George Ezra Barnett
7 June 1993
George Ezra Barnett (born 7 June 1993) is an English singer, songwriter and guitarist. After releasing two EPs, Did You Hear the Rain? in November 2013 and Cassy O' in March 2014, Ezra rose to prominence with the release of his hit single, "Budapest", which reached number one in several countries. His debut studio album, Wanted on Voyage, was released in June 2014, reaching number one in the UK and the top ten in seven other countries. It was also the third-best-selling album of 2014 in the UK.
Ezra's second studio album, Staying at Tamara's, was released in March 2018 and reached number one in the UK and the top ten in eight other countries. The second single from the album, "Paradise", reached number two on the UK, while the next single, "Shotgun", reached number one, becoming Ezra's first chart-topping single in the UK, Ireland and Australia. In February 2019, he won the Brit Award for British Male Solo Artist.
George Ezra Barnett was born on 7 June 1993 in Hertford, Hertfordshire. His parents were teachers, with his father, Paul, teaching at Barnwell School in Stevenage. Barnett attended primary school in Bengeo and then Simon Balle School. He moved to Bristol in 2011 to study songwriting at the British and Irish Modern Music Institute. Ezra has an elder sister named Jessica who accompanies him on tour, and a younger brother named Ethan who is also a singer and songwriter under the stage name Ten Tonnes.
Some time after the release of his first album, George Ezra met and later began dating Florrie Arnold. The two split-up after 3 years, but remain on good terms. Ezra has stated he suffers from Pure O, a form of obsessive compulsive disorder that consists of obsessions and anxiety with purely mental, not physical, compulsions.
Ezra cites Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie and James Baylin as his main musical influences. Some critics, however, have found it hard to discern these influences in Ezra's music. The Financial Times described it as music that "approximates rock ... but without any hint of danger, or unpredictability". When the Gramophone Rings described him as having "a voice beyond his years", with "a soulful tone that somehow would feel more at home coming from an Alabama bartender than a 21-year-old Bristolian". Zane Lowe, a former BBC Radio 1 DJ, called him "one of the most compelling and powerful new vocalists around". A youthful obsession with Dylan prompted Ezra to seek out earlier American folk and blues artists. "Out of curiosity, I went to find how high I can jump off a cliff", he said. "That's when I found Lead Belly, Woody Guthrie and Howlin' Wolf." Ezra had heard a Lead Belly compilation and had simply tried to sing like him. "On the back of the record, it said his voice was so big, you had to turn your record player down", Ezra said. "I liked the idea of singing with a big voice, so I tried it, and I could."
2013–2016: Wanted on Voyage and touring
In June 2013, Ezra played the BBC Introducing Stage at Glastonbury Festival. He released his debut EP Did You Hear the Rain? in October 2013. In late 2013, he received airplay on BBC Radio 1, with songs "Did You Hear the Rain?" and "Budapest" regularly featured. He was included in MTV's Brand New for 2014, Vevo's 'DSCVR Ones to Watch 2014' and iTunes' new artists 2014. Ezra was longlisted for the BBC Sound of... 2014, where he eventually finished in fifth place.
"Budapest" reached number six in Italy and was certified platinum by the Federation of the Italian Music Industry. He has played support spots for Lianne La Havas, Bastille, Sam Smith and Tom Odell. In March 2014 he released his second EP, Cassy O'. "Budapest" was released in the UK on 13 June, followed by his debut album, Wanted on Voyage, on 30 June. On 6 July, the album entered the UK Albums Chart at number three. The album has also charted in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and New Zealand. On 5 October, 14 weeks after its initial release, Wanted on Voyage went to number one in the UK. In December 2014 the album had sold 678,156 copies in the UK. In January 2015 it was named the third best-selling album of 2014 in the UK after x by Ed Sheeran and In the Lonely Hour by Sam Smith. On 4 January 2015, the album reclaimed the number one spot in the UK.
On 10 August 2014, Ezra was a support act for Robert Plant at the Glastonbury Extravaganza. In October 2014, Ezra released a video for "Listen to the Man", which featured Ian McKellen. At the 2015 Brit Awards, Ezra was nominated for four Brit Awards: Best British Album, Best British Male Solo Artist, Best British Single, and British Breakthrough Artist.
In early 2015, Ezra opened for Sam Smith for 16 dates on Smith's In the Lonely Hour Tour across North America. Later, he toured with Irish musician Hozier for select dates on his sold-out 2015 North American tour.
Before Ezra's rise to fame, he created a word, "petan" (pronounced: "pay-tan"), to help him to bond with his fans, encouraging them to use it during everyday life. It is commonly used on Twitter and on tour; he has started selling merchandise with the word printed on it. In an interview in Boston in March 2015, he admitted that this "petan" word-creation is a blank nonsense: "It's a word I made up, me and my friends. It could be good or bad or anything, it was just a word that... we were 18, we were idiots – but it's kind of lived on."
On 28 March 2015, Ezra was the musical guest on Saturday Night Live. He appeared on U.S. television again a few weeks later, performing "Budapest" on The Late Late Show with James Corden on 13 April. On 24 May, Ezra appeared at Radio 1's Big Weekend at Norwich, Norfolk with a set that included his hit songs including "Blame It on Me", "Budapest" and "Cassy O".
2017–2019: Staying at Tamara's
On 3 April 2017, Ezra announced a "top secret", 10 date UK and Ireland tour, in which it was announced that he would premiere new material. Starting on 26 May at Limelight in Belfast, the tour made its way through shows in Derry (27 May), Dublin (29 May), Limerick (30 May), Rhyl (1 June), Cardiff (2 June), Swansea (3 June), Barnstaple (5 June), and Exeter (6 June) before finally concluding on 7 June at The Forum in Bath.
"Don't Matter Now" was released on 16 June as the lead track of the album Staying at Tamara's. "Paradise" was released as the second single on 19 January 2018, with an accompanying music video released the following week on 24 January. "Shotgun" was released as a digital download on 18 May 2018 and went on to become Ezra's first number-one song in the United Kingdom, Ireland and Australia, and was awarded a platinum certification. Staying at Tamara's was released on 23 March 2018. Ezra performed as one of the main headliners for Neighbourhood Weekender 2019, which was held in Warrington on 25 May 2019. He was the last act on the main stage on the first day of the two-day festival. He performed a variety of songs from his albums including hits "Blame It On Me", "Budapest" and "Barcelona"; his final song of the set was "Shotgun".
On 25 September 2019, Ezra finished touring Staying at Tamara's with two performances at the Royal Albert Hall in London. He hinted at the possibility of a new album to be released some time in the future.
On 12 February 2018, Ezra released the first episode of his podcast George Ezra & Friends, a show that typically ranges from 45 minutes to an hour and a half during which he talks to other artists. The series began with guest Ed Sheeran on 12 February 2018. Ezra's inspiration for the podcast was listening to other podcasts featuring "comedians chatting with other comedians". Subsequent guests were Rag'n'Bone Man, Hannah Reid, Craig David, Ben Thatcher, Giles Martin, Declan McKenna, Jessie Ware, Justin Young, Sam Smith, Lily Allen and Sir Elton John. The second series began on 19 November 2018 with guest Niall Horan. Subsequent guests so far are Ellie Goulding, Laurie Vincent, Sigrid, Olly Alexander, Nile Rodgers, Leif Vollebekk, Sir Tom Jones, Lewis Capaldi and Shania Twain.
In January 2020, he released a podcast called "Phone A Friend" with his long time friend Ollie MN, in which they talk about mental health and their daily lives.
Awards and nominations
|2014||BBC Music Awards||"Budapest"||Song of the Year||Nominated|||
|2015||Brit Awards||Himself||British Breakthrough Act|||
|British Male Solo Artist|
|Wanted on Voyage||British Album of the Year|
|"Budapest"||British Single of the Year|
|YouTube Music Awards||Himself||50 artists to watch||Won|||
|Teen Choice Awards||"Budapest"||Choice Rock Song||Nominated|||
|MTV Video Music Awards||Artist to Watch|||
|2016||BMI London Awards||Song of the year|||
|2018||BBC Radio 1||"Shotgun"||Hottest Record of the Year||Sixth|||
|BBC Radio 1's Teen Awards||Best Single||Won|
|2019||Brit Awards||Himself||British Male Solo Artist||Won|||
|Staying at Tamara's||British Album of the Year||Nominated|
|"Shotgun"||British Single of the Year|
|Goldene Kamera||Himself||Best music international||Won|||
|GQ Men of the Year Awards||Live Act of the Year|||
- "New Music Monday: George Ezra". The Daily Utah Chronicle. 10 August 2015. Retrieved 18 May 2020.
- "UK album chart for 2014 dominated by British artists" (1 January 2015). BBC. 21 July 2015.
- "George Ezra tops album charts with fastest-selling record of the year 2018". belfasttelegraph.co.uk.
- "Rudimental claim third Number 1 single: "Yes yes yes!"". Official Charts Company.
- "SHOTGUN SCORES GEORGE EZRA FIRST #1". ARIA Charts. 22 September 2018. Retrieved 22 September 2018.
- "George Ezra". exposedmagazine. Retrieved 25 December 2014.
- "SBS Alumni News – Simon Balle School". Simonballe.herts.sch.uk. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "George Ezra BIMM". bimm.co.uk. Retrieved 7 January 2015.
- Empire, Kitty (5 May 2019). "Ten Tonnes: Ten Tonnes review – a breezy, tuneful debut". The Guardian. Retrieved 18 March 2021.
- Baxter-Wright, Dusty (7 April 2020). "George Ezra splits from his girlfriend after 3 years, as he admits isolation is 'lonely'". Cosmopolitan.com. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
- "George Ezra opens up about OCD struggle". Bbc.com. 31 August 2020. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
- "A cosy evening with George Ezra at the O2 Arena, London". The Financial Times. 20 March 2019. Retrieved 12 June 2020.
- "REVIEW: GEORGE EZRA // DID YOU HEAR THE RAIN? EP". When the Gramophone Rings. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "Interview: George Ezra". Thank Folk For That.
- Brian Mansfield (14 September 2014). "On the Verge: George Ezra arrives by way of 'Budapest'". USA Today. Retrieved 5 December 2014.
- "George Ezra – Interview – DSCVR ONES TO WATCH 2014". Vevo. Retrieved 11 January 2014.
- "Meet MTV's Brand New For 2014 Nominees!". MTV. 27 November 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "George Ezra - Interview: DSCVR ONES TO WATCH 2014". VEVO DSCVR. 10 December 2013. Retrieved 4 November 2014 – via YouTube.
- Pakinkis, Tom (20 December 2013). "iTunes unveils its artist picks for 2014". Music Week. Retrieved 4 November 2014.
- "Soundcheck – Introducing: George Ezra". Soundcheck. Retrieved 8 January 2014.
- "Italian single certifications – George Ezra – Budapest" (in Italian). Federazione Industria Musicale Italiana. Retrieved 7 April 2014. Select "Tutti gli anni" in the "Anno" drop-down menu. Select "Budapest" in the "Filtra" field. Select "Singoli" under "Sezione".
- "George Ezra: No 5 in the BBC Sound of 2014". The Guardian. Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Ed Sheeran denies 5 Seconds Of Summer this week's Number 1 album. Official Charts Company.
- "George Ezra's Wanted On Voyage hits the Number 1 spot". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- Moss, Liv (1 January 2015). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Artist Albums of 2014". Official Charts Company. Archived from the original on 1 January 2015. Retrieved 1 January 2015.
- "George Ezra's Wanted On Voyage reclaims Official Albums Chart Number 1". Officialcharts.com. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "2014 Glastonbury Abbey Extravaganza in pictures - Glastonbury Festival". Glastonburyfestivals.co.uk. Retrieved 10 February 2015.
- "Winners". BRIT Awards. Archived from the original on 28 November 2015.
- "Renowned for Sound - News: George Ezra To Support Sam Smith And Hozier On 2015 North American Tours". renownedforsound.com.
- Milton, Jamie (23 June 2014). "George Ezra: "This Is the Most Bonkers Time of My Life"". DIY Mag. Retrieved 15 April 2015.
- "George Ezra admits his favorite slang word "petan" is actually nonsense". CBS local, Mix 104.1. 6 March 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2015.
- Chris Martins (24 April 2015). "George Ezra on 'SNL' Ignorance, Why Relationships Are a 'Distraction,' and Being an Old Soul at 21". Billboard. (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Sigh, Leo (15 April 2015). "George Ezra's 'Budapest' on The Late Late Show with James Corden Was Beautiful (Video)". LeoSigh.com. Retrieved 12 August 2016.
- Riddell, Rose (26 May 2015). "George Ezra performing 'Did You Hear The Rain' live at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend 2015". Coup De Main Magazine. Retrieved 22 January 2018.
- Weiner, Natalie (12 November 2015). "George Ezra Performs 'Blame It On Me' on 'Colbert': Watch". Billboard. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Trendell, Andrew (3 April 2017). "George Ezra announces 'Top Secret' UK tour". NME. Retrieved 21 June 2017.
- Reilly, Nick (19 January 2018). "George Ezra returns with comeback single 'Paradise'". NME. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Britton, Luke Morgan (24 January 2018). "Watch George Ezra's striking new video for 'Paradise'". NME. Retrieved 9 February 2018.
- Staying at Tamara's by George Ezra, retrieved 28 March 2018
- "George Ezra steals chart number one from The Greatest Showman". BBC News. 30 March 2018. Retrieved 10 June 2018.
- "Neighbourhood Weekender 2019". nbhdweekender.com. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- "George Ezra & Friends on acast". Acast.com. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "Podcast of the week: George Ezra's new show with fellow musicians". Inews.co.uk. 15 February 2018. Retrieved 4 April 2018.
- "George Ezra". Georgeezra.com.
- "Phone a Friend with George Ezra & Ollie MN". Radiopublic.com. Retrieved 19 August 2020.
- "BBC Music Awards 'Song of the Year' shortlist announced". BBC. 10 December 2014. Retrieved 22 July 2015.
- "Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran and Royal Blood lead the nominations for the BRIT Awards 2015". 15 January 2015. Retrieved 15 January 2015.
- McIntyre, Hugh (3 March 2015). "Here Are The Winners Of The 2015 YouTube Music Awards". forbes.com. Retrieved 1 May 2015.
- "Wave 2 Nominees". Teen Choice. Teen Choice. 7 July 2015. Archived from the original on 11 April 2016. Retrieved 9 July 2015.
- "2015 MTV Video Music Awards Nominees Revealed: Taylor Swift, Kendrick Lamar, Ed Sheeran & More". Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 21 July 2015.
- "Artist: George Ezra - Djpunjab Free Mp3 Download". Djpunjab Free Mp3 Download.[permanent dead link]
- "Twenty One Pilots crowned Hottest Record of the Year". BBC. 6 December 2018. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
- "Brit Awards 2019: Full list of winners". BBC. 20 February 2019. Retrieved 21 February 2019.
- "George Ezra wird mit der GOLDENEN KAMERA 2019 ausgezeichnet" (in German). Funke Mediengruppe. 30 March 2019. Retrieved 31 March 2019.
- "GQ Men Of The Year Awards 2019 winners: From David Beckham to Stormzy". GQ. 4 September 2019. Retrieved 4 September 2019.
Zac Brown Band
| Saturday Night Live musical guest
28 March 2015
Carly Rae Jepsen