James Blunt
British musician
James Blunt
James Hillier Blount, better known by his stage name James Blunt, is an English singer-songwriter and musician, and former army officer, whose debut album, Back to Bedlam and single releases, including "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover", brought him to fame in 2005. His repertoire can be best described as a mix of acoustic-tinged pop, rock and folk.
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James Blunt Makes Bid To Be 'An Honorary Gay Man'
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Singer-songwriter James Blunt isn't fazed by fans and critics who mistake him for gay. In fact, the five-time Grammy nominee considers it a great honor.  "I sing songs that aren’t very macho, and so people will say, ‘Oh you’re effeminate,’ or ‘gay,’ as if calling me gay were an insult," Blunt, 41, told the BBC. "But to call me gay is a compliment." He went on to joke that he'd like to be considered "an honorary gay man," primarily because "I’m totally at ease with myself."  Interestingly, the "You're Beautiful" singer sees much of his sensitive side as stemming from his earlier days in the British military, and as an armored reconnaissance officer in the NATO deployment in Kosovo. "My job was going out there ahead of my commanders -- to go and find the enemy and locate the enemy," he said. "To do so, I had to be incredibly sensitive to the surroundings.” Being less of a "macho" performer, he added, has its fringe benefits, too.  "If I’d been macho, I’d just have had ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
James Blunt Makes Bid To Be 'An Honorary Gay Man'
Huffington Post - about 1 year
Singer-songwriter James Blunt isn't fazed by fans and critics who mistake him for gay. In fact, the five-time Grammy nominee considers it a great honor.  "I sing songs that aren’t very macho, and so people will say, ‘Oh you’re effeminate,’ or ‘gay,’ as if calling me gay were an insult," Blunt, 41, told the BBC. "But to call me gay is a compliment." He went on to joke that he'd like to be considered "an honorary gay man," primarily because "I’m totally at ease with myself."  Interestingly, the "You're Beautiful" singer sees much of his sensitive side as stemming from his earlier days in the British military, and as an armored reconnaissance officer in the NATO deployment in Kosovo. "My job was going out there ahead of my commanders -- to go and find the enemy and locate the enemy," he said. "To do so, I had to be incredibly sensitive to the surroundings.” Being less of a "macho" performer, he added, has its fringe benefits, too.  "If I’d been macho, I’d just have had ...
Article Link:
Huffington Post article
James Blunt backs Justin Bieber, talks pressure from paparazzi
Calgary Sun - about 3 years
It ain’t easy being the Beibs, at least according to British singer-songwriter James Blunt.
Article Link:
Calgary Sun article
JK Rowling, James Blunt, Emma Thompson, Others Sign Declaration Urging UK Press Reform
Huffington Post - about 3 years
More than 100 prominent people from literature, the arts, science, academia, human rights and the law have signed a declaration urging newspaper and magazine publishers to embrace the royal charter system of press regulation. They join people who have been victims of press misbehaviour in arguing that charter will give "vital protection to the vulnerable" from abuse of power by the press.
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Huffington Post article
Album review: James Blunt's 'Moon Landing'
LATimes - over 3 years
Can we blame James Blunt for establishing that super-earnest British folkies can rule the mainstream pop charts? His treacly, inescapable 2004 single "You're Beautiful" earned huge sales and abject loathing from critics. His latest, "Moon Landing," is his sort-of attempt to get back to flintier, personal songwriting.
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LATimes article
Listen Up: James Blunt, Avril Lavigne, The Wanted
USA Today - over 3 years
Stars of soft rock and pop are among this week's other notable releases.
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USA Today article
Lorde's 'Royals' Makes Her One Of The Youngest Artists To Top The British Singles Chart
Huffington Post - over 3 years
LONDON, Oct 27 (Reuters) - Sixteen-year-old singer-songwriter Lorde has become the youngest artist to enter Britain's singles charts at number one since 1998, the Official Charts Company said on Sunday. New Zealand-born Lorde's debut single "Royals" beat former TV talent show winner James Arthur to the top of the charts, pushing last week's number one "Counting Stars" by OneRepublic into third place. Only 15-year-old British pop artist Billie has entered the chart top spot at a younger age, when in 1998 she scored a number one with "Because we want to". American Katy Perry racked up her second album chart number one with "Prism", selling 12,000 more copies than Briton James Blunt's new album "Moon Landing". Last week's number one, "Tribute" by John Newman, fell to third place. Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli's new album "Love in Portofino" entered the charts at number five. (Reporting by William James; ...
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Huffington Post article
Is Prince Harry Eyeing Tony Abbott's Daughters? Aussies Gleeful At The Prospect
Huffington Post - over 3 years
Prince Harry has only just stepped foot onto Australian soil, but the country is already geared up for the royal to snatch up one of the prime minister's daughters. “Lock up your daughters Tony Abbott, Prince Harry is heading down under to party,” read a headline in Melbourne's Herald Sun just before his arrival today. Harry's making his first official visit to Australia in celebration of the Australian navy’s entrance into Sydney Harbor 100 years ago. But it seems Aussies are interested in getting the prince to notice Abbott's daughters, Bridget, 20, Frances, 22, and Louise, 24. (Hey, a royal choosing an Australian commoner for a wife isn't unheard of -- remember Princess Mary?) Whether or not he's interested, Harry will certainly encounter two of the sisters, Bridget and Frances, at a party on Saturday night hosted by the prime minister. Of course, the 29-year-old prince, touted as "the most desirable ginger in the cosmos" by The Australian, is getting pretty serious with his Lond ...
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Huffington Post article
See James Blunt as an astronaut in his new ‘Satellites’ lyric video — EXCLUSIVE
Entertainment Weekly - over 3 years
We thought the Gravity trailer alone would dissuade any dreamers from pursuing a career as an astronaut, but James Blunt
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Entertainment Weekly article
James Blunt accidentally leaks new album details
USA Today - over 3 years
By accidentally emailing Britain and Australia.
Article Link:
USA Today article
Alan Elsner: Best Music for One's Own Funeral
Huffington Post - almost 4 years
Every so often one reads about someone staging their own funeral, sometimes so they could hear themselves being eulogized, sometimes for more illicit reasons. The phenomenon seems to be fairly universal. One recent case, which made headlines worldwide, happened in March in China when a student, Zeng Jia, hired a team of cosmetic artists to make her look dead and lay in a coffin for an hour while mourners walked past paying their tributes, "I feel so good after coming out of the coffin," Zeng told China Daily. While I have no wish to stage my funeral, I do think from time to time about what it will be like. As a controlling type, and also a lover of music, I sometimes consider leaving a detailed plan of which selections I would like played at my own memorial service. It turns out there is a rich vein of resources for the bereaved on the Internet offering advice on what to choose. At YourTribute.com, which says it exists to "provide friends and family with a safe an ...
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Huffington Post article
Huffington Post - about 4 years
LONDON (AP) — Sarah Ferguson, the former wife of Prince Andrew; British singer-songwriter James Blunt; and Israeli television psychic Uri Geller are among the latest to strike a deal with Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. over phone hacking. The three were among 17 hacking victims who settled Friday with News Corp. subsidiary News Group Newspapers over its campaign of illegal espionage, which set off a massive scandal when it was revealed in July 2011. Others on the list include actor Hugh Grant — whose settlement was first announced in December — as well as "Doctor Who" actor Christopher Ecclestone, former government minister Geoffrey Robinson, TV presenter Jeff Brazier and singer Kerry Katona. Murdoch's News of the World tabloid was at the center of the scandal. Prosecutors say the paper's senior management conspired to hack hundreds of victims' phones, including senior government ministers, sports stars, Hollywood royalty, and even ...
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Huffington Post article
The Lazy Travelers: Romantic Getaways for the Laid-Back Valentine
Huffington Post - about 4 years
As two members of the fairer sex, it's often assumed that we must adore Valentine's Day. Though we appreciate the extra attention and occasional bouquet of flowers, we can do without the cheesiness that's generally associated with the holiday... as can most people, we've found. So, what to do when your Valentine doesn't get excited by Cupid's arrow? Plan a weekend getaway with a focus on fun. Dublin, Ireland Sure, Dublin has its fair share of romantic restaurants--Peploe's and Hugo's are two that top our list--but this city isn't the first to come to mind when channeling l'amour. We've never understood this, because really: what says "I love you" more than a pubcrawl via rickshaw? Start on the ground floor of Kehoes, where you'll make friends with more locals than tourists, or head to the calmer, more civilized second floor for a cozier atmosphere. If you need a break for a more modern atmosphere, stop by Cafe en Seine for a drink before heading to The Brazen Head for ...
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Huffington Post article
Cliff Chenfeld: Music Picks for 2012
Huffington Post - about 4 years
Just in time for the holidays, here is the 10th annual list of music that you may have missed and might like. Not as many standout releases as in 2011 but plenty of very good ones. As in previous years, this list is for those who want to hear new music but don't get a chance to discover as much as they'd like. I generally don't include releases that received a good deal of attention (Mumford and Sons, Adele) or music that might be too inaccessible for those with limited time. There is an amazing amount of good music being made now, probably more than ever. However, I wish more great music was released. The turbulence of the music business has led to fewer opportunities for major mainstream success and has caused artists to focus on maintaining a loyal on-line audience. There are a number of incredibly talented artists who are probably reluctant to write for a broader audience because of fear of alienating their loyal fan base. We could use more ambitious artists who ...
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Huffington Post article
This Week in the Civil War
Fox News - over 4 years
This Week in The Civil War, for week of Sunday, Nov. 25: Fighting in Arkansas. This week 150 years ago in the Civil War, Confederate forces battle Union rivals at Cane Hill in the far northwest corner of Arkansas. The fighting on Nov. 28, 1862, began with Union Gen. James Blunt sending out probing forces in a bid to destroy Confederate cavalry units detected in the area. The Union contingent caught up with a Confederate force that fought a delaying action while trying to protect its supply trains. Confederates under Col. Joe Shelby set up defensive positions around the Cane Hill cemetery. During a series of clashes, the Confederates withdrew under a fierce Union onslaught. Finally running short of ammunition, Confederate fighters withdrew and nightfall brought an end to the day's fighting. Blunt's forces thus took control of the Boston Mountains in that extreme corner of Arkansas. It was a small-scale fight. But days later, a far bigger battle would be waged at Prairie ...
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Fox News article
Oh! Susanna
The Portland Mercury - over 4 years
The Bangles' Susanna Hoffs makes a mature, orchestral solo record. by Morgan Troper IT'S A SHAME that the Bangles are often remembered for two songs they didn't write. That those fragments of the group's legacy—"Manic Monday" and "Walk Like an Egyptian"—are unoriginal compositions retroactively validates any initial criticisms that the group was prefabricated. Really, though, it's more like sheer misfortune, the equivalent of Harry Nilsson only scoring big hits with "Everybody's Talkin'" and "Without You"; the Bangles certainly have a wealth of original glittering pop jewels to their name, too. Susanna Hoffs—arguably the face, voice, and soul of the Bangles—sounds tired and gentle and totally unlike the vivacious coquette fantasizing about making out with Valentino in the "Manic Monday" video. "If I'm rambling, please make me sound good," she pleads modestly toward the end of our phone conversation—but it isn't hard to do. Her answe ...
Article Link:
The Portland Mercury article
Learn about memorable moments in the evolution of James Blunt
  • 2016
    Age 42
    At the Oxford Union in early June 2016, Blunt revealed he had become a father.
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    On 17 February 2016, he received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Bristol.
    More Details Hide Details Blunt is a patron of Help for Heroes, a charity that raises money to provide better facilities for wounded British servicemen, and has also held benefit concerts for this charity. Blunt also raises funds for the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF, or "Doctors Without Borders"). He first encountered the non-governmental organization while on operations in Kosovo. Since then, Blunt has been an active supporter by holding meet-and-greet auctions at many of his concerts, and filming the documentary Return to Kosovo, in which he visited the people and places he had encountered while there. Blunt also supports environmental causes. He screened the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth at his concerts, and for each advance sales concert ticket purchased through his designated website, a tree is planted. On 7 July 2007, Blunt performed at the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium, London. Blunt also contributed, with his vocals, to the charity single, "Everybody Hurts" in aid of the 2010 Haiti earthquake appeal.
    On 2 February 2016, Blunt announced via his newsletter that work on his fifth album had just started.
    More Details Hide Details Blunt's primary residence is in Ibiza. Blunt also owns a chalet in the Swiss town of Verbier, which he purchased in February 2007, and has a ski lift named after him there. In 2012, Blunt, Carl Fogarty and Lawrence Dallaglio opened a restaurant at the top of the chairlift called La Vache.
    Blunt was awarded an Honorary Doctorate for Music in 2016 by University of Bristol.
    More Details Hide Details Blunt was born at an army hospital in Tidworth, Hampshire, the first of three children to Colonel Charles Blount and Jane Ann Farran Blount (née Amos). His father was a cavalry officer in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and then a helicopter pilot and colonel of the Army Air Corps. The Blount family has a long history of military service, dating back to King Gorm of Denmark in the 10th century. Blunt grew up primarily in St Mary Bourne in Hampshire, but moved every two years depending on his father's military postings in: Middle Wallop; Cyprus; Soest (Germany); York; and Netheravon. He also spent time in Cley next the Sea where his father owned Cley Windmill.
  • 2015
    Age 41
    On 3 May 2015, Blunt was confirmed to be replacing Ronan Keating on the seventh season of The X Factor Australia.
    More Details Hide Details He was joined by American rock musician Chris Isaak and returning judges Guy Sebastian and Dannii Minogue.
  • 2014
    Age 40
    In September 2014, Blunt married (Alexandrina) Sofia Wellesley, daughter of Lord and Lady John Wellesley, and grand-daughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington.
    More Details Hide Details On 9 October 2015 it was revealed that the couple were expecting their first child.
    The new version of the album also contains a 19-track live DVD recorded during Blunt's performance in the 2014 edition of the Paléo Festival.
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    On 16 September 2014, Blunt confirmed on his official Instagram account that Moon Landing would be re-released on 3 November 2014.
    More Details Hide Details The new version of the album was named Moon Landing - Apollo Edition and contained 19 tracks: 11 from the original disc, plus the three bonus tracks of the deluxe version (Telephone, Kiss This Love Goodbye and Hollywood) and five new tracks (Smoke Signals, When I Find Love Again, Breathe, Trail of Broken Hearts and Working it Out). The new track When I Find Love Again was released as a single that same day, after being played on BBC's Radio 2 for the first time. The official music video for When I Find Love Again was released on 14 October 2014.
  • 2013
    Age 39
    Blunt's fourth album, "Moon Landing", was released on 18 October 2013.
    More Details Hide Details It featured production from Back to Bedlam producer Tom Rothrock. The lead single, "Bonfire Heart", debuted at number six before peaking at number two the following week in the UK Singles Chart. The single went to number 1 in Australia, Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and was in top 10 in several other countries.
  • 2012
    Age 38
    On 8 February 2012, Hugh Tomlinson QC, representing a number of victims of the News International phone hacking affair, informed the High Court that Blunt was one of six alleged victims who had filed for damages in civil cases.
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  • 2010
    Age 36
    Blunt's third studio album titled Some Kind of Trouble, was released on 8 November 2010.
    More Details Hide Details The album debuted at number four in the UK with over 100,000 copies sold in the first week. The album's first single "Stay the Night" was released on 27 October 2010. The single did much better in Europe than the UK, sitting at number two on the European Airplay Chart for five consecutive weeks, but only charting at number 37 in the UK top 40. The second single from the album, "So Far Gone" was released in the UK on 3 January 2011. The third single from the album, "If Time Is All I Have" was released in the UK on 4 April 2011. Overall critical reception has been mixed, with Allmusic saying, in a positive review, that "Some Kind of Trouble is a step in the right direction for Blunt, a move toward love songs free of pretension" whilst BBC Music felt "When all's said, Some Kind of Trouble is not a terrible record by any means, but there's little sense that Blunt has advanced, and equally little sense that it'll make any difference to his bottom line."
  • 2007
    Age 33
    Blunt appeared on an episode of Sesame Street which aired on 14 November 2007, singing about triangles to the tune of "You're Beautiful".
    More Details Hide Details A parody of "You're Beautiful" titled "You're Pitiful" was recorded by Weird Al Yankovic. Blunt gave personal permission for this parody to be included on a Weird Al album, but Atlantic Records, Blunt's label, stepped in to forbid the commercial release of the song. Weird Al has since made the song available as a free MP3 download on his website. In a request by Yankovic to include the song on an upcoming compilation CD, Blunt's manager replied via email, "Thanks for your email, but both James and I will never approve this parody to be released on any label." On 28 December 2009, BBC Radio 1 announced that Back to Bedlam was the biggest selling album of the 2000s decade in the United Kingdom.
    Throughout 2007 and 2008, Blunt went on his second world tour, including a performance in London's O2 Arena.
    More Details Hide Details On 24 November 2008, All The Lost Souls was re-released as a deluxe edition, with new album artwork, new single "Love, Love, Love" and the documentary James Blunt: Return to Kosovo.
    Blunt collaborated twice during this album cycle. In late 2007, he worked with French rapper Sinik.
    More Details Hide Details They released "Je Réalise", which took elements of Blunt's song "I'll Take Everything", which hit the top three in France. On 14 November 2008, "Primavera in anticipo", Laura Pausini's new album, was released. The title track is a duet with Blunt. The album reached the Number one in Italy.
    The song became another hit for Blunt reaching number one the Billboard European Hot 100 Singles chart. D.J. Pete Tong remixed "1973" and played the track during his set at Pacha over the summer of 2007.
    More Details Hide Details The second single, "Same Mistake", was released in early December 2007 but did not fare well in the UK charts, peaking at number 57. It was Number one in Brazil and a hit in many South American countries. The third single from the album was "Carry You Home", released in March 2008, peaking at number 20 in the U.K charts and bringing the album back into the Top 10, six months after its release. The fourth and final single from the original "All The Lost Souls" album was "I Really Want You".
    Blunt's second studio album, All the Lost Souls, was released on 17 September 2007 in the United Kingdom and one day later in North America.
    More Details Hide Details It sold 65,000 units in its first week, and was certified gold in the UK after only four days. By the end of January 2008, the album had sold 600,000 copies in the UK, and 4.5 million copies internationally. Blunt completed the album's songs at his home in Ibiza in the winter of 2006–2007. He performed five of the ten album tracks during his 2005–2006 tours; lyrics, melodies, and harmonies were refined for the studio recording, on which his touring band played and Tom Rothrock worked as producer. While Blunt's first album received little critical attention, critics from every major music publication, and newspapers around the world, weighed in on All the Lost Souls. The album was met with generally mixed to positive reviews, and maintains a 53/100 rating at Metacritic." Eric Danton, of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and The Hartford Courant wrote that the album is "a collection so bland, it makes hardtack seem sumptuous". However, Kerri Mason of Billboard said Blunt "shows the abandon and confidence of a long-term artist, not just a one-hit wonder" and continued "there is not a misstep throughout". Equally effusive, Liz Hoggard of The Observer wrote that "it's impossible to resist Blunt's troubadour yearning."
    Blunt performed "You're Beautiful" at the 49th Grammy Awards in February 2007, dedicating the song to the late Ahmet Ertegün of Atlantic Records, but he did not win in any of the five categories for which he had received nominations (including Best New Artist, won by Carrie Underwood).
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  • 2006
    Age 32
    Not including promotional appearances, Blunt performed over 140 live shows in 2006.
    More Details Hide Details The videos for all of Blunt's singles from Back To Bedlam feature symbolism and dark imagery. In the first video for "High", he is buried in a desert. In the first video for "Wisemen", he is kidnapped and taken hostage. In the video for "You're Beautiful", he alludes to suicide by jumping off a cliff into the sea. In the "Goodbye My Lover" video, he is the outsider in a love triangle, imagining the couple, a man and woman (played by Matt Dallas of Kyle XY and Mischa Barton of The O.C.) together. The re-release video for "High" features Blunt running in a forest. The re-release video for "Wisemen" has Blunt burning identification papers, and then walking through a forest while he is on fire.
    On 31 August, Blunt won two awards at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards, with "You're Beautiful" winning the award for Best Male Video.
    More Details Hide Details In late 2005, Blunt made appearances on The Oprah Winfrey Show and as a musical guest on Saturday Night Live. Eight of the songs on the album were featured in television shows (The O.C., Grey's Anatomy and many more), films (Undiscovered), and advertising campaigns (Hilton Hotels, Sprint telecommunications) throughout 2005 and 2006.
    Blunt started off 2006 celebrating five Brit Award nominations, going on to win Best British male solo artist and Best pop act categories, having already started an 11-month world tour.
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    Blunt became the first British artist to top the American singles chart in nearly a decade when "You're Beautiful" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006; the last British artist to do so had been Elton John in 1997 with the song "Candle in the Wind 1997".
    More Details Hide Details "Goodbye My Lover" was released as the fourth UK single from the album in December 2005, and the second US single. The songs "High" and "Wisemen" were subsequently re-released in 2006.
  • 2005
    Age 31
    In the US, "You're Beautiful" made its debut in the summer of 2005 on WPLJ, a prominent radio station in New York City, despite not having been released to radio yet.
    More Details Hide Details The song was released to radio stations in the fall of 2005 and climbed into the Top 10 in three radio formats: Adult Contemporary Music, Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks, and Adult album alternative.
    In March 2005, his second single, "Wisemen," was released.
    More Details Hide Details Blunt's third single, "You're Beautiful", was his break-out hit. The song debuted at number 12 in the UK, and rose all the way to number one six weeks later. The song also received huge airplay in the UK, propelling Back to Bedlam to number one on the UK Albums Chart. The extensive airplay ultimately led to Blunt and his co-writers being awarded the Ivor Novello Award for Most Performed Work. After the success of "You're Beautiful" in the UK, the song crossed over to mainland Europe, becoming one of the biggest hits of summer 2005 across the continent.
  • 2004
    Age 30
    In March 2004, with Blunt performing in the support role for Katie Melua in Manchester, Alex McCann of Designer Magazine wrote, "Blunt's ascendance is a dead cert and this time next year it isn't that far removed from reality to suggest that a number one album, Brit Award and countless accolade's sic will be his for the taking."
    More Details Hide Details After release of the album, concert support slots for Elton John and Lloyd Cole and the Commotions in late 2004 and early 2005 followed, as did a band residency at London club 93 Feet East.
    Blunt rose to prominence in 2004 with the release of his debut studio album Back to Bedlam, achieving worldwide fame with the singles "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover".
    More Details Hide Details The album sold over 11 million copies worldwide, topping the UK Albums Chart and peaking at number two in the US. "You're Beautiful" was number 1 in both the US, UK and a dozen other countries. Back to Bedlam, was the best selling album of the 2000s in the UK. Blunt has gone on to sell over 20 million albums and 20 million singles worldwide. He has received several awards, including two Brit Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards as well as receiving five Grammy Award nominations.
  • 2003
    Age 29
    Blunt recorded Back to Bedlam in 2003 with producer Tom Rothrock in Conway Recording Studios and Rothrock's home studio in Los Angeles, playing many instruments himself.
    More Details Hide Details During recording, he lodged with actress Carrie Fisher. Fisher contributed in naming the album and Blunt recorded the song "Goodbye My Lover" in her bathroom. Back to Bedlam was released in the UK in October 2004. Blunt's debut single in the UK was "High" (co-written with Ricky Ross of Deacon Blue). This song initially peaked below the Top 100 of the UK Singles Chart, however after the subsequent success of "You're Beautiful" it finally made the Top 75 before being re-released. The song was chosen to appear in a Vodafone commercial in Italy, and was a Top 10 hit in that country. The debut album from the unknown Blunt initially attracted little critical attention, and there were no published reviews from major UK music journals. His live performances, mainly in support of better known musicians, received somewhat mixed but generally favourable reviews. Blunt's lack of performing experience and inconsistent approach with audiences was commented upon, while his music was likened to that of Damien Rice and David Gray.
    Linda Perry, who was just launching her own Custard Records label in early 2003, heard Blunt's promotional tape when visiting London, and soon after heard him perform live at the South by Southwest Music Festival.
    More Details Hide Details She made an offer to him the same night and within a few days Blunt signed a recording contract with Perry. One month later, he travelled to Los Angeles to meet producer Tom Rothrock.
  • 2002
    Age 28
    Blunt left the British Army in 2002 so that he could pursue his musical career.
    More Details Hide Details He started using the stage name "Blunt" in part to make it easier for others to spell; "Blount" is pronounced the same way, and remains his legal surname. Shortly after leaving the army he was signed to EMI music publishers and to Twenty-First Artists management. A record contract remained elusive, with recording label executives pointing to Blunt's posh speaking voice as a barrier in class-divided Britain.
    Blunt left the army on 1 October 2002 having served six years.
    More Details Hide Details Blunt had piano and violin lessons as a child, but was introduced to the electric guitar aged 14 at Harrow by a fellow student. His dissertation at Bristol University was titled, The Commodification of Image – Production of a Pop Idol. One of his main references for was Simon Frith, a sociologist and rock critic, and chair of the Mercury Music Prize panel of judges since 1992, who later did a lecture tour entitled: "The unpopular and unpleasant thoughts inspired by the work of James Blunt". While still in the army Blunt would write songs during his time off. A backing vocalist and songwriting collaborator suggested he contact Elton John's manager, Todd Interland, with whom she used to share a house. Interland told HitQuarters that he listened to Blunt's demo while driving home and, after hearing the track 'Goodbye My Lover', pulled over and called the mobile number written on the CD to set up a meeting.
    He stood guard at the coffin of the Queen Mother during her lying in state and was part of the funeral procession on 9 April 2002.
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  • 2000
    Age 26
    A keen skier, Blunt captained the Household Cavalry alpine ski team in Verbier, Switzerland, becoming Royal Armoured Corps ski champion in 2000.
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    Blunt extended his military service in November 2000, and was posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London, as the Queen's Guard.
    More Details Hide Details During this posting, Blunt was featured on the television programme "Girls on Top", a series highlighting unusual career choices.
  • 1999
    Age 25
    On 12 June 1999, Blunt led the 30,000-strong NATO peacekeeping force from the Macedonia border to Pristina International Airport, however a Russian military contingent had moved in and taken control of the airport before his unit's arrival.
    More Details Hide Details American NATO commander Wesley Clark ordered that Blunt's unit forcibly take the airport from the Russians. However, Blunt refused the order, citing the wider consequences. General Mike Jackson, Blunt's superior officer, stepped in stating that they were "not going to start the Third World War". There were less intense moments during Blunt's Kosovo assignment. Blunt had brought along his guitar, strapped to the outside of his tank, and would sometimes perform for locals and troops. It was while on duty there that he wrote the song "No Bravery".
    In 1999, Blunt volunteered to join a Blues and Royals squadron deploying with NATO to Kosovo.
    More Details Hide Details Initially assigned to carry out reconnaissance of the Republic of Macedonia–Yugoslavia border, Blunt's troop worked ahead of the front lines locating and targeting Serb forces for the NATO bombing campaign.
    Blunt was a reconnaissance officer in the Life Guards, a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in the Kosovo War in 1999.
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  • 1998
    Age 24
    The Life Guards, part of the Household Cavalry Regiment, were primarily based in Combermere Barracks. Blunt also trained in British Army Training Unit Suffield in Alberta, Canada, where his regiment was posted for six months in 1998 to act as the opposing army in combat training exercises.
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  • 1996
    Age 22
    Blunt was educated at Elstree School in Woolhampton, Berkshire, and Harrow School, gaining A-levels in Physics, Chemistry and Economics. He went on to study Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering and Sociology at University of Bristol., graduating with a BSc (Hons) in Sociology in 1996.
    More Details Hide Details Like his father, Blunt is a pilot, gaining his fixed winged private pilot licence aged 16, and has a keen interest in motorcycles. Having been sponsored through university on an army bursary, Blunt was committed to serve a minimum of four years in the armed forces. He trained at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, in intake 963, and was commissioned into the Life Guards, a reconnaissance regiment. He rose to the rank of captain.
  • 1974
    Age 0
    Born on February 22, 1974.
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