Tidworth, Wiltshire, U.K.
Quote From James Blunt:
"I didn't always think, 'Oh, I'm going to be in the army.' I always thought, 'I'm going to be a musician.' The army was just a delaying thing."
Trivia Fact About James Blunt:
The Cley Windmill is an 18th century landmark that has been passed down in James Blunt's family since the 1920's and is now operated by his father as a guest house.
James Blunt (originally Blount) was born into a family with multiple generations of military experience. Additionally, although his family did not allow him to listen to popular music, Blunt's mother encouraged him to learn to play multiple music instruments. By the time he was 14 he played guitar, piano, violin, and recorder.
While attending school, James Blunt was exposed to a wide range of popular music by his friends. He heard the likes of Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix, and the Pixies. At age 14 Blunt decided he wanted to pursue a career in music, but he knew that military service would come first.
Following in the footsteps of generations of male members of his family, James Blunt signed up for the Army after the military helped pay for his university education. He was shipped to Kosovo as part of the NATO peacekeeping force and rose to the rank of Captain. Back home he participated in the ceremonies following the death of the Queen Mother in 2002.
Back To Bedlam:
After serving his required four years, James Blunt opted to leave the military to pursue his musical dream. Within a year of leaving the Army, Blunt's manager got him connected with former 4 Non Blondes lead vocalist Linda Perry. She has carved out an impressive career writing and producing songs for Pink and Christina Aguilera among others. She signed him to her record label Custard Records, and he set about recording his first album Back To Bedlam in Los Angeles.
The bulk of Back To Bedlam was produced by Tom Rothrock, known for his production of music by Beck. The final track, "No Bravery," written during Blunt's service in Kosovo, was produced by Linda Perry. The album did not sell well in the U.S., but, in part due to a supporting role on tour with Elton John, it began a slow climb up the U.K. charts.
The album's first single, "High," failed to reach the top 100 on the U.K. pop singles chart. The second, "Wise Men," did better reaching #44. It was the 3rd single "You're Beautiful" that broke down the barriers. It became the first single since 1995 to debut outside the top 10 and later hit #1. The album Back To Bedlam soon topped the album chart as well in late July, 2005.
As 2006 began, "You're Beautiful was climbing the U.S. pop charts.