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He rose to fame after winning the ninth series of The X Factor in 2012. His debut single, a cover of Shontelle’s “Impossible”, was released by Syco Music after the final, and debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart. Since then, it has gone on to sell over 2.5 million copies worldwide, making it the most successful winner’s single in the show’s history.
The follow-up single, “You’re Nobody ’til Somebody Loves You”, reached number 2 on the UK Singles Chart. He released his self-titled debut studio album in November 2013. The album debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart. After the release of his debut studio album James Arthur, he was involved in a series of controversies which led iTunes to offer refunds for the album.
Arthur parted ways with Simon Cowell’s record label Syco in 2014. In 2015, he signed a new deal with Columbia Records to release his second studio album, Back from the Edge, in 2016; he was also re-signed to Syco in 2016. The album’s lead single, titled “Say You Won’t Let Go” and released in September 2016, saw great success, peaking at number 1 on the UK Singles Chart and selling close to 2.7 million copies as of February 2021.
Back from the Edge was released on 28 October 2016, and debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart. On 18 October 2019, after releasing numerous singles throughout the prior two years, Arthur released his third studio album, You; this album debuted and peaked at number two on the UK Albums Chart. In February 2021, Arthur signed with Columbia Records UK and Columbia Records Germany after Syco had ceased operations.