seventh studio album, out January 26, is called The Time Is Now.
Lead single Heartline has had over one million views on YouTube.
He said: "The past year has been amazing. I was in a creative place and I still am. I can't wait for people to hear the new songs."
But is the rapper a good Christmas present wrapper?
He laughed: "Do you know, I'm not that great. But to be honest, I put my heart and soul into it and the gifts I put inside I like to thik I' am quite thoughtful about them."
X Factor 2016 champion Matt Terry, knows what he wants for Christmas - a number one debut album.
Trouble, which follows lead single Sucker For You, is out on November 24.
He co-wrote his album which centres around the full cycle of a relationship from love to heartbreak and moving on.
Since winning last year’s X Factor, mentored by Nicole Scherzinger, it’s been non-stop for the 24-year-old, who also performed in Sheffield and across the country on the X Factor Tour. He featured on the Grenfell Tower disaster charity single, Bridge Over Troubled Water and showed off his fluency in Spanish on Enrique Iglesias’ top 10 smash summer single Subeme La Radio, with Sean Pau. He has even fronted his own radio show for Capital FM.
He said about his upcoming album: "I'm so excited for people to hear my new material. So far people know me as the guy who won X Factor. But when I look back on this time last year, I can't quite believe how far I've come. I'm so grateful for where I am now, and I'm happier than I've ever been. I can't wait for the next step in my journey."
* Meadowhall Christmas and New Year shopping opening hours have been announced. Full details at www.meadowhall.co.uk, follow on twitter @LoveMeadowhall and Facebook at www.facebook.com/LoveMeadowhall.
The mall is currently open weekdays 10am to 10pm, Saturdays 9am to 8pm and Sundays, 11am to 5pm.
From December 4 to 17 it opens one hour earlier on weekdays, 9am to 10pm.
December 18 to 22, an extra hour is also added at the end of weekdays, 9am to 11pm.
Christmas Eve hours, on the Sunday, December 24, are 11am to 5pm.
Meadowhall will close on Christmas Day and re-open Boxing Day, 8am to 8pm.
Weekdays December 27 to 29, times are 9am to 10pm; Saturday, Dec 30, 9am to 8pm.
It will open New Year's Eve, Sunday, Dec 31, and New Year's Day, Monday, Jan 1, 11am to 5pm.