James Andrew Arthur is an English singer-songwriter, best known for winning the ninth series of popular television music competition ‘The X Factor.’ After winning the competition, a record label called ‘Syco Music’ released his debut single, a cover version of Shontelle Layne's ‘Impossible,’ which peaked at number one on the ‘UK Singles Chart.’ The single went on to sell more than 1.4 million copies in the United Kingdom alone, becoming the most successful winner’s single in the history of the show. In 2013, Arthur won the ‘Best International Song’ and ‘International Breakthrough of the Year’ awards for his debut single. His debut studio album ‘James Arthur,’ which received mixed reviews from critics, peaked at number two on the ‘UK Albums Chart.’ In 2014, Arthur was invited to Bahrain to formally open the drama rehearsal studios and a 400-seat auditorium of ‘British School of Bahrain.’ In September 2016, it was announced that he has been chosen as an ambassador for ‘SANE,’ a leading UK charity which aims at improving the lives of people with mental illness.
Childhood & Early Life
James Andrew Arthur was born on March 2, 1988, in Middlesbrough, England, to Neil Arthur and Shirley Ashworth. He is of mixed ethnicity as his father is Scottish, while his mother is English.
Arthur had a difficult childhood as his parents got separated when he was just two years old. When Arthur was three years old, his mother started living with a computer engineer named Ronnie Rafferty. His father went on to marry a woman named Jackie.
He went to ‘Ings Farm Primary School’ in North Yorkshire. When he was nine years old, he moved to Bahrain along with his mother, stepfather Ronnie Rafferty, and sisters Sian and Jasmin. After moving to Bahrain, where his stepfather started working as the regional manager for ‘Rockwell Automation,’ Arthur lived in a villa inside a gated compound.
After studying at the ‘British School of Bahrain’ (BSB) for four years, Arthur returned to England along with his family in April 2001, when he was 13 years old. After his return, he continued his education at ‘Rye Hills School’ in Redcar, North Yorkshire.
When he was 14 years old, his stepfather abandoned him, his mother, and his sisters. Subsequently, Arthur was placed in a foster care in Brotton where he lived four days a week and lived with his father Neil for the remaining three days.
He started writing and recording songs at the age of 15. He also became part of many bands, including ‘Cue the Drama,’ ‘Moonlight Drive,’ ‘Emerald Skye,’ and ‘Save Arcade.’ In 2009, ‘Save Arcade’ released an extended play (EP) titled ‘Truth.’ In June 2010, it released another EP titled ‘Tonight We Dine in Hades’ which had five tracks.
Continue Reading Below
You May Like
James Arthur started his career as an independent artist in 2011, when he posted a 16-track album titled ‘Sins by the Sea’ on YouTube and SoundCloud. His popularity increased in 2012 when he auditioned for the ninth series of ‘The X Factor.’
Subsequently, he was mentored by American singer-songwriter Nicole Scherzinger which helped him perform better in the show.
After winning the competition on December 9, 2012, Arthur released the cover version of Shontelle’s ‘Impossible’ which topped the ‘UK Singles Chart.’ The single, which was released through ‘Syco Music,’ went on to sell more than 1.4 million copies in the United Kingdom, becoming the most successful winner’s single in the history of ‘The X Factor.’
On September 9, 2013, Arthur released his next single titled ‘You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You.’ After its worldwide release on October 20, 2013, the song peaked at number two in the UK. The following month, Arthur released his self-titled debut studio album which peaked at number two on the ‘UK Albums Chart.’ It went on to become the 30th best-selling album of the year in the United Kingdom.
On June 11, 2014, Arthur took to his Twitter page to announce that he had parted ways with ‘Syco Music.’ On September 6, 2015, he said that he has signed a new deal with ‘Columbia Records’ and that he is working on his second studio album.
On September 9, 2016, he released ‘Say You Won't Let Go,’ the lead single from his second album ‘Back from the Edge.’ The song peaked at number one on the ‘UK Singles Chart’ and stayed on top of the chart for three consecutive weeks. ‘Back from the Edge’ was released by ‘Columbia Records’ on October 28, 2016. In 2017, ‘Say You Won't Let Go’ was nominated at ‘BRIT Awards’ for ‘British Artist Video of the Year’ award and ‘British Single of the Year’ award.
On November 24, 2017, Arthur released ‘Naked,’ the lead single from his third studio album. Produced by Carlsson, the song peaked at number 11 on the ‘UK Singles Chart.’ On December 1, 2017, an official music video of ‘Naked,’ which was directed by Mario Clement, was released on YouTube.
Arthur continued to release singles, such as ‘You Deserve Better,’ ‘At My Weakest,’ and ‘Empty Space’ without mentioning the name of his third studio album. In November 2018, he performed the cover version of ‘Rewrite the Stars’ from the film ‘The Greatest Showman.’ On May 10, 2019, he released another single titled ‘Falling like the Stars.’
Family & Personal Life
James Arthur’s father Neil worked as a delivery driver, while his mother Shirley is a fashion model-turned-sales and marketing professional. After going their separate ways, Shirley and Neil hardly spoke to each other for 22 years. However, they agreed to attend Arthur's ‘X Factor’ audition together to support their son. Arthur has five siblings, namely Sian, Jasmin, Neve, Neil, and Charlotte.
Arthur started dating Jessica Grist after meeting her in 2012 on the sets of ‘The X Factor’ where she was working as a dancer. Since 2012, Jessica Grist has accompanied him to several shows and public events. Arthur currently lives in England where he continues to create music.