Arthur at the NRJ Music Awards 2014
2 March 1988 |
Middlesbrough, England, UK
|Labels||Syco (2012–14), Columbia (2015–)|
James Andrew Arthur (born 2 March 1988) is a British singer-songwriter who won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. His debut single, "Impossible", was released through Syco Music 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 1,289,000 copies in the UK, and 2.5 million copies worldwide. He released his self-titled debut album in November 2013 and it debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart.
Just weeks after the release of his debut album, Arthur used a homophobic slur to describe another musician. This led to iTunes offering refunds for the album. After this, Arthur parted ways with Syco. In 2015, he signed a new deal with Columbia Records and will release his second album in 2016.
Arthur was born in Middlesbrough, to an English mother, Shirley Ashworth, and a Scottish father, 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 marketing professional. 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.
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 four sisters and one brother.
- Moonlight Drive – 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'll Reach You" and "It Hurts".
- Save Arcade – 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.
- Emerald Skye – 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. 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. The tracks were written and arranged by McGough, and mixed by Matt Wanstall with all vocals by Arthur.
2012: The X Factor
In 2012, Arthur 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. 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, which was uploaded on 9 May 2012 and had over 13 million views at the time. 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 finals.
Arthur won The X Factor on 9 December 2012, with 53.7% of the final vote, against Jahméne Douglas who received 38.9%. This made him the first and only winner of the show to have been in the bottom two.
|The X Factor performances and results|
|First audition||Free choice||"Young"||Through to bootcamp|
|Bootcamp – stage 1||Group performance||"How to Save a Life"
with Curtis Golden and James Vickery
|Through to stage 2|
|Bootcamp – stage 2||Solo performance||"A Million Love Songs"||Through to judges' houses|
|Judges' houses||Free choice||"I Can't Make You Love Me"||Through to live shows|
|"Sexy and I Know It"|
|Live show 1||Heroes||"Stronger"||Safe (6th)|
|Live show 2||Love and heartbreak||"No More Drama"||Safe (6th)|
|Live show 3||Club classics||"Sexy and I Know It"||Safe (6th)|
|Live show 4||Halloween||"Sweet Dreams"||Safe (3rd)|
|Live show 5||Number-ones||"Don't Speak"||Safe (6th)|
|Live show 6||Best of British||"Hometown Glory"||Safe (3rd)|
|Live show 7||Guilty pleasures||"Can't Take My Eyes Off You"||Bottom two (5th)|
|Live show 8||Songs by ABBA||"SOS"||Safe (1st)|
|Motown songs||"Let's Get It On"|
|Semi-final||Songs for someone special||"One"||Safe (1st)|
|The song to get you to the final||"The Power of Love"|
|Final||Free choice||"Feeling Good"||Safe (1st)|
|Mentor duets||"Make You Feel My Love"
with Nicole Scherzinger
|Songs of the series||"Let's Get It On"||Winner|
2013–14: James Arthur
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 release. 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 two, but reclaimed the number one spot in its third week, and stayed at the top for a further week. After three weeks, it was the fifth best-selling single of 2012 with 897,000 copies sold. 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.
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. Arthur immediately apologised for his comments and claimed 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. On 22 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 defence, but said later that he was not defending the choice of lyrics.
"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 debut album. On 5 January 2014, Arthur began embarking on his debut headlining tour, the James Arthur Tour, a 37-date tour around Europe.
2014–present: Leaving Syco and 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, "Follow the Leader". He took to Twitter to deny the claims, however on 11 June 2014, Arthur announced via Twitter that he and Syco had parted ways by mutual agreement. Arthur released a mixtape called All the World's a Stage on 16 May 2014.
During the summer of 2014, Arthur stated that he was working on his second album and was close to signing a new record deal. He is set to perform at V Festival. On 19 October, Arthur released a collaboration with UK producer Rymez entitled "Kryptonite"; the song entered the iTunes top 150 on pre-orders alone. On 22 April 2015, Arthur unveiled a demo track titled "Promise" on YouTube that is thought to be on his second album. He embarked on "The Story So Far Tour" in May 2015. On 6 September, he announced that he had signed with Columbia Records and that a new album was on the way.
On 8 January 2016, Arthur released a new song called "The Truth" on iTunes in the United States. Following the song's release, he took to Twitter and clarified that it will serve as the official theme song of Dr. Jenn Mann's new reality series, Family Therapy, a spinoff of the VH1 reality series, Couples Therapy that will premiere in March, and that it was not the first single from his upcoming second album.
Arthur supports his local football team Middlesbrough F.C. as well as Rangers F.C.. 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 were completed in 2014.
- James Arthur (2013)
Awards and nominations
|2013||BRIT Awards||British Single of the Year||"Impossible"||Nominated|
|Los Premios 40 Principales||Best International Song||Won|
|NRJ Music Awards||International Breakthrough of the Year||Won|
- "James Arthur – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Adam Miller (9 December 2015). "The X Factor - Which winners can boast the biggest selling debut single and albums?". The Daily Express.
- Odams, Katherine (19 September 2013). "James Arthur Premieres 'You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Love You' Music Video (WATCH)". Entertainmentwise. Retrieved 20 September 2013.
- Tonks, Owen. "James Arthur and Lucy Spraggan 'queer' row: Disgusted fans demand album refund after bitter text exchange". mirror. Retrieved 16 April 2016.
- "Heat World – James Arthur Biography". Heat. Bauer Consumer Media.
- "Daily Record: James Arthur's tartan treat for Scots female fans". dailyrecord. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Daily Record: Scots father of X Factor star James Arthur admits he has no idea where singer gets his charm from". dailyrecord. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "You can't call me a womaniser for taking three girls back to my hotel". The Sun (London). Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- 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.
- "Emotional victory for former Bahrain student". Gulf Weekly. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Saltburn X Factor singer James Arthur makes full recovery after scare". Northern Echo. Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Family of James Arthur so proud of X-Factor hopeful". GazetteLive.co.uk. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "James Arthur Music – Tumblr". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "James Arthur Music – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Moonlight Drive Music – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Cue The Drama – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "Save Arcade – Myspace". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "The Emerald Skye – Facebook". Retrieved 13 December 2012.
- "JamesArthurMusic's channel – Youtube". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "James Arthur Music – Soundcloud". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "James Arthur – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "The James Arthur Band – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "The James Arthur Band – Official Website". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "The James Arthur Band – Bandcamp". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "Hold On: The James Arthur Project: Amazon.co.uk: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "The James Arthur Project – Facebook". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- "John Mc Gough – Youtube". Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Jack Seale and Tom Cole. "The X Factor 2012: James Arthur". RadioTimes.
- Darvill, Josh (24 October 2012). "X Factor 2012: James Arthur accused of copying Sexy And I Know It cover". Tellymix. Retrieved 8 December 2012.
- Noah Cover of "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO. YouTube. 9 May 2012.
- "James Arthur on Twitter". Twitter.
- "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.
- "The X Factor voting numbers revealed HERE!". The X Factor (itv.com). 9 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- 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.
- "James Arthur wins X Factor...but Christopher Maloney vanishes from line-up". Daily Telegraph (London). 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "James Arthur hits the No 1 slot again". Together for Short Lives. 31 December 2012. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- Wyatt, Daisy (11 December 2012). "James Arthur's 'Impossible' becomes fastest-selling X Factor single". The Independent (London). Retrieved 11 December 2012.
- Bueno, Emily (17 October 2012). "X Factor winner James Arthur tops the charts". Daily Telegraph UK (London). Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "X Factor winner James Arthur reaches Number One". Irish Independent. 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- "James Arthur scores fastest-selling single of the year". Guardian UK (London). 17 October 2012. Retrieved 18 December 2012.
- Lane, Dan (20 December 2012). "Hillsborough tribute extends lead over James Arthur in Christmas race". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 December 2012.
- "Hillsborough Justice Collective beat James Arthur to Christmas No. 1". Digital Spy.
- Lane, Dan (30 December 2012). "James Arthur is back at Number 1 with Impossible". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 31 December 2012.
- Dan Lane (2 January 2013). "The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles of 2012 revealed!". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- Lane, Dan (6 January 2013). "James Arthur's Impossible unmoved from top of Official Singles Chart". The Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- 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.
- Darvill, Josh (15 February 2013). "XFactor champ James Arthur a hit in Australia... and Switzerland". tellymix. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography James Arthur". Irish Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- "IFPI SR: Hitparáda: Radio Top 100 Oficiálna: Týždeň: 201306". IFPI. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Hung, Steffen. "Discography James Arthur". New Zealand Charts Portal. Hung Medien (Steffen Hung).
- Corner, Lewis. "Leona Lewis named biggest-selling 'X Factor' star in UK". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 25 August 2013.
- "James Arthur's New Song 'You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You' Has First Play On Capital". Capital. 9 September 2013.
- 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.
- "Independent. "James Arthur and Lucy Spraggan in 'homophobic' Twitter spat", 26 November 2013". The Independent. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Entertainment "Olly Murs Denies Defending James Arthur's Homophobic Slur", 26 November 2013". Yahoo Celebrity UK. 26 November 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Pink News "Apple deems offence caused by homophobia an ‘appropriate’ reason to refund James Arthur track"". PinkNews.co.uk. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Roberts, Edward (23 November 2013). "MancunianMatters. "James Arthur's homophobic rant would have seen him kicked off Christmas switch-on", says Manchester council". Mancunian Matters. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "'The X Factor': James Arthur, Rebecca Ferguson to perform next week". Digital Spy. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "Olly Murs defends James Arthur". RTE.ie. 26 November 2013.
- Copsey, Robert (15 November 2013). "James Arthur reveals new single title, release date". Digital Spy (Hearst Magazines UK). Retrieved 16 November 2013.
- "James Arthur on Twitter: "Its official my next single is 'Get Down'!! Who loves this track? #JARMY #LOVE"". Twitter. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Wooten, Dan (5 April 2014). "Terror error - James Arthur fired over 'I'll blow you up' song". The Sun (London). Retrieved 5 April 2014.
- Drewett, Meg (6 April 2014). "James Arthur 'dropped by record label Syco after mixtape controversy'". Digital Spy. Hearst Magazines UK. Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- Rigby, Sam (6 April 2014). "James Arthur denies being dropped by Syco, criticises 'media circus'". Retrieved 6 April 2014.
- "James Arthur confirms rap EP 'All the World's a Stage'". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- "James Arthur on Twitter: ""@babeyjay: @JamesArthur23 what's coming up for you this year? #askjamesarthur" I'll be making the new album, signing new deal.. New start"". Retrieved 6 October 2014.
- Mieka Smiles (17 October 2014). "Listen: James Arthur's new direction as he teams up with Rymez for latest single". gazettelive.
- James Arthur - Promise (Teaser Demo). YouTube. 22 April 2015.
- "James Arthur announces live dates for 'The Story So Far' UK tour". Digital Spy.
- Myers, Justin (7 September 2015). "James Arthur signs record deal, announces new music on the way". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 7 September 2015.
- "The Truth - Single by James Arthur on iTunes". iTunes. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Dina and Michael Lohan Come to Blows Over Lindsay Lohan in 'Family Therapy' Trailer". YouTube, Entertainment Tonight. Retrieved 6 February 2016.
- Arthur, James (14 January 2016). "Just to be clear this is not the official 1st single from my the album it's only available on US iTunes for now". Twitter. Retrieved 24 January 2016.
- "Middlesbrough FC manager Tony Mowbray has given his backing to X Factor finalist". Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "Boro's Surprise For James". Retrieved 15 December 2012.
- "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.
- "BRIT Awards 2013: Best British Single". Capital FM. 10 January 2013. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
- Robson, Dave (21 February 2013). "Saltburn singer James Arthur misses out on Brit award". Gazette Live. Retrieved 25 February 2014.
- 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.
|Awards and achievements|
|Winner of The X Factor