James Hillier Blount, better known by his stage name James Blunt, is an English singer-songwriter, record producer and former British Army Officer. Blunt rose to fame in 2004 with the release of his debut album Back To Bedlam, achieving worldwide fame with the singles “You’re Beautiful” and “Goodbye My Lover.” Take a look below for 30 more fun and interesting facts about James Blunt.
1. Blunt was born on February 22, 1974, at an army hospital in Tidworth, in the county of Hempshire.
2. He is the first of three children to Colonel Charles Blount and Jane Ann Farran Blount.
3. His father was a cavalry officer in the 13th/18th Royal Hussars and then a helicopter pilot and colonel of the Army Air Corps.
4. His mother started up a ski chalet company in Méribel.
5. The Blount family has a long history of military service, dating back to the arrival of their Danish ancestors in England in the 10th century.
6. He grew up primarily in St Mary Bourne in Hampshire, but moved every two years depending on his father’s military postings in: Middle Wallop; Cyprus; Soest (Germany); York; and Netheravon.
7. He also spent time in Cley next the Sea, where his father owned Cley Windmill.
8. He was educated at Elstree School in Woolhampton, Berkshire, and Harrow School, gaining A-levels in Physics, Chemistry and Economics.
9. He went on to study Aerospace Manufacturing Engineering and Sociology at University of Bristol, graduating with a BSc in Sociology in 1996.
10. Like his father, Blunt is a pilot, gaining his fixed winged private pilot licence at age 16, and has a keen interest in motorcycles.
11. Having been sponsored through university on an army bursary, Blunt was committed to serve a minimum of four years in the armed forces.
13. He rose to the rank of captain.
14. Blunt was trained in British Army Training Unit Suffield in Alberta, Canada, where his regiment was posted for six months in 1998 to act as the opposing army in combat training exercises.
15. In 1999, Blunt volunteered to join a Blues and Royals squadron deploying with NATO to Kosovo.
16. During Blunt’s Kosovo assignment he had brought along his guitar, strapped to the outside of his tank, and would sometimes perform for locals and troops. It was while on duty there that he wrote the song “No Bravery”.
17. Blunt extended his military service in November 2000, and was posted to the Household Cavalry Mounted Regiment in London, as the Queen’s Guard.
18. A keen skier, Blunt captained the Household Cavalry alpine ski team in Verbier, Switzerland, becoming Royal Armoured Corps giant slalom champion in 2000.
19. Blunt had piano and violin lessons as a child, but was introduced to the electric guitar aged 14 at Harrow by a fellow student.
20. Blunt left the British Army in 2002 so that he could pursue his musical career. He started using the stage name “Blunt” in part to make it easier for others to spell; “Blount” is pronounced the same way, and remains his legal last name.
21. Shortly after leaving the army he was signed to EMI music publishers and to Twenty-First Artists management.
22. Blunt’s main residence is in Ibiza.
23. He also owns a chalet in the Swiss town of Verbier, which he purchased in February 2007, and has a ski lift named after him there.
24. In 2012, Blunt, Carl Fogarty and Lawrence Dallaglio opened a restaurant at the top of the chairlift called La Vache.
25. The same year Blunt was one of six victims of the News International phone hacking affair who had filed for damages in civil cases.
26. In 2014 Blunt married Alexandrina “Sofia” Wellesley, daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, and grand-daughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington.
27. At the Oxford Union in early June 2016, Blunt revealed that he had become a father to a boy.
28. Also in 2016 he received the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Music from the University of Bristol.
29. Blunt is a patron of Help for Heroes, a charity that raises money to provide better facilities for wounded British servicemen, and has also held benefit concerts for this charity.
30. He raises funds for the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières. He first encountered the non-governmental organization while on operations in Kosovo. Since then, he has been an active supporter by holding meet-and-greet auctions at many of his concerts, and filming the documentary Return to Kosovo, in which he visited the people and places he had encountered while there.