James Blunt has a day off from his North American tour on April 29. But rest assured that he will not be playing organ at the royal wedding between Prince William of Wales and Kate Middleton -- even though earlier this year, he said he would be.
"Like every English or British musician being asked one silly question too often, I gave a silly answer -- and then I went to my Wikipedia page and changed it to say 'classically trained church organist,' and 4,400 websites picked up on it," Blunt, who will be between stops in Chicago and Denver, tells Billboard.com. "It was really funny. My publicist was really nervous but, you know, it's all in good humor. I imagine it's going to be a traditional wedding, and at most traditional weddings they don't have pop stars playing."
What made the rumor somewhat plausible, however, was that Blunt and Will actually served in the British army's Household Cavalry. Although they did so at different times, Blunt's assignments in the Life Guard and Queen's Horse Guard, following combat duty in Kosovo, brought him into contact with much of the royal family. "That was my main job the last two years in the army," Blunt notes. "So whenever you'd see the queen or a member of the royal family riding out in a kind of public environment, I was the guy who'd be riding beside them."
Starting April 20, however, Blunt will be riding the steel horse of his tour bus through North America, promoting his third and decidedly more rocking album, 2010's "Some Kind of Trouble." The album debuted at No. 11 on the Billboard 200, Blunt's softest showing yet, and the first single, "Stay the Night," just barely crept into the Hot 100. But Blunt is hoping to fire up a little more interest with his live shows.
"The American market to me is a strange one," says Blunt, who will play 15 shows in the U.S. and Canada through May 10, before heading to Australia. On April 30 in Denver he'll meet the family that provided the cover shot for "Some Kind of Trouble." "I play to 10,000 people every night around the rest of the world, and I'll be playing to a third of that in the States. But it's an interesting game and I enjoy it, and I love my visits there. I do enjoy the intensity of those smaller crowds, and I prefer that change rather than just repeating myself over and over."
Blunt is also planning to perform in South Africa, South America and Europe, as well as another possible trek through North America. The "full-on world tour," he says, is slated to last until the end of March 2012, and he's already filmed and recorded a concert in Paris, though no DVD release has yet been determined.
"In-between we are filming the madness, just with our own little cameras," Blunt says. "We're having fun as we go. I've got a very fun band, so we may well include some of that with whatever we do with the other (footage)."