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Music / James Blunt

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James Hillier Blount (born 22 February 1974), better known by his stage name James Blunt, is a British singer-songwriter who rose to fame in 2004 with the mega-hits "You're Beautiful" and "Goodbye My Lover".

The former song in particular got played to death on the radio, to the point that a lot of people were heartily sick of the sound of his voice. Coupled with other artists being shunted off festival bills in favour of Blunt due to his newfound prominence, there was a huge backlash towards him amongst the British public under the rather blunt catchphrase "James Blunt is a cunt".

Blunt was unfazed by this, however, and due to his solid work ethic, support for charities and continuing to release popular albums and singles, the hate has mostly faded from the public consciousness and he has gone on to sell over twenty million albums. In 2016, he semi-humorously passed on his "is a cunt" moniker to a controversial UK politician.

Prior to his career in music, Blunt served in the British Army, being deployed to Kosovo during the The Yugoslav Wars.


  • Back to Bedlam (2004)
  • All the Lost Souls (2007)
  • Some Kind of Trouble (2010)
  • Moon Landing (2013)
  • The Afterlove (2017)
  • Once Upon a Mind (2019)
  • Who We Used to Be (2023)

You light the spark in my bonfire tropes:

  • Album Title Drop: In his song "I Can't Hear the Music" from his second album All The Lost Souls:
    And when you sell your soul for a leading role; will the lost souls be forgotten?
  • Alternate Music Video: There are two videos to the song "Wisemen": one where he is abducted from a club by three masked (wise?) men and imprisoned in a shack on the beach, and one where he drives out into the woods, sets light to his passport and other personal documents, then inexplicably bursts into flames while walking away.
  • Barefoot Suicide: In the video for "You're Beautiful," Blunt goes through a ritualized suicide where he partially undresses, including taking off his shoes and socks, then jumps off a cliff into water.
  • Bowdlerise: In the radio version of "You're Beautiful", "fucking high" got changed to "flying high".
  • Call-Back: His 2017 single "Love Me Better" includes the sentence "Would have said you're beautiful but I've used that line before".
  • The Captain: He was a British Army officer (and rose to this rank) for six yearsnote , who served in Kosovo during the 1999 NATO bombing campaign and was involved a crisis between NATO troops and Russian troops occupying Pristina airport. General Mike Jackson refused an order for Blunt's unit to attack Russian forces, certain that it would kick off World War III.
  • Comfort the Dying: "Carry You Home", sung from the point of view of Death trying to do this to someone dying of cancer.
    A song for your heart
    But when it is quiet,
    I know what it means, and
    I'll carry you home
    I'll carry you home
  • Cry into Chest: "Cry" is about letting a loved one do this.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Seriously, just read his Twitter feed. You troll Blunt at your own risk; he is the master of the comeback.
    Random tweeter: Now I have James Blunt stuck in my head
    JB: And my balls on your chin.
  • Four More Measures: His famous song "You're Beautiful". Especially notable as the singer himself screws it up deliberately in the version released to the public. The "Weird Al" Yankovic parody lampshades this fact.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Some of his songs concern this, for example "Same Mistake" and "Tears and Rain".
    (from "Same Mistake"): And so I sent some men to fight
    And one came back at dead of night
    Said he'd seen my enemy
    Said he looked just like me
    So I set out to cut myself, and here I go.
  • Incredibly Long Note: The Title Drop of "High" lasts quite a while.
  • Jaded Washout: The song "Tears and Rain"
    Far, far away; find comfort in pain
    All pleasure's the same: it just keeps me from trouble
    It's more than just words: it's just tears and rain
  • Precision F-Strike: From "You're Beautiful":
    She could see from my face that I was... fucking high
  • Protest Song: "No Bravery" is an anti-war song where Blunt tells what he's seen when he was in Kosovo.
  • Recycled Lyrics: Hilariously defied in "Love Me Better":
    Would say "You're beautiful" but I've used that line before
  • Scatting: Appears in 3 chords in "You're Beautiful" and at the end of "Out of my Mind".
  • Self-Deprecation:
    • At the height of the overplaying of "You're Beautiful" and the "James Blunt is a c**t" backlash, Blunt appeared on an episode of Top Gear and promptly won over both the audience and the viewing public by cheerfully demonstrating his total willingness to take the piss out of himself, his music and the ridiculous hype about the song.
    • "If you thought 2016 was bad — I'm releasing an album in 2017."
    • This tweet
    • In 2022, when a number of artists began withdrawing their work from Spotify over the platform's support for Joe Rogan (who had expressed controversial views on the issue of vaccines), Blunt jokingly threatened to post more music on the site in protest.
  • Sequel Song: "You're Beautiful" and "Cold" are both in the same key of Eb major. "Cold" shows Blunt retrieving many of the items he lost in "You're Beautiful", and is set at sea like how "You're Beautiful" ended.
  • Shout-Out:
    • "Tears and Rain" mentions Dorian Gray.
    • The line "Billy's got himself a gun" in "I Can't Hear The Music" is a quote from "Disorder" by Slayer.
    • "I Can't Hear the Music" also mentions The Lonely Hearts Club Band.
    • "Stay The Night" includes the lyric "Just like the song on my radio said, we'll share the shelter of my single bed." The song in question is "Is This Love?" by Bob Marley.
    • "1973", being an ode to the 70s club scene, is naturally loaded with references to the music of that time.
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Compare James Blunt and his American singing tone with the British voice he speaks with.
  • War Is Hell: The topic of "No Bravery".
    There are children standing here, arms outstretched into the sky
    Tears drying on their face
    He has been here
    Brothers lie in shallow graves, fathers lost without a trace
    A nation blind to their disgrace
    Since he's been here