James Blunt may have apologized for his most famous hit, but his never back down attitude on Twitter made his record label nervous enough to ask him to stop tweeting.
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) November 23, 2014
The “You’re Beautiful” singer revealed to the Radio Times that he only went on Twitter in the first place at the behest of Atlantic Records who felt he needed to raise his profile.
“My record label signed me up to Twitter. It’s not something I would choose to be on because I think it’s remarkable that in this day and age we allow people to voice their opinions as if they were fact, and the fact that people take it seriously is remarkable,” he said.
I know where you live. RT @Jels_x: James blunt looks like a serial murderer
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) November 3, 2014
Blunt says Atlantic wanted him to promote himself, his albums and his tours but he was struck by the level of vitriol he found on Twitter and the level of importance society now attaches to Tweeted opinions.
“I went on there I saw how people could be quite abusive — not just to me but to everyone online — and I was amazed that I even considered taking it seriously. What happens on Twitter makes the news, you see articles about what people say on Twitter and that is a madness. And [that is] someone’s opinion voiced in their bedroom, feeling confident in their bedroom, probably with their trousers round their ankles while they write five nasty words to someone and yet we give that person the time of day.”
My real name is James Blount, but I changed it as people teased me that it rhymed with ‘count’.
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) November 19, 2014
Blunt was the brunt of particular abuse, but the ex-soldier took it in his stride, preferring instead to make fun of the abusers, poke fun of himself and reveal how ridiculous the whole thing was. “I thought ‘I am not going to take that seriously; I am going to laugh at them and I am going to laugh at myself.'”
Blunt’s Twitter comebacks have drawn praise from unexpected places, including comedian Ricky Gervais, but Atlantic weren’t so keen on his frank rebuttals. “So as soon as I was on Twitter I started doing that. My record label immediately asked me to stop as it opened Pandora’s box.”
Despite Atlantic’s pleas, Blunt is continuing to take on the Twitter trolls and continuing to win grudging admiration from the unlikeliest of people.