Today City Connect celebrates the birthday of singer-songwriter James Blunt born 22 February 1974.
James Hillier Blount better known by his stage name James Blunt, is an English singer-songwriter, musician and former army captain. He had signed with EMI music label before signing a recording contract with Atlantic Records and Custard Records.
Blunt rose to prominence in 2005 with the release of his debut studio album Back to Bedlam, before achieving worldwide fame with the singles You’re Beautiful and Goodbye My Lover. The album sold over 11 million copies worldwide, topping the charts in the United Kingdom and peaked at number 2 in the United States. His second album All the Lost Souls, which was released in 2007, topped the charts in over 20 countries, and produced the hit single 1973. His third album, Some Kind of Trouble, was released in 2010, after its lead single Stay the Night. A deluxe edition was released the following year, titled Some Kind of Trouble: Revisited. His latest album, Moon Landing, was preceded by the lead single Bonfire Heart, which peaked at number 4 in the UK Singles Chart, following promotion on the BBC One radio show The One Show and The Graham Norton Show, as well as receiving extensive radio airplay.
Blunt has sold over 20 million albums worldwide, with his debut album, Back to Bedlam, being listed as the best selling album of the 2000’s in the United Kingdom. He is the recipient of several awards and nominations, having won two Brit Awards, two MTV Video Music Awards, two Ivor Novello Awards and receiving five Grammy Award nominations.
Blunt was an officer in the British Army Life Guards, a cavalry regiment of the British Army, and served under NATO in Kosovo during the conflict in 1999. While posted to Kosovo, Blunt was introduced to the work of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF or “Doctors Without Borders”). Since then, Blunt has been an active supporter of MSF 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 stationed there.
Blunt has raised funds for the medical charity Médecins Sans Frontières through benefit concerts and by auctioning opportunities to meet him at his own shows. He first encountered MSF medical care workers during his tour of duty in Kosovo, and was impressed with the work they did under conditions of minimal support and limited security.
Blunt also supports environmental causes. He screened the trailer for An Inconvenient Truth at his concerts, and for each advance sales concert ticket purchased through his designated website a tree is planted. On 7 July 2007, Blunt performed at the Live Earth concert at Wembley Stadium, London, and is the owner of one of two prototype electric cars made by Hybrid Technologies under a Space Act partnership with NASA.
Blunt is a patron of Help for Heroes, a charity aiming to raise money to provide better facilities for wounded British servicemen, and has also held benefit concerts for this charity. Blunt has also contributed with his vocals for the charity single, “Everybody Hurts” in aid of the 2010 Haiti Earthquake Appeal.
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