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James Arthur

born on 2/3/1988 in Saltburn-by-the-Sea, Nord Yorkshire, United Kingdom

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James Arthur (singer)

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James Arthur (singer)

James Andrew Arthur (born 2 March 1988)[1] is a British singer and musician who won the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012 . His debut single, "Impossible", was released after the final and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release. It has since gone on to sell over 1.2 million copies, making it the second best-selling The X Factor winner's single of all time, beaten only by Alexandra Burke's version of "Hallelujah".[2]

Early life

Arthur was born in Middlesbrough,[3] to parents from the United Kingdom an English mother, Shirley Ashworth, and Scottish father, Neil Arthur.[4] Neil is a delivery driver, but also used to be a DJ and drummer for many years, whilst Shirley was a fashion model and later a sales and marketing professional.[5] Neil and Shirley split up when James was one-year old and each settled with new partners a few years after their divorce. They hardly spoke with one another for more than twenty years, but they agreed to attend his audition together in a family reunion to support their son.[6]

Arthur first went to Ings Farm Primary School in Redcar, North Yorkshire. When he was nine, he moved with his mother Shirley and his stepfather Ronald Rafferty to Bahrain where he studied at the local British School of Bahrain for four years. When they split, James, then 14, moved back to the UK with his mother Shirley and his three sisters Sian, Jasmin and Neve to the UK to live on the Coast Road in Redcar.[7][8][9] Upon his return, he continued his studies at Redcar's Rye Hills School.[10]

Arthur has an older sister, Sian Arthur, three younger sisters, Jasmin Rafferty, Neve Rafferty and Charlotte, and an older brother, Neil Arthur.[10]


Early years

Arthur has been writing and recording songs since he was 15 as an unsigned artist both solo and in many bands[11][12] including:

  • Moonlight Drive[13] a Cleveland-based progressive, experimental, rock five-piece band with Arthur in lead vocals. The band was active between 2005 and 2008. It had recordings such as "Said You'd Be There", "Hole in My Heart" and "Tear Me Apart".
  • Cue the Drama[14] an alternative rock band based in Marske-by-the-Sea and active between 2005 and 2008. Recordings included "On the Radio 98KUPD", "It's Killing Me", "I Reach You" and "It Hurts".
  • Save Arcade[15] a Middlesbrough alternative rock band made up of Arthur (vocals, guitar), Josh Brown (keyboards, vocals), Matthew Green (guitar), Alex Beer (bass, vocals), Travis Shaw (guitar, percussions, vocals) and Karl Dowson (drums). In 2009, the band released a three-track EP called Truth, carrying the title track "The Truth", as well as "Echoes" and "I Un-Proudly Present". In June 2010, the band released a five-track EP, Tonight We Dine in Hades, which in addition to the title track "Tonight We Dine in Hades" included "Superhero", "You Always Want a Fight", "Juliet Is Not Dead" and "She Aims to Please". Both releases were on the independent 57 Records UK.
  • Emerald Skye[16] a four-piece indie pop/rock band formed in March 2011 based in Redcar / Saltburn-by-the-Sea and made up of Arthur (guitar, vocals), Dean Harrison (piano, violin), Paul Gill (bass) and Save Arcade bandmate Green (drums).

Arthur also uploaded many of his own songs to SoundCloud and YouTube, as well as an album entitled Sins by the Sea.[11][17][18] In 2011, he auditioned for The Voice UK and made it into the final 200 contestants but no further.[19]

In early 2012, he recorded songs and released two EPs as The James Arthur Band.[20][21][22] The band consisted of Arthur (vocals and guitar), Jez Taylor (guitar), Chris Smalls (keyboards), Jordan Swain (drums) and Rich Doney (bass). In 2012, the band released The EP Collection CD with nine tracks with R&B, soul and hip hop influences, a compilation of tracks on both EPs. Arthur also released an EP named Hold On under the name The James Arthur Project in August 2012 in collaboration with John McGough.[23][24][25] The tracks were written and arranged by McGough, and mixed by Matt Wanstall with all vocals by Arthur.

2012: The X Factor

Main article: The X Factor (UK series 9)

Arthur originally auditioned for The X Factor in Newcastle. He performed an acoustic rendition of judge Tulisa Contostavlos's "Young", before explaining his past, including a short spell in respite foster care and time spent in flats and bedsits after break-ups within his family. He also revealed his father and mother had hardly spoken to each other for over 20 years, and this was a reunion of sorts for them to attend his audition. He sang "A Million Love Songs" at bootcamp and was chosen as one of six contestants in the "Boys" category to advance to judges' houses. From this point onward, Arthur was mentored by Nicole Scherzinger. After his judges' houses performance of "I Can't Make You Love Me", he was picked as one of 12 contestants to advance to the live shows, and one of three in the "Boys" category.

After his second live performance, Arthur suffered from an anxiety attack backstage. Whilst being treated at the studio, paramedics determined he did not need to go to hospital, and he was ordered back to his hotel to rest. He later returned for the results show the following night.[26] After his performance of LMFAO's "Sexy and I Know It" on the third live show on 20 October, Arthur was accused of plagiarism. His rendition was very similar to the rendition by YouTube star only1Noah,[27] who uploaded it on 9 May 2012 and has earned over 17 million views from it.[28] However, Arthur later tweeted: "Btw doesn't everyone know I was putting a spin on Noah's version? It had 13.something million hits! Was I supposed to state the obvious?"[29][30] In week 7, after performing "Can't Take My Eyes Off You", Arthur was controversially in the bottom two. He sang "Fallin'" for survival against fellow favourite Ella Henderson, with the judges going to deadlock after their vote was evenly split 2-2 (mentor Scherzinger and Gary Barlow voting to keep him, while Contostavlos and Louis Walsh voted in favour of Henderson). Arthur was then saved by the public vote. On 8 December, he made it through to the second night of the live finals.

Arthur won The X Factor on 9 December 2012, with 53.7% of the final vote, against Jahméne Douglas who received 38.9%.[31][32][33]

Performances on The X Factor

After The X Factor

Following his victory, Arthur's winner's song, a cover of Shontelle's 2010 song "Impossible", was released as a charity single for Together for Short Lives.[34] It became the fastest-selling The X Factor winner's single so far, reaching 255,000 downloads within 48 hours and over 490,000 by the end of the week.[35] The single topped the UK Singles Chart in its first week of release.[36][37][38] After 11 days, it was the seventh biggest-selling debut single from any contestant from The X Factor, with sales of 622,000.[39] In its second week the single dropped to number two,[40] but reclaimed the number one spot in its third week, and stayed at the top for a further week.[41] After three weeks, it was the fifth best-selling single of 2012 with 897,000 copies sold.[42] After four weeks it had sold 971,000 copies.[43] As of 11 January 2013, the single has sold more than 1 million copies.[44] The song also peaked at number one in Ireland, two in Australia, New Zealand and Switzerland, and eight in Slovakia.[45][46][47][48] As of August 2013, the single has sold 1.2 million copies, 30,000 less than Alexandra Burke's version of "Hallelujah".[2]

On 7 August 2013, Arthur announced via Twitter that his next single will be called "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You,"[49] which was released to UK radio stations on 9th September 2013. The song is scheduled for worldwide release on 20 October 2013. Arthur's self-titled debut studio album is set for release on 4th November 2013.

Personal life

Arthur supports his local football team: Middlesbrough F.C.[50][51]

After winning The X Factor, he was invited to return to Bahrain to formally open the British School of Bahrain's music and drama rehearsal studios and the school's 400-seat auditorium, both part of the expansion of the facilities in the school in which he studied for four years.[8]



Year Title Peak chart positions Sales Certifications
2012 "Impossible" 1 2 1 4 5 1 2 2 1 2 3
2013 "You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You"

Awards and nominations

Year Organisation Award Work Result
2013 BRIT Awards British Single of the Year[67] "Impossible" Nominated


  1. James Arthur - Facebook. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Corner, Lewis, Leona Lewis named biggest-selling 'X Factor' star in UK, Digital Spy, Hearst Magazines UK. URL accessed on 25 August 2013.
  3. Heat World - James Arthur Biography. Heat. Bauer Consumer Media.
  4. Daily Record: James Arthur's tartan treat for Scots female fans
  5. Daily Record: Scots father of X Factor star James Arthur admits he has no idea where singer gets his charm from
  6. You cant call me a womaniser for taking three girls back to my hotel. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  7. X Factor 2012 How James Arthur slept park bench stole food survive. Daily Mail. Associated Newspapers. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  8. 8.0 8.1 Emotional victory for former Bahrain student. Gulf Weekly. Retrieved on 15 December 2012.
  9. Saltburn X Factor singer James Arthur makes full recovery after scare. Northern Echo. Retrieved on 15 December 2012.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Family of James Arthur so proud of X-Factor hopeful. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  11. 11.0 11.1 James Arthur Music - Tumblr. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  12. James Arthur Music - Myspace. Retrieved on 13 December 2012.
  13. Moonlight Drive Music - Myspace. Retrieved on 13 December 2012.
  14. Cue The Drama - Myspace. Retrieved on 13 December 2012.
  15. Save Arcade - Myspace. Retrieved on 13 December 2012.
  16. The Emerald Skye - Facebook. Retrieved on 13 December 2012.
  17. JamesArthurMusic's channel - Youtube. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  18. James Arthur Music - Soundcloud. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  19. James Arthur - Facebook. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  20. The James Arthur Band - Facebook. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  21. The James Arthur Band - Official Website. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  22. The James Arthur Band - Bandcamp. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  23. Hold On: The James Arthur Project: MP3 Downloads. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  24. The James Arthur Project - Facebook. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  25. John Mc Gough - Youtube. Retrieved on 9 December 2012.
  26. The X Factor 2012: James Arthur | Radio Times
  27. Darvill, Josh, X Factor 2012: James Arthur accused of copying Sexy And I Know It cover, Tellymix, 24 October 2012. URL accessed on 8 December 2012.
  28. Noah Cover of "Sexy and I Know It" by LMFAO - YouTube
  29. Twitter / JamesArthur23: Btw doesn't everyone know I
  30. X Factor's James Arthur Accused of Plagiarism Over 'Sexy And I Know It' Cover - By fans who allege that James copied YouTube star only1Noah, Entertainmentwise, 23 October 2012. URL accessed on 8 December 2012.
  31. The X Factor voting numbers revealed HERE!, The X Factor,, 9 December 2012. URL accessed on 10 December 2012.
  32. He's achieved the Impossible! James Arthur is crowned winner of the X Factor 2012. Daily Mail (10 December 2012). Retrieved on 10 December 2012.
  33. James Arthur wins X Factor...but Christopher Maloney vanishes from line-up. Daily Telegraph (10 December 2012). Retrieved on 10 December 2012.
  34. James Arthur hits the No 1 slot again. Together for Short Lives (31 December 2012). Retrieved on 7 January 2013.
  35. James Arthurs 'Impossible' becomes fastest-selling X Factor single - The Independent. Retrieved on 11 December 2012.
  36. X Factor winner James Arthur tops the charts. Daily Telegraph UK (17 October 2012). Retrieved on 18 December 2012.
  37. X Factor winner James Arthur reaches Number One. Irish Independent (17 October 2012). Retrieved on 18 December 2012.
  38. James Arthur scores fastest-selling single of the year. Guardian UK (17 October 2012). Retrieved on 18 December 2012.
  39. Lane, Dan, Hillsborough tribute extends lead over James Arthur in Christmas race, The Official Charts Company, 20 December 2012. URL accessed on 20 December 2012.
  40. Hillsborough Justice Collective beat James Arthur to Christmas No. 1 - Music News - Digital Spy
  41. Lane, Dan, James Arthur is back at Number 1 with Impossible, The Official Charts Company, 30 December 2012. URL accessed on 31 December 2012.
  42. Dan Lane (January 2, 2013). The Official Top 40 Biggest Selling Singles Of 2012 revealed!. Official Charts Company. Retrieved on January 5, 2013.
  43. Lane, Dan, James Arthur's Impossible unmoved from top of Official Singles Chart, The Official Charts Company, 6 January 2013. URL accessed on 7 January 2013.
  44. Lane, Dan, James Arthur's Impossible is the UK's latest million selling single, The Official Charts Company, 11 January 2013. URL accessed on 11 January 2013.
  45. Darvill, Josh, XFactor champ James Arthur a hit in Australia... and Switzerland, tellymix, 15 February 2013. URL accessed on 16 February 2013.
  46. 46.0 46.1 James Arthur - Irish Charts. Hung Medien.
  47. IFPI SR: Hitparáda: Radio Top 100 Oficiálna: Týde: 201306. IFPI. Retrieved on 16 February 2013.
  48. 48.0 48.1 Discography James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  50. Middlesbrough FC manager Tony Mowbray has given his backing to X Factor finalist. Retrieved on 15 December 2012.
  51. Boro's Surprise For James. Retrieved on 15 December 2012.
  52. James Arthur > UK Charts. The Official Charts Company.
  53. Discography James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  54. Discography James Arthur.
  55. Discographie James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  56. Discographie James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  57. Discografie James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  58. Chart Archive > December 22, 2012. The Official Charts Company (2012-12-22).
  59. Discographie James Arthur. Hung Medien.
  60. James Arthur - Impossible. Hung Medien.
  61. BPI Certified Awards > Search. British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 7 April 2013.
  62. ARIA Chart > Chart Accreditations > 2013 Singles. Australian Recording Industry Association. Retrieved on 19 March 2013.
  63. BEL Platinum Singles. Belgian Entertainment Association. Retrieved on May 2013.
  64. Veckolista Singlar - Vecka 17, 26 april 2013. Swedish Recording Industry Association (26 April 2013). Retrieved on 26 April 2013.
  65. SWI Charts Platinum. International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (March 2013). Retrieved on March 2013.
  66. NZ Top 40 Singles Chart. Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (29 March 2013). Retrieved on 31 March 2013.
  67. BRIT Awards 2013: Best British Single. Capital FM (2013-01-10). Retrieved on 2013-01-11.

External links

  • [ Official Website]

This page was last modified 13.09.2013 08:15:57

This article uses material from the article James Arthur (singer) from the free encyclopedia Wikipedia and it is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.