We all love James Blunt and his mesmerising voice. With the breakout song, You’re Beautiful topping the charts back in 2004, he became a household name. But there are a few things you might not already know about him.
1. He started playing the piano at the age of four
My mum, Jane, was the one who pushed me with music. I learnt to play the violin when I was four and even though I hated it at the time, she also got me to learn the piano. Looking back, that’s the best thing I ever did. I am grateful.
2. As a kid, he played games a little differently
Mum would make me dance anticlockwise with other kids while playing Hot Cross Buns. It’s a vivid memory of my childhood. I was about six and we were probably involved in some weird satanic ritual, but didn’t know it at the time!
3. He doesn’t remember his first kiss
I was sent to boarding school at the age of seven, so I didn’t really have a daily relationship with my mother or father [Charles] while I was away. I don’t recall any advice and definitely don’t remember a first kiss in these formative years.
4. He was away from his family home for 10 years
The all-boys school was a very strict environment; we did find ways to get up to mischief though. The advice I got came from the masters at the school and via the cane rather than female role models. I was away from my family home for 10 years.
5. He studied Aerospace Engineering
I went to the University of Bristol from 1992 to 1996 to study aerospace engineering and sociology. I couldn’t spell when I got there [laughs] but I did learn to play the guitar and I wrote songs that would appear on my first album, Back To Bedlam.
6. He’s an army kid
It was inevitable I’d join the army because, from my father to uncle and grandfathers, it’s what all the men in my family did. I served in the army for six years. It was good training for a life in music and touring – a tour bus is pretty comfortable compared to a tank.
7. Music was his mother’s idea
I had an ambition to play music and it would have been a terrible thing to reach old age and say I wish I had pursued it. It was thanks to my mother, who could see how happy music made me, that I ended up doing it full-time.
8. He got to meet many of his favourite artists in the 70’s
I didn’t grow up with any celebrity crushes, but I was definitely inspired to play music by ’70s artists like Fleetwood Mac, Elton John and David Bowie. I was lucky enough to meet the members of Fleetwood Mac on my last visit to Australia. I got backstage and it was awesome. There is nothing quite like the voice of Stevie Nicks.
9. His family is his form of therapy
I am very private and don’t like to talk about my relationships, but I will say that I was never raised to feel important or feel like the world owed me something. From day one, my mother and father made sure I understood I was no better than the next person. That’s why I struggle with fame. Many celebrities need therapy to get by, but I have good family support.
10. He loves and respects his parents
I got married to Sofia [Wellesley] in 2014 and we have a son. I’ll try anything once! Becoming a father has taught me to appreciate my own parents. Once upon a time I just had to look out for myself, but it’s humbling to know others need me.
11. He’s the cutest husband ever!
I am selfish because I keep chasing my career. I believe life is for living, but when you marry, it is about sharing your experiences and life and taking another person on that journey.
12. Ed Sheeran was his roomie
I’ve been sharing a bed with Ed Sheeran while we’ve been touring the US together – I stay closest to the wall because he has to keep getting up to use the toilet in the night. That’s as romantic as it gets on tour!
13. His albums are connected to the Late Carrie Fisher in a very interesting way
I wrote and recorded all of my albums at the late Carrie Fisher’s house in Los Angeles, including my current one, The Afterlove. Carrie was a great friend and godmother to my son. Her home was a hugely creative and inspiring place to write and she was a very encouraging person. My albums wouldn’t have turned out as they did if it wasn’t for that environment. Her brother asked if he could use You’re Beautiful at her memorial. Of course I said yes.
14. His wrecking ball moment
I worked with MoZella [who co-wrote the Miley Cyrus hit, Wrecking Ball] on this album. It’s the first time I’ve worked with a female musician in the studio and I really enjoyed it. She was a complete stranger when we met. She knew nothing about me on a personal level and didn’t come with any notions or expectations of what I’d be like. I admire that about her. She came with no judgment, just a desire to write music and help me write. She’s my Wrecking Ball moment – we had a lot of fun. I love her.
Now that you’re up-to-speed with all these fun facts, you can go show it off at his concert on 9th April in Bangalore. Here’s a something to get you started!
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