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James Arthur

James Arthur

ALL ARTIST INFO IS PULLED FROM PUBLICLY AVAILABLE DATA.
IF YOU REPRESENT THIS ARTIST AND WOULD LIKE TO VERIFY YOUR PAGE OR UPDATE THE INFO, Click Here
Biography

James Andrew Arthur is a British singer and songwriter who first gained attention after he won The X Factor in 2012. When he first started his career as a pop singer, his rendition of Shontelle’s “Impossible” after his X Factor win made the young man a household name. In its first week of release, it topped the UK Singles Chart.

Since then, he’s continued to release music that is a distinct blend of R&B, pop, soul, and hip hop influences. He also claims he was influenced by My Chemical Romance and Taking Back Sunday. 

Arthur has been open about his struggles with bad anxiety and depression and is now an ambassador for the UK mental health charity SANE. 

Here’s everything you need to know about James Arthur’s life and music.

instruments played
Guitar
Vocals
Name

James Arthur

Nationality

United Kingdom

James Before The X Factor

James' hometown is Middlesbrough, England, where he was born on March 2, 1988. The 33-year-old musician's parents are Neil and Shirley, who divorced and remarried when he was young. At nine years old, James and his mother and stepfather, along with two of his sisters, relocated from Redcar, North Yorkshire, to Bahrain. There, he studied at The British School of Bahrain until he was 13 when his family returned to England. Before making it big on The X Factor, James had a years-long passion for music. He was a member of several bands throughout his teen years, including Moonlight Drive, Cue the Drama, Save Arcade, and Emerald Skye.  The most successful of James' bands prior to his solo career was Cue the Drama, an alternative rock band with James on lead vocals.   In the early days of his career, he was constantly releasing new music but not gaining many fans. He had to grind in the music industry for several years before he found success, thanks to The X Factor. 

Making It Big 

Throughout 2011, James released songs to SoundCloud and YouTube, primarily putting out original content. He quickly gained a reputation for his guitar skills and his unique voice. James released the album Sins by the Sea independently that year and went on to found The James Arthur Project, which later became The James Arthur Band. After hustling for years as a musician and playing countless live shows, Arthur decided to audition for the ninth series of The X Factor. For his audition, he covered "Young," a song by Tulisa, one of the judges on the show. He opened up, describing the estrangement between his parents, his time in foster care, and other struggles in his life. He was mentored throughout his time on the show by judge Nicole Scherzinger. James went on to win The X Factor and become one of the most successful vocalists in the show's history. In the final vote that won him the competition, Arthur received 13.7% support from the show's audience. After his victory in December, he was signed to Syco, the label run by X Factor judge Simon Cowell.

Self-Titled Album

On November 1, 2013, James released his self-titled debut album via Syco Music. The record hit number two on the Billboard 200 and was the 30th best-selling album of the year in the UK. It features the singles "Impossible," "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You," "Recovery," and "Get Down." He also went on a European tour during this musical period. 

Back From the Edge 

On October 28, 2016, James returned with his second studio album, Back From the Edge. The record was released via Columbia Records after his departure from Syco. In the UK, Back From the Edge went Platinum, and its single "Say You Won't Let Go" became a huge hit.  "Say You Won't Let Go," originally released in September 2016, was co-written by Arthur, Andrew Frampton, Daniel O'Donoghue, Steve Kipner, Mark Sheehan, Neil Ormandy, and Steve Solomon. The track was produced by Bradley Spence and Alexander Bietzke, and it was accompanied by a music video that has received over 1.2 billion views on YouTube.  The hit single has frequently been compared to "The Man Who Can't Be Moved," a song by The Script. In May of 2018, Daniel O'Donoghue and Mark Sheehan of The Script were given co-writing credits on "Say You Won't Let Go." The X Factor winner returned to the set of the show in 2016 to perform "Say You Won't Go" live. In addition, he performed the hit track on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, America's Got Talent, and several other major programs. 

You 

James' third studio album, You, was released on October 18, 2019, via Columbia records. The album features production work by Mark Crew, Jamie Hartman, Red Triangle, Ricky Reed, and a host of others, and it was preceded by seven singles. The album was followed by an arena tour called "You – Up Close and Personal." 

Upcoming Record 

James' fourth studio album, It'll All Make Sense In the End, is set to release in late 2021. The record is looking to be a departure from the rest of his body of work. He told Music Week, "[T]here was a definite genre or lane that I wanted to do, which was mixing rock, guitar-based stuff with trap, hip-hop, and pop."

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