James Blunt’s stratospheric and against-the-odds rise to global fame in 2005 with You’re Beautiful – and the resulting backlash that saw him pilloried as a posh pariah by the tabloids and the pop establishment. Damon Albarn refused to be photographed with him, Paul Weller preferred to eat his own faeces than work with him, Lily Allen went for the rhyming slang of his surname and even then-little Charlotte Church weighed in via The Telegraph:
“He’s awful posh. I don’t like him.”
Blunt also claims Mick Jagger refused to shake his hand at the Brit Awards and that his father told Chris Martin, who went to Sherborne School, that “the least he could do was to stick up for another posh t—”. Blunt then writes: “Chris took to the podium and said, ‘Would everyone stop being so mean to James Blunt?’”
Are his musical peers still mean to him?
“Not really. I think eventually they thought: ‘OK, he’s still around!’ People have moved on.”
Really? Even Albarn?
A quizzical eyebrow. “I thought he was dead.”
In fact when it comes to Albarn, according to the “non-memoir”, it was Blunt who had the last laugh. At the 2005 Q Awards, Albarn and Blunt were seated next to each other and were up for the same award, Best New Act. Blunt writes, with barely restrained glee:
“Albarn turned his seat away and refused to speak to me for the entire three-hour ceremony. When the awards ended, I tapped him on the shoulder and told him that I thought he was a genius, that I loved his album Demon Days, and that I was sorry he didn’t feel confident enough to talk to him. And with that, carrying the award, I left.”