James' father, Colonel Charlie Blount, was a career soldier and helicopter pilot. His mother, Jane, started up a ski chalet company in the French Alps resort of Méribel. James has two younger sisters; Emily and Daisy. Colonel Blount infused a love of flying into his son, and James earned his pilot's license at the age of 16.
James gained an army-sponsored place at the University of Bristol, where he studied sociology. The title of his dissertation was "The Commodification of Image – Production of a Pop Idol." He'd wanted to be a professional singer since the age of 13.
After university, James joined the Life Guards, rising to the rank of captain and serving with distinction in Kosovo as a troop commander of the peace keeping force. He was in the army for four and a half years in total. James recorded his memories of his time in the army in the Back To Bedlam track, "No Bravery."
James was the first British officer to enter the Kosovo capital during the 1999 conflict. His general famously refused an order
to fire on Russian troops who had taken the Pristina airport, averting an international incident.
He loves skiing. James used to race downhill for the army.
James started using the stage name "Blunt" after leaving the army in 2002 so that he could pursue his musical career. He adopted the moniker in part to make it easier for others to spell; "Blount" is pronounced the same way, and remains his legal surname.
He wrote the song "Goodbye My Lover
" about an ex-girlfriend. Many mistakenly believe it to be about somebody who died, and a 2006 UK survey by The Bereavement Register revealed it be the year's most requested funeral song. However the girl is still very much alive – James says its the grieving in the lyrics that gives the impression of death.
James wrote the song "You're Beautiful
" after seeing another ex-girlfriend, casting director Dixie Chassay, on the London Underground with her new boyfriend. He later recalled that, "our eyes met for a second but we re-lived an entire lifetime of memories."
When "You're Beautiful" became a US #1 single, James became the first UK artist since Elton John in 1997 ("Candle In The Wind 1997
") to top the US singles chart.
Back To Bedlam was the biggest selling album of the 2000s in the UK.
During the recording of Back to Bedlam, Blunt lodged with actress Carrie Fisher, whom he'd met through a family friend. They remained pals and she became the godmother of his child.
Blunt owns an upmarket restaurant with the former England rugby player Lawrence Dallaglio and the motorcycling champion Carl Fogarty. Located in the Swiss ski resort of Verbier, the restaurant, called La Vache, has panoramic views of Val de Bagnes and Mont Blanc.
James Blunt married lawyer Sofia Wellesley at a private ceremony in Majorca, Spain on September 6, 2014. She is the daughter of Lord and Lady John Henry Wellesley, and granddaughter of the 8th Duke of Wellington.
It wasn't until he came to America that he learned that his last name doesn't just mean "edgeless" - it's also a hollowed out cigar filled with marijuana.
Blunt is friends with Prince Harry. They served together in the Army, and due to Blunt's rank, it was Harry who called him "Sir."
TV survivalist Bear Grylls was a university friend of James Blunt. As students they'd go busking together, serenading couples with songs they made up on the spot until that lovebirds coughed up to make them stop. "We were buskers-slash-muggers" Blunt recalled to Q magazine.