James Arthur (singer)

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James Arthur
James Arthur NRJ 2014.jpg
Arthur at NRJ Music Awards 2014
Background information
Born(1988-03-02) 2 March 1988 (age 26)
Middlesbrough, England
GenresPop rock[1]
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, acoustic guitar, piano, bass guitar,
Years active2012–present
LabelsSyco (2012–14)
Associated actsThe X Factor 2012 finalists
 
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James Arthur
James Arthur NRJ 2014.jpg
Arthur at NRJ Music Awards 2014
Background information
Born(1988-03-02) 2 March 1988 (age 26)
Middlesbrough, England
GenresPop rock[1]
OccupationsSinger-songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, acoustic guitar, piano, bass guitar,
Years active2012–present
LabelsSyco (2012–14)
Associated actsThe X Factor 2012 finalists

James Andrew Arthur (born 2 March 1988)[2] is a British singer and musician who won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. His debut single, "Impossible", was released after the final and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release (the cover went on to sell over 1.25 million copies in the UK and 2.5 million copies worldwide).[3] He released his self-titled debut album in November 2013 which debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart.

Early life[edit]

Arthur was born in Middlesbrough,[4] to parents from the United Kingdom ― an English mother, Shirley Ashworth, and a Scottish father, Neil Arthur.[5] Neil is a delivery driver, but also used to be a DJ and drummer for many years, whilst Shirley was a fashion model and later a sales and marketing professional.[6] Neil and Shirley split up when James was one year old and each settled with new partners a few years after their divorce. They hardly spoke with one another for more than 20 years, but they agreed to attend James's audition together in a family reunion to support him.[7]

Arthur first went to Ings Farm Primary School in Redcar, North Yorkshire. When he was nine, he moved with his mother Shirley and his stepfather Ronald Rafferty to Bahrain where he studied at the local British School of Bahrain for four years. When they split, James, then 14, moved back to the UK with his mother Shirley and his three sisters Sian, Jasmin and Neve to live on the Coast Road in Redcar.[8][9][10] Upon his return, he continued his studies at Ryehills School in Redcar.[11]

Arthur has an older sister, Sian Arthur, three younger sisters, Jasmin Rafferty, Neve Rafferty and Charlotte, and an older brother, Neil Arthur.[11]

Career[edit]

Early years[edit]

Arthur has been writing and recording songs since he was 15 as an unsigned artist both solo and in many bands[12][13] including:

Arthur also uploaded many of his own songs to SoundCloud and YouTube, as well as an album entitled Sins by the Sea.[12][18][19] In 2011, he auditioned for The Voice UK and made it into the final 200 contestants but no further.[20]

In early 2012, he recorded songs and released two EPs as The James Arthur Band.[21][22][23] The band consisted of Arthur (vocals and guitar), Jez Taylor (guitar), Chris Smalls (keyboards), Jordan Swain (drums) and Rich Doney (bass). In 2012, the band released The EP Collection CD with nine tracks with R&B, soul and hip hop influences, a compilation of tracks on both EPs. Arthur also released an EP named Hold On under the name The James Arthur Project in August 2012 in collaboration with John McGough.[24][25][26] The tracks were written and arranged by McGough, and mixed by Matt Wanstall with all vocals by Arthur.

2012: The X Factor[edit]

Arthur originally auditioned for The X Factor in Newcastle. He performed an acoustic rendition of judge Tulisa Contostavlos's "Young", before explaining his past, including a short spell in respite foster care and time spent in flats and bedsits after break-ups within his family. He also revealed his father and mother had hardly spoken to each other for over 20 years, and this was a reunion of sorts for them to attend his audition. He sang "A Million Love Songs" at bootcamp and was chosen as one of six contestants in the "Boys" category to advance to judges' houses. From this point onward, Arthur was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger. After his judges' houses performance of "I Can't Make You Love Me", he was picked as one of 12 contestants to advance to the live shows, and one of three in the "Boys" category.

After his second live performance, Arthur suffered from an anxiety attack backstage. Whilst being treated at the studio, paramedics determined he did not need to go to hospital, and he was ordered back to his hotel to rest. He later returned for the results show the following night.[27] After his performance of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" on the third live show on 20 October, Arthur was accused of plagiarism. His rendition was very similar to the rendition by YouTube star only1Noah,[28] who uploaded it on 9 May 2012 and has earned over 17 million views from it.[29] However, Arthur later tweeted: "Btw doesn't everyone know I was putting a spin on Noah's version? It had 13.something million hits! Was I supposed to state the obvious?"[30][31] In week 7, after performing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", Arthur was controversially in the bottom two. He sang "Fallin'" for survival against fellow favourite Ella Henderson, with the judges going to deadlock after their vote was evenly split 2–2 (mentor Scherzinger and Gary Barlow voting to keep him, while Contostavlos and Louis Walsh voted in favour of Henderson). Arthur was then saved by the public vote. On 8 December, he made it through to the second night of the live finals.

Arthur won The X Factor on 9 December 2012, with 53.7% of the final vote, against Jahméne Douglas who received 38.9%.[32][33][34]

2013–present: After The X Factor[edit]

James Arthur at a book signing session at WHSmith in Middlesbrough on the 9 January 2013.

Following his victory, Arthur's winner's song, a cover of Shontelle's "Impossible", was released as a charity single for Together for Short Lives.[35] It became the fastest-selling The X Factor winner's single so far, reaching 255,000 downloads within 48 hours and over 490,000 by the end of the week.[36] The single topped the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release.[37][38][39] After 11 days, it was the seventh biggest-selling debut single from any contestant from The X Factor, with sales of 622,000.[40] In its second week the single dropped to number two,[41] but reclaimed the number one spot in its third week, and stayed at the top for a further week.[42] After three weeks, it was the fifth best-selling single of 2012 with 897,000 copies sold.[43] After four weeks it had sold 971,000 copies.[44] As of 11 January 2013, the single has sold more than 1 million copies.[45] The song also peaked at number one in Ireland, two in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, and eight in Slovakia.[46][47][48][49] As of August 2013, the single has sold 1.2 million copies, 30,000 fewer than Alexandra Burke's version of "Hallelujah".[50]

On 7 August 2013, Arthur announced via Twitter that his next single would be called "You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You",[51] which was released to UK radio stations on 9 September 2013. The song was officially released worldwide on 20 October 2013 and debuted at number two in the UK, falling just behind Lorde's "Royals". Arthur's self-titled debut studio album, James Arthur, was released on 4 November 2013. The album charted in at number two behind Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP 2.[52] "Recovery" was released as the album's third single on 15 December[53] and debuted at number 19 on the UK Singles Chart. On 14 January 2014, Arthur confirmed on Twitter that "Get Down" will be the fourth single released from his debut album.[54] On 5 January 2014, Arthur began embarking on his debut headlining tour, the James Arthur Tour, a 37-date tour around Europe.

Arthur released a mixtape called All The World's A Stage on 16 May 2014,[55] and is currently working on his second studio album.

On 5 April 2014, several media outlets began to report that Arthur had been dropped from Syco, following a dispute regarding a song entitled, "Follow The Leader".[56][57] He took to Twitter to deny the claims.,[58] however on 11 June 2014, Arthur announced via Twitter that he and Syco had parted ways by mutual agreement.

Controversy[edit]

Arthur at the NRJ Music Awards 2014

In November 2013, Arthur generated much controversy over the use of homophobic lyrics in a song. Directed at rapper Micky Worthless, the lyrics included several slurs including the term "you fucking queer". This sparked outrage among the LGBT community and led to Twitter spats with comedians Frankie Boyle and Matt Lucas, and singer Lucy Spraggan.[59] Arthur immediately apologised for his comments and affirmed that he was not homophobic. Following this he announced that he would not be posting on Twitter anymore, with his management taking up control of his page.[60] The backlash continued, however, with a Facebook campaign to see his upcoming appearance on The X Factor be cancelled. iTunes offered refunds for his album due to complaints from customers.[61]

After Arthur switched on the Christmas lights in Manchester on 8 November, Manchester City Council said that he would have been replaced if the controversy had happened earlier.[62] On 22 November, Arthur's management announced that the singer would be cancelling all public engagements for the next seven days due to exhaustion.[63] Singer Olly Murs came to Arthur's defence, but said a few days later that he was not defending the choice of lyrics.[60]

Personal life[edit]

Arthur supports his local football team Middlesbrough F.C. as well as Rangers F.C..[64][65][66] After winning The X Factor, he was invited to return to Bahrain to formally open the British School of Bahrain's music and drama rehearsal studios and the school's 400-seat auditorium, both part of the expansion of the facilities in the school in which he studied for four years. The new studios will be completed in mid 2014.[9]

Discography[edit]

Concert tours[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

YearOrganisationAwardWorkResult
2013BRIT AwardsBritish Single of the Year[67]"Impossible"Nominated[68]
Los Premios 40 PrincipalesBest International SongWon
NRJ Music AwardsInternational Breakthrough of the YearWon[69]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "iTunes – Music – Impossible by James Arthur". Apple Inc. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  2. ^ "James Arthur – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  3. ^ Odams, Katherine (19 September 2013). "James Arthur Premieres 'You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Love You' Music Video (WATCH)". Entertainmentwise. Retrieved 20 September 2013. 
  4. ^ "Heat World – James Arthur Biography". Heat. Bauer Consumer Media. 
  5. ^ Daily Record: James Arthur's tartan treat for Scots female fans
  6. ^ Daily Record: Scots father of X Factor star James Arthur admits he has no idea where singer gets his charm from
  7. ^ "You can't call me a womaniser for taking three girls back to my hotel". The Sun (London). Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  8. ^ Nathan, Sara (27 August 2012). "X Factor 2012: How James Arthur slept on park bench and stole food to survive". Daily Mail (London: Associated Newspapers). Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  9. ^ a b "Emotional victory for former Bahrain student". Gulf Weekly. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  10. ^ "Saltburn X Factor singer James Arthur makes full recovery after scare". Northern Echo. Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "Family of James Arthur so proud of X-Factor hopeful". GazetteLive.co.uk. Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  12. ^ a b "James Arthur Music – Tumblr". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  13. ^ "James Arthur Music – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  14. ^ "Moonlight Drive Music – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  15. ^ "Cue The Drama – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  16. ^ "Save Arcade – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  17. ^ "The Emerald Skye – Facebook". Retrieved 13 December 2012. 
  18. ^ "JamesArthurMusic's channel – Youtube". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  19. ^ "James Arthur Music – Soundcloud". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  20. ^ "James Arthur – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  21. ^ "The James Arthur Band – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  22. ^ "The James Arthur Band – Official Website". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  23. ^ "The James Arthur Band – Bandcamp". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  24. ^ "Hold On: The James Arthur Project: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  25. ^ "The James Arthur Project – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  26. ^ "John Mc Gough – Youtube". Retrieved 9 December 2012. 
  27. ^ The X Factor 2012: James Arthur | Radio Times
  28. ^ Darvill, Josh (24 October 2012). "X Factor 2012: James Arthur accused of copying Sexy And I Know It cover". Tellymix. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  29. ^ Noah Cover of "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO – YouTube
  30. ^ Twitter / JamesArthur23: Btw doesn't everyone know I
  31. ^ "X Factor's James Arthur Accused of Plagiarism Over 'Sexy And I Know It' Cover – By fans who allege that James copied YouTube star only1Noah". Entertainmentwise. 23 October 2012. Retrieved 8 December 2012. 
  32. ^ "The X Factor voting numbers revealed HERE!". The X Factor (itv.com). 9 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  33. ^ Fitzmaurice, Sarah (10 December 2012). "He's achieved the Impossible! James Arthur is crowned winner of the X Factor 2012". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  34. ^ "James Arthur wins X Factor...but Christopher Maloney vanishes from line-up". Daily Telegraph (London). 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012. 
  35. ^ "James Arthur hits the No 1 slot again". Together for Short Lives. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  36. ^ Wyatt, Daisy (11 December 2012). "James Arthur's 'Impossible' becomes fastest-selling X Factor single". The Independent (London). Retrieved 11 December 2012. 
  37. ^ Bueno, Emily (17 October 2012). "X Factor winner James Arthur tops the charts". Daily Telegraph UK (London). Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  38. ^ "X Factor winner James Arthur reaches Number One". Irish Independent. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  39. ^ "James Arthur scores fastest-selling single of the year". Guardian UK (London). 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012. 
  40. ^ Lane, Dan (20 December 2012). "Hillsborough tribute extends lead over James Arthur in Christmas race". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 December 2012. 
  41. ^ Hillsborough Justice Collective beat James Arthur to Christmas No. 1 – Music News – Digital Spy
  42. ^ Lane, Dan (30 December 2012). "James Arthur is back at Number 1 with Impossible". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 December 2012. 
  43. ^ Dan Lane (2 January 2013). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles of 2012 revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  44. ^ Lane, Dan (6 January 2013). "James Arthur's Impossible unmoved from top of Official Singles Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 January 2013. 
  45. ^ Lane, Dan (11 January 2013). "James Arthur's Impossible is the UK's latest million selling single". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  46. ^ Darvill, Josh (15 February 2013). "XFactor champ James Arthur a hit in Australia... and Switzerland". tellymix. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  47. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography James Arthur". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  48. ^ "IFPI SR: Hitparáda: Radio Top 100 Oficiálna: Týždeň: 201306". IFPI. Retrieved 16 February 2013. 
  49. ^ Hung, Steffen. "Discography James Arthur". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung). 
  50. ^ Corner, Lewis. "Leona Lewis named biggest-selling 'X Factor' star in UK". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 25 August 2013. 
  51. ^ James Arthur's New Song 'You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You' Has First Play On Capital - Capital FM
  52. ^ Strang, Fay (4 November 2013). "'I wish I was the s**g I'm made out to be': James Arthur opens up about his ladies' man tag, smoking weed and why he says what he thinks". Daily Mail (London). Retrieved 5 November 2013. 
  53. ^ Copsey, Robert (15 November 2013). "James Arthur reveals new single title, release date". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 16 November 2013. 
  54. ^ https://twitter.com/JamesArthur23/status/423067410082439168
  55. ^ http://stagedoor.fm/2014/03/12/james-arthur-confirms-rap-ep-worlds-stage-shares-details-second-album/
  56. ^ Wooten, Dan (5 April 2014). "Terror error - James Arthur fired over 'I'll blow you up' song". The Sun (London). Retrieved 5 April 2014. 
  57. ^ Drewett, Meg (6 April 2014). "James Arthur 'dropped by record label Syco after mixtape controversy'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazine UK. Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  58. ^ Rigby, Sam (6 April 2014). "James Arthur denies being dropped by Syco, criticises 'media circus'". Retrieved 6 April 2014. 
  59. ^ Independent. "James Arthur and Lucy Spraggan in 'homophobic' Twitter spat", 26 November 2013
  60. ^ a b Entertainment "Olly Murs Denies Defending James Arthur's Homophobic Slur", 26 November 2013
  61. ^ Pink News "Apple deems offence caused by homophobia an ‘appropriate’ reason to refund James Arthur track"
  62. ^ MancunianMatters. "James Arthur's homophobic rant would have seen him kicked off Christmas switch-on, says Manchester council". 23 November 2013
  63. ^ Digital Spy. "'The X Factor': James Arthur, Rebecca Ferguson to perform next week"
  64. ^ "Middlesbrough FC manager Tony Mowbray has given his backing to X Factor finalist". Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  65. ^ "Boro's Surprise For James". Retrieved 15 December 2012. 
  66. ^ "X-Factor star James Arthur lives the dream as he trains with his Rangers heroes.. but he won't be giving up his day job just yet". Daily Record. 11 January 2014. Retrieved 11 January 2014. 
  67. ^ "BRIT Awards 2013: Best British Single". Capital FM. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013. 
  68. ^ Robson, Dave (21 February 2013). "Saltburn singer James Arthur misses out on Brit award". Gazette Live. Retrieved 25 February 2014. 
  69. ^ Saunders, Louise (14 December 2013). "Going for gold! Katy Perry lights up the red carpet at the 15th NRJ Music Awards in a striking satin mullet-hem minidress". Daily Mail (London: DMG Media). Retrieved 25 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Little Mix
Winner of The X Factor
2012
Succeeded by
Sam Bailey