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James Blunt: ‘You’re Beautiful’ Fame Was ‘Uncomfortable’ at First (Exclusive)

James Blunt
James Blunt poses during the 59th Annual Logie Awards at Crown Palladium on April 23, 2017 in Melbourne, Australia.Scott Barbour/Getty Images

It’s been nearly 12 years since James Blunt’s “You’re Beautiful” hit the airwaves. Although the song became an overnight success, the lack of privacy that came with the new fame was a bit daunting for the British singer.

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“It was amazing and scary. I’m a pretty private person, so the exposure made me uncomfortable, but you adapt, and I’ve had such great fun with it,” Blunt, 43, exclusively tells Us Weekly. “If I were to advise anyone, rather than pursue fame and fortune, I’d recommend pursing anonymity and fortune. Hell, maybe just pursue happiness.”

The hit was off his 2004 debut album, Back to Bedlam. Since then, he’s sold more than 20 million albums worldwide and is currently on tour with Ed Sheeran.

James Blunt Ed Sheeran
Franziska Krug/Getty Images

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“I’ve just released my fifth album, and am on my fifth world tour – making the music, and playing it live has been an amazing experience,” he adds. “I took [Ed] skiing last year, which he’d never done before, so I taught him how to ski by day, and he taught me how to write songs by night. The song we wrote is called ‘Make Me Better’ and it’s on my new album, The Afterlove,” he adds to Us. “We got drunk and I said we should hang out some more, and so he invited me on his U.S. tour, so I’m now his opening act here in the States till mid-October.”

Blunt hasn’t just connected with audiences from onstage, though. He recently partnered with Smule’s Sing! Karaoke app, which helps him engage with fans more.

“I love karaoke. Once I was in one of those karaoke bars where you get your own private karaoke room for you and your friends in Sydney, Australia. It was about 2 a.m. when we heard some girls in the next door room singing my song, ‘Goodbye My Lover,’” he recalls to Us. “I kicked the door of their room open, jumped on the table in the middle, grabbed a mic from one of them and sung out the last chorus. They all started screaming their heads off thinking their drinks must have been spiked. I finished, said ‘Thank you, and goodnight!’ and left. The screaming carried on for a while.”

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Other stars that have used the social platform include Darren Criss, Nick Jonas and DNCE.

For more, read the rest of his Q&A below:

US: What is it like touring with Ed Sheeran?

JB: I sleep on the side of the bed nearest the wall as he’s always getting up in the middle of the night needing the loo.

US: Do you have a ritual before you go on stage to perform?

JB: I check if my flies are done up on my trousers.

US: What are the three biggest must-haves on your tour bus rider?

JB: Corona and Heineken beer. My band and I are also partial to Buffalo hot wings. The hotter the better, please.

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