James Blunt (born James Hillier Blount, 22 February 1974) is an English musician whose debut album, Back to Bedlam, and single releases especially the number one hit "You're Beautiful" brought him to fame in 2005. His style is a mix of pop and northern soul. Along with vocals, Blunt plays a wide variety of instruments including the piano, guitar, organ, marimba, and mellotron.



He is signed to Linda Perry's American label Custard, and became the first British artist to top the American singles chart in nearly a decade when his song "You're Beautiful" reached number one on the Billboard Hot 100 in 2006. The last British artist to do so had been Elton John in 1997.



Blunt was born in Tidworth, Wiltshire, England in 1974 and educated at Elstree School, Woolhampton, then Harrow School. From there he gained an army sponsored place at Bristol University, before finally completing his education at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Blunt's father was in the British Army Air Corps, and his family has a long history of military service. The Blunt family is also known for the restoration of Cley windmill.



Blunt was then a commissioned officer in the Life Guards regiment, a unit of the Household Cavalry of the British Army. He rose to the rank of Captain and served as an armoured reconnaissance officer in the NATO peacekeeping force in Kosovo. It was here that he wrote his song "No Bravery". He was also on duty for the funeral of the Queen Mother on April 9, 2002. In a TV4 Nyhetsmorgon interview, and in an ExtraTV interview, he mentioned that he had been shot at more times than 50 Cent.