James Arthur (singer)
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Arthur at NRJ Music Awards 2014
Born 2 March 1988 (age 26)
Genres Pop rock
Instruments Vocals, acoustic guitar, piano,bass guitar,
Years active 2012–present
Associated acts The X Factor 2012 finalists
James Andrew Arthur (born 2 March 1988)
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. It has since gone on
to sell over 1.25 million copies in the UK and 2.5 million copies worldwide.
He released his self-
titled debut album in November 2013. It debuted at number two on the UK Albums Chart.
1 Early life
o 2.1 Early years
o 2.2 2012: The X Factor
o 2.3 2013–present: Debut album, international success, and All the World's a Stage
4 Personal life
6 Concert tours
7 Awards and nominations
9 External links
Arthur was born in Middlesbrough,
to parents from the United Kingdom ― an English mother,
Shirley Ashworth, and a Scottishfather, Neil Arthur.
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
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
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.
Upon his return, he continued his studies at Ryehills School in Redcar.
Arthur has an older sister, Sian Arthur, three younger sisters, Jasmin Rafferty, Neve Rafferty and
Charlotte, and an older brother, Neil Arthur.
Arthur has been writing and recording songs since he was 15 as an unsigned artist both solo and
in many bands
– a Cleveland-based progressive, experimental, rock five-piece band
with Arthur in lead vocals. The band was active between 2005 and 2008. It had recordings
such as "Said You'd Be There", "Hole in My Heart" and "Tear Me Apart".
Cue the Drama
– an alternative rock band based in Marske-by-the-Sea and active
between 2005 and 2008. Recordings included "On the Radio 98KUPD", "It's Killing Me", "I
Reach You" and "It Hurts".
– a Middlesbrough alternative rock band made up of Arthur (vocals, guitar),
Josh Brown (keyboards, vocals), Matthew Green (guitar), Alex Beer (bass, vocals), Travis
Shaw (guitar, percussions, vocals) and Karl Dowson (drums). In 2009, the band released a
three-track EP called Truth, carrying the title track "The Truth", as well as "Echoes" and "I Un-
Proudly Present". In June 2010, the band released a five-track EP, Tonight We Dine in
Hades, which in addition to the title track "Tonight We Dine in Hades" included "Superhero",
"You Always Want a Fight", "Juliet Is Not Dead" and "She Aims to Please". Both releases
were on the independent 57 Records UK.
– a four-piece indie pop/rock band formed in March 2011 based in Redcar /
Saltburn-by-the-Sea and made up of Arthur (guitar, vocals), Dean Harrison (piano, violin),
Paul Gill (bass) and Save Arcade bandmate Green (drums).
Arthur also uploaded many of his own songs to SoundCloud and YouTube, as well as an album
entitled Sins by the Sea.
In 2011, he auditioned for The Voice UK and made it into the
final 200 contestants but no further.
In early 2012, he recorded songs and released two EPs as The James Arthur Band.
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.
The tracks were written and arranged
by McGough, and mixed by Matt Wanstall with all vocals by Arthur.
2012: The X Factor
Main article: The X Factor (UK series 9)
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.
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
who uploaded it on 9 May 2012 and has earned over 17 million views from
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?"
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
Arthur won The X Factor on 9 December 2012, with 53.7% of the final vote, against Jahméne
Douglas who received 38.9%.
[show]The X Factor performances and results
2013–present: Debut album, international success, and All the World's a
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.
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.
The single topped the UK Singles Chart in its first week of
After 11 days, it was the seventh biggest-selling debut single from any contestant
from The X Factor, with sales of 622,000.
In its second week the single dropped to number
but reclaimed the number one spot in its third week, and stayed at the top for a further
After three weeks, it was the fifth best-selling single of 2012 with 897,000 copies
After four weeks it had sold 971,000 copies.
As of 11 January 2013, the single has sold
more than 1 million copies.
The song also peaked at number one in Ireland, two in Australia,
New Zealand and Switzerland, and eight in Slovakia.
As of August 2013, the single has
sold 1.2 million copies, 30,000 fewer than Alexandra Burke's version of "Hallelujah".
On 7 August 2013, Arthur announced via Twitter that his next single would be called "You're
Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You",
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.
"Recovery" was released as the album's third
single on 15 December
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
On 5 January 2014, Arthur began embarking on his debut headlining tour,
the James Arthur Tour, a 37-date tour around Europe.
Arthur will release a free mixtape called All the World's a Stage in April 2014 before planning
work on his second 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, "I'll Blow You Up".
However, he took to Twitter
to deny the claims.
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.
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.
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.
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.
November, Arthur's management announced that the singer would be cancelling all public
engagements for the next seven days due to exhaustion.
Singer Olly Murs came to Arthur's
defense, but said a few days later that he was not defending the choice of lyrics.
Arthur supports his local football team Middlesbrough F.C. as well as Rangers F.C..
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.