With over 24 million in record sales worldwide and two decades of music under his belt, James Blunt is celebrated for his honesty, wit, and charm, and he continues to give us all that and more on his new album, Who We Used To Be.
James Blunt's story is one of unexpected twists and undeniable success. Born in an army hospital in Tidworth, Wiltshire, his journey began in an ordinary British setting. Educated in Harrow and then Bristol, Blunt's path took a surprising turn when he signed up for a four-year stint in the Army, which ultimately stretched to six years. He served in various locations, including Canada, Kosovo, and London. However, music was always going to find its way into his life. The turning point came when his talent was discovered during a performance at SXSW. Songwriter Linda Perry recognized his potential and promptly signed him to her new label, Custard. It was here that the story of James Blunt as a musician truly began to unfold.
Blunt teamed up with Tom Rothrock in Los Angeles to record his debut album, Back To Bedlam. The initial release was met with widespread indifference, but then a single changed the course of his life. The third single from the album, "You're Beautiful," became a massive hit, propelling Blunt into the limelight and setting him off on his remarkable musical journey. From that point on, Blunt's trajectory skyrocketed. He went on to release two more albums and embarked on three world tours. His achievements include four number one singles, five Grammy nominations, and various other accolades. The numbers kept piling up, with nearly 17 million albums and 20 million singles sold worldwide.
Now, Blunt returns with his new album, Who We Used To Be. The album features the upbeat and infectious track "Beside You," a bright and breezy summer anthem for which he collaborated with The Six, a Manchester collective known for their work with artists like Clean Bandit, Marshmello, and James Arthur. "Beside You" is a celebration, as Blunt describes it, "An upbeat banger about finally being with the one you've been searching for your whole life." The album also features collaborations with producers Jonny Coffer, Red Triangle, Jack & Coke, and Steve Robson.
Who We Used To Be is Blunt's first studio album since 2019's Once Upon A Mind, which featured the heartfelt single "Monsters," dedicated to his father who was battling stage four chronic kidney disease. The song gained new significance after an emotional performance by American Idol winner Iam Tongi, who dedicated it to his late father, with Blunt joining for a touching duet on the show's season finale.
As James Blunt approaches the 20th anniversary of his 2004 debut album, Back To Bedlam, he has become a national treasure in the world of music. The album was one of the top 10 best-selling albums of the decade, cementing his status as a formidable singer and songwriter.