A brief history of everything tragic James Arthur has ever done
Remember when he was dropped for being a homophobe lmaoooo
James Arthur is being rinsed for saying something stupid, again. Oh do try and act surprised.
This week, James, who shot to fame after his cover of Shontelle's Impossible won him The X Factor, tweeted: "Artists these days literally just do impressions of stuff that’s gone before. No originality and kids act like it’s pioneering shit, really grinds my gears man 🤦🏼 I must be getting old."
Now our friend James has travelled a rocky road, and this is far from the first time the internet has had a good ol' lmao at his expense. This is a condensed timeline of every tragic thing James Arthur has ever done – grab a cuppa for this one:
Artists these days literally just do impressions of stuff that’s gone before, no originality and kids act like it’s pioneering shit, really grinds my gears man 🤦🏼♂️ I must be getting old.
— James Arthur 🦉 (@JamesArthur23) November 9, 2019
2012: James Arthur wins X Factor by being irritatingly good the entire time
The series of X Factor James participated is regarded by many as the year the series lost its magic – Tulisa did not give a fuck, Louis was annoying, and Gary Barlow seemed to suck fun from the very atmosphere itself.
But you can't blame him for that. James Arthur was amazing on X Factor – he's one of the only contestants to fully nail it literally every time he performed. Sexy and I know it? Iconic. Power of Love? Wow. His sing-off performance of Fallin'? Fucking hell.
If anything, James's personality was kept under wraps to the point many found him a bit dull. He largely let his performances do the talking, which is probably why he won. But the this might have also been because the James Arthur lurking beneath the surface was a bit grim.
2013: James calls a grime artist a "fucking queer" during a diss track
Less than a year after he'd performed a moving duet of Make You Feel My Love with mentor Nicole Scherzinger, James tried to establish himself on the grime circuit with a few freestyles and diss tracks. One of which, directed at Mickey Worthless, contained the lyric: "You probably want to stick your dick in me, you fucking queer."
Needless to say this was not the best advert for James's upcoming debut album, which reached #2 in the charts – the same peak reached by lead single "You're Nobody till Somebody Loves You."
For those of you unfamiliar with X Factor laws of nature, if your first single back after winning the show doesn't hit number one, you're basically done for. James's subsequent attempt to flog follow-up track Recovery didn't go amazingly – the normally jubilant return of the reigning champion was somewhat dampened by Dermot O'Leary basically wagging his finger at James after he finished singing.
James turned the Christmas lights on in Manchester that year. Manchester City Council said had the controversy happened earlier, they'd have nixed the booking entirely.
iTunes offered refunds to those who had purchased James's album.
James later dropped another diss track, this one featuring the line: "I'm gonna blow up your family like I'm a terrorist."
2014: Simon Cowell tells James Arthur to "shut up" then drops him from his label
It didn't help that James continued to dig into his own grave despite already being six feet into it. He got into beef with fellow ex-contestant Lucy Spraggan over the whole thing,
Lucy leaked the texts James sent her, one of which read: "Lucy what are you playing at having digs at me.
"Is it coz you're a gay rights activist you had to say something as extreme as 'people kill themselves every day over words like queer' are you for real?
"You not think you're being a bit over the top? Do you want attention or something?
"Sorry I didn't tweet your album link I've been busy but you didn't need to be so two faced…"
Eventually Simon Cowell decided the PR shitstorm James had created was enough, saying: "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".
James and Syco, Simon's label, eventually parted ways.
2015: James signs a new record deal and continues to plod along
The phase James enters at this point is all too familiar to literally every X Factor winner not named Little Mix – characterised by shit independently released music, tours no one attended, and a general air of "oh dear."
2016: Syco decides to re-sign James Arthur after the success of "Say You Won't Let Go"
James signed with Columbia Records in late 2015, and a year later he dropped Say You Won't Let Go, a lovely ballad about holding a girl's head back when she's being sick (among other things). It made James the first male X Factor UK winner to have two number one singles, which probably says more about the state of X Factor than it does about him but whatever.
The song was a massive hit, and Syco promptly resigned him. James's album Back from the Edge also hit number one. For a moment, he was a success again.
2017: Another hit fails to materialise for James
However time is the fire in which we burn, and James could not sit in the perpetual glow of a surprise comeback for long. The follow-up singles both failed to break the top 30.
James continued to plug Say You Won't Let Go, and even found time to flog an autobiography.
2018: The Greatest Showman Soundtrack drops with vocals from – you guessed it – ur boi James Arthur
Life comes at you fast, and the man who once fancied himself a grime rapper is now track eight on your nan's favourite CD. The track is a duet with Anne-Marie, and doesn't even feature in the actual film – it's just a "reimagining" of the most annoying soundtrack of all time through the lens of Capital Radio.
2019: James tweets about originality and James Blunt cancels him
Going back to that immortal tweet, it's actually reassuring to see James is still just as authentique as he was when he strode onto The X Factor stage in 2012 and sang a Tulisa song while Gary Barlow looked lovingly at him, still railing at the system like the rebel he is.
Lucky the world still has you and me pushing the musical boundaries. https://t.co/5s0BEYUzDM
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) November 9, 2019
The rinsing has been comprehensive and wonderful to behold, and I can't wait to see what the next decade holds for him.
Didn't he win x factor… with a cover https://t.co/wh3crNzDS7
— it's… rebekah vardy's account (@xylottie) November 10, 2019
James Arthur man ffs give me strength https://t.co/WJmzhaPEUY
— Scott (@aSagyn0se) November 11, 2019
Imagine gaining popularity on a show that's entirely based on doing covers of other people's songs, releasing a song on your new album with a pre-chorus taken from someone else's song (getting them to feature and sing on it) and then writing this tweet about being original lol https://t.co/9L2EEIAIGX
— Vinicius Alexander (@mynameisvini) November 9, 2019