James Arthur: How the X Factor hopeful became a chart topping singer

What a journey!

James Arthur

by Anna Sky Hulton |

The X Factor winner James Arthur has had a super successful career since winning the popular TV series in 2012. James' hits include his fantastic collaboration with Anne-Marie, 'Rewrite The Stars', which was a cover of a song from The Greatest Showman soundtrack.

He's also had four Top 10 singles, including Number 1 singles, 'Impossible' and 'Say You Won't Let Go'. Here we look at how James Arthur went from an X Factor hopeful to an incredibly popular singer.

James Arthur
James Arthur ©© Getty Images

Who is James Arthur?

James Arthur started playing in a band when he was a teenager, however his pop music career really started back in 2011, when he uploaded some tracks to SoundCloud and YouTube. It was in 2012, when he auditioned for The X Factor that his career sky-rocketed. James won The X Factor and his winner's single, 'Impossible' went on to become the most successful winner's single at the time, selling 2.5 million copies worldwide.

How old is James Arthur?

James Arthur is 31-years-old at the time of writing, he was born on 2nd March 1988.

Where is James Arthur from?

James Arthur was born in Middlesbrough and he began performing in pubs and bars when he was a teenager.

What year did James Arthur win The X Factor?

James Arthur won The X Factor in 2012. James' winner's single, 'Impossible' went on to become a UK Number 1, and the most popular winner's single at the time selling millions of copies around the world.

Just like One Direction, who were runners up in The X Factor back in 2010, James has had a number of popular songs, including, 'Say You Won't Let Go', which was his second Number 1 hit.

Now take a look at how James Arthur went from winning The X Factor to a pop star


James Arthur career timeline stacked

James Arthur career
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CREDIT: u00a9 Instagram / jamesarthur23

James began writing and recording songs at the age of 15, performing as both a solo artist and in bands including Moonlight Drive, Cue the Drama, Save Arcade and Emerald Skye from 2005 to 2011. In 2011, James wrote an album called 'Sins by the Sea' which was uploaded to social media sites, before forming The James Arthur Project and releasing EPs 'Hold On' and 'The EP Collection CD'.

James Arthur
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James auditioned for The X Factor in 2012, attending the auditions which took place throughout May and June that year. He sang a cover of 'Young' by Tulisa, who was on the judging panel that year, then 'A Million Love Songs' at Boot Camp - a song by fellow judge Gary Barlow's band Take That. He was in the final against Jahméne Douglas, winning the show.

James Arthur signing
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James released his winners' single, a cover of 'Impossible' by Shontelle in December 2012, which hit the top spot in the UK charts. His self-titled debut album was released in November 2013 and went to Number 2 in the UK, featuring songs like 'You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You', 'Get Down' and 'Roses' featuring Emeli Sandé. In January 2014, he embarked on his first tour, the 'James Arthur Tour', performing 37 dates around Europe.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James caused controversy after taking part in rap battles, causing Simon Cowell to say, "I think James, unfortunately, has had so many issues with what he has done publicly – which is a real issue with me... Somebody should have told him to shut up and just put the records out." In June 2014, he announced that he had parted ways with Syco by mutual agreement.

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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James signed a deal with Columbia Records in September 2015 and announced that a new album was on the way. His second album 'Back from the Edge' was released in October 2016, featuring songs 'Say You Won't Let Go' - which was a Number 1 single - and 'Can I Be Him'. James became the first X Factor performer to have two singles sell over a million copies in his home country.

James Arthur at the BRITs 2017
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

In 2017, James' single, 'Say You Won't Let Go', was nominated at the BRITs for British Artist Video of the Year and British Single of the Year. He also released single 'Naked', and attended The GRAMMY Museum at one of their Spotlight events after joining OneRepublic on their massive North American tour.

James Arthur
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

In 2018, James teamed up with Anne-Marie on their amazing cover of 'Rewrite The Stars', for The Greatest Showman: Reimagined. He also appeared on Brazilian soap opera O Tempo não Para, singing his song 'Empty Space'. James released his third album 'You' in October 2019, debuting at Number 2 in the UK and was certified Silver.

James Arthur career gallery
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CREDIT: u00a9 Getty Images

James revealed on Twitter in July 2020 that he was working on a fourth album, writing, 'I've been writing the new album for the last couple of months. I couldn't be more excited to share with you this new lane I'm playing around in, I think you'll be surprised in a good way. This is the album I've wanted to make for so long! #IWAMSITE.' He also worked on song 'Lasting Lover' with DJ Sigala.

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CREDIT: u00a9 James Arthur

James delighted his fans in 2021 when he dropped a number of new tracks, including 'Medicine', 'September' and 'Emily'. The singer also confirmed his fourth studio album 'It'll All Make Sense In The End' which he released on Friday 5th November.

What did James Arthur do before going on The X Factor?

Before going on The X Factor, music had always been a big part of James Arthur's life. He started off singing in a band as a teenager, he then went on to write his own songs, even releasing an album independently in 2011 called 'Sins by the Sea'. Also in 2011, he began to upload some of his music to SoundCloud and YouTube.

Has James Arthur released any albums?

Yes, James Arthur has released a number of albums. As well as the independently released album we've mentioned above, he has released two other albums, his self-titled, 'James Arthur', in 2013 and 'Back from the Edge' in 2016. Both albums were incredibly popular reaching the Top 2 positions in the UK.

'James Arthur' included his X Factor single as well as his hit, 'You're Nobody 'til Somebody Loves You', whereas 'Back from the Edge' spawned his second Number 1, 'Say You Won't Let Go'.

Which are James Arthur’s most successful songs?

Since winning The X Factor, James has had many hugely successful songs. Straight from winning The X Factor, 'Impossible', which was a cover of Shontelle's song from 2010, went to Number 1 in the UK. Within the first 24 hours of release the song had 187,000 downloads.

James Arthur's 2016 single, 'Say You Won't Let Go' was also an incredibly popular song also reaching the top spot in the UK and in a number of other countries. The song was written by James Arthur along with Neil Ormandy and Steve Solomon, and was the lead single from his second studio album, 'Back from the Edge'.

NOW WATCH: James Arthur talks about singing 'Rewrite The Stars' with Anne Marie

How tall is James Arthur?

According to many sources, James Arthur is 6ft 2in!

Who is James Arthur dating?

James Arthur's girlfriend is believed to be a dancer called Jessica Grist. The pair met when James was on The X Factor as a contestant and Jessica was a dancer. According to Express.co.uk, Jessica has worked with other pop stars including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Jason Derulo.

When James released his single 'Empty Space', Jessica shared the video on Instagram saying, 'my creative soul is consumed with visuals, art, lighting and the capability these forms have to moving the human heart, so I literally could not be more obsessed with this video. ♥️ #emptyspace'.

What is James Arthur’s net worth?

According to Celebrity Net Worth website, James Arthur's net worth is around $5 million (around £4 million), mostly due to his single and album sales and tours.

Is James Arthur on social media?

Yes, James Arthur is on social media. You can follow him on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.

WATCH: James Arthur talks about working with Anne-Marie on 'Rewrite The Stars'

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