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James Blundell Singer
James Blundell
Man signing autograph
Background information
Born (1964-12-08) 8 December 1964 (age 53)
Origin Stanthorpe, Australia
Genres Country
Singer/songwriter
Instruments Guitar
c. 1987-
Labels EMI
ABC
Compass Brothers
Revenge Records
Red Rebel Music
Website jamesblundell.com.au

James Blundell (born 8 December 1964) is an Australian country music singer. Born in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Blundell first rose to prominence after being named "best new talent" at the 1987 Country Music Awards of Australia. Blundell has since released several albums in both Australia and the United States, with his most successful album This Road (released in 1992) selling more than 145,000 copies in Australia. Blundell was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in Queensland at the 2013 federal election, running for Katter's Australian Party.

Early life

Blundell was born in Queensland town of Stanthorpe, and was brought up on a sheep and cattle station near the town. As an adult he worked as a station hand across various locations in northern Australia. After a back injury sustained while working on a farm in Papua New Guinea he turned to music.[1][2][3]

Music Career

1987-1991: Career Beginnings

In 1987, Blundell won the Australia's Starker Quest at the Country Music Awards of Australia (CMAA) and won a recording contract with RCA Victor Australia where he released "Gidgee Bug Pub Song".[4] In 1988, Blundell won the Golden Guitar Award for the "Best New Talent". [5][6] Blundell signed with EMI released his eponymous debut studio album in 1989. The album spawned the singles "Cloncurry Cattle Song" and "Kimberley Moon"; both of which won him Male Vocalist of the Year awards at the CMAA in 1989 and 1990. In 1990, Blundell contributed "Until the Next Big Dry" for the 1990 compilation album Breaking Ground - New Directions in Country Music. Late in 1990, Blundell released his second studio album Hand It Down which peaked at number 50 on the ARIA charts in 1991 and won him his first ARIA Award in 1991 for Best Country Album. The single "Age of Grace" won Blundell his third consecutive Male Vocalist of the Year awards at the CMAA in 1991.

1992-2002: Commercial Success with EMI

In March 1992, Blundell released a cover of The Dingoes' song "Way Out West" with James Reyne. The song was a commercial success peaking at number 2 on the ARIA Charts and was certified gold. [7] It won Blundell his first APRA Award for Country Song of the Year. In April, Blundell released his third studio album This Road which peaked at number 4 on the ARIA Charts, was certified platinum and has sold more than 145,000 copies in Australia. [8] Additional singles "This Road" and "Down on the Farm" were released in 1992 and Blundell won two more Golden Guitar awards at the 1993 CMAA, including Top Selling album of the Year. In August 1993, Blundell released Touch of Water which peaked at number 11 on the ARIA Charts. Blundell continued to play regularly at folk and country music festivals around Australia. In April 1995, Blundell released his fifth studio album Earth & Sea which peaked at number 31. In 1996, disillusioned with the music industry, around Europe in a van, earning money by busking.[8] In 1997, Blundell featured in a Qantas commercial, singing "I Still Call Australia Home", and in the lead-up to the 1999 Australian republic referendum, Blundell recorded the official song for the "No" campaign, despite being in favour of a republic.[9][10][11] In 1999, Blundell released his sixth studio album Amsterdam Breakfast which sold 8,000 copies.[8] In August 2001, EMI released his first greatest hits album, I Shall Be Released: The Best of James Blundell, which concluded his record deal.

2003-2012: Independent Artist, CMAA Hands of Fame and CMC Hall of Fame

As an independent artist, Blundell garnered media attention for his 2003 song "Postcards from Saigon", speaking out against the war in Iraq.[12][8] In 2005, the song won Australian Independent Country Music Single of the Year and Independent Country Music Male Vocalist of the Year. In 2005, Blundell released Deluge, followed by Ring Around the Moon in 2007 and Portrait of a Man in 2008.

In 2007, Blundell was inducted into the Australia Country Music Hands of Fame. [13] In October 2010 Blundell was the narrator for Network Ten's television show, Keeping up with the Joneses and for four months from November 2010, Blundell performed in a musical theatre show, The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session, with Nick Barker, Dave Larkin, Ezra Lee and Doug Parkinson.[14][15][16] Blundell released his tenth studio album Woolshed Creek in April 2011. In March 2012, Blundell was the inaugural inductee into the Country Music Channel's Hall of Fame. [17]

2013-present: politics and music

In June 2013, Blundell became a candidate in the Australian federal election, 2013. In August 2015, Blundell released Come On In and in February 2017, his twelfth studio album Campfire which became his first charting album in over 20 years, peaking at number 58. In February 2018, a tribute album 30 Years of Pride: A Tribute to James Blundell was released.

Politics

In June 2013, Blundell was selected as Katter's Australian Party's lead Senate candidate[18][19] for Queensland in the 2013 federal election.[20] This was largely at the urging of Bob Katter, the party's founder and only federal member of parliament. Blundell had previously been approached to stand in elections by the Liberal National Party (LNP), but declined.[21] His selection was controversial within the party, in part because he had not been a party member before his candidacy was announced, and contributed to a former vice-president, Kevin Brown, resigning his membership.[22] Some of Blundell's political positions have been controversial within the party, notably his support for same-sex marriage and the abolition of penalty rates.[23][24]

Personal life

Blundell has been married twice--firstly to Louise, a former manager, and secondly to Lidia, with whom he had two sons.[25] He left his second wife in August 2007 for Jesse Curran, a singer who he had met at one of his concerts, and he and Curran have since had two children together.[26][21] In May 2010, Blundell filed for bankruptcy, having gone into debt attempting to finance his albums, as well as having lost money on the sale of an investment property the previous year.[27] The bankruptcy was discharged in April 2013--had it not been, he would have ineligible to stand as a candidate for election.[20]

Blundell's brother, Peter Blundell, is a former mayor of the Stanthorpe Shire and the Southern Downs Region.[28] Peter Blundell has since moved to Central Queensland where he resides in the coastal town of Yeppoon and is a radio presenter with Rockhampton community station 4YOU. Peter Blundell has also been preselected by the Liberal National Party of Queensland to contest the next Queensland state election in the Central Queensland seat of Keppel, in an attempt to defeat sitting Australian Labor Party state member Brittany Lauga.[29][30][31] James Blundell has displayed public support for his brother's political ambitions and has performed at campaign events for his brother.[32]

Discography

Awards

ARIA Awards

Blundell had been nominated for five ARIA Music Awards and has won one. [35]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1991 Hand it Down Best Country Album Won
1992 Time On His Hands Best Country Album Nominated
1993 This Road Best Country Album Nominated
1994 Touch of Water Best Adult Contemporary Album Nominated
2007 Ring Around the Moon Best Country Album Nominated

APRA Awards

The APRA Awards are held in Australia and New Zealand by the Australasian Performing Right Association to recognise songwriting skills, sales and airplay performance by its members annually. Blundell has been nominated for three awards and has won one.[36]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1992 "Way Out West" (with James Reyne) Country Song of the Year Won
1999 "Goondiwindi Moon" (with Lee Kernaghan and Garth Porter) Most Performed Country Work Nominated
2008 "Higher Than Heavan" Country Work of the Year Nominated

Country Music Awards (CMAA)

Blundell has won ten Golden guitar awards at the Tamworth Country Music Awards of Australia [37]

Year Nominee/work Award Result
1987 himself Star Maker Won
1988 "Song for Louise" New Talent of the Year Won
1989 "Cloncurry Cattle Song" Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1990 "Kimberley Moon" APRA Song of the Year Won
1990 "Kimberley Moon" Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1991 "Blue Heeler" APRA Song of the Year Won
1991 "Age of Grace" Male Vocalist of the Year Won
1993 This Road Top Selling album of the Year Won
1993 "Way Out West" (with James Reyne) Vocal Group or Duo of the Year Won
1994 Touch of Water Top Selling album of the Year Won
2007 himself Hands of Fame Inductee

References

  1. ^ Sweeney, Barbara (April 2009). "My Country Childhood - James Blundell Singer". Country Style. pp. 32-34. Retrieved 2010. 
  2. ^ Atkinson, Ann; Linsay Knight; Margaret McPhee (1996). The Dictionary of Performing Arts in Australia. St Leonards: Allen & Unwin. p. 34. ISBN 1-86373-898-3. 
  3. ^ "The boys from the bush are back in town - James Blundell plays with Lee Kernaghan in Canberra". Canberra Times. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 2018. 
  4. ^ "The Gidgee Bug Pub Song". Discogs. Retrieved 2018. 
  5. ^ Mangan, John (21 April 1989). "What's On Music - Singles". The Age. Google News Archive. p. 10. Retrieved 2010. 
  6. ^ Jarvis, Sue (29 January 1989). "Two golden guitars for singer". Sydney Morning Herald. Google News Archive. Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 2010. 
  7. ^ "1992 ARIA SINGLES CHART". ARIA Charts. Retrieved 2018. 
  8. ^ a b c d "Bankrupt James Blundell back with his folks". Perth Now. 30 May 2010. Retrieved 2018. 
  9. ^ Campbell, Duncan (3 November 1999). "Digger's final push to keep the Queen". The Guardian. Retrieved 2010. 
  10. ^ "Ad campaigns won't make referendum voting easier". AM. ABC Radio. 11 October 1999. Retrieved 2010. 
  11. ^ "'No' campaign accused of sexist advert". The World Today. ABC Radio. 11 October 1999. Retrieved 2010. 
  12. ^ Jarvis, Susan (February 2005). "WEATHERING THE STORM". Capital News. Retrieved 2010. 
  13. ^ "The Country Music Hands of Fame". Country Music Hall of Fame. Retrieved 2018. 
  14. ^ "The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session". Fox Media Marketing (Clive Fox Photography). Retrieved 2015. 
  15. ^ "Win Tweet Seats to the Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Sessions". 774 ABC Melbourne (Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC)). 29 October 2010. Retrieved 2015. 
  16. ^ Kary, David (22 February 2011). "The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session". Sydney Arts Guide. Retrieved 2015. 
  17. ^ "THE CMC Award Winners". Country Music Channel. March 2012. Retrieved 2018. 
  18. ^ "Federal Election 2013". ABC. 30 August 2013. Retrieved 2016. 
  19. ^ "Katter's Australia Party James Blundell". Katter's Australia Party. 17 July 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  20. ^ a b ""Country music star James Blundell signs up for Bob Katter's party"". The Courier-Mail. 2 June 2013. Retrieved 2013. 
  21. ^ a b Jamie Walker (2013). "Country star gives Katter something to sing about" Archived 4 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - The Australian. Published 3 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  22. ^ Jason Tin (2013). "Katter's Australian Party members slam Senate preselection of country star James Blundell" Archived 20 October 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - The Courier-Mail. Published 3 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  23. ^ "Clive Palmer, Bob Katter discuss all things great and small" Archived 26 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - The Australian. Published 26 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  24. ^ Des Houghton (2013). "Bob Katter's tolerance of star Senate candidate James Blundell's views on gay unions sparks member exodus" Archived 11 August 2013 at the Wayback Machine. - The Courier-Mail. Published 10 August 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  25. ^ "Ex's pals hit back at James Blundell over Idol Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. 26 August 2007. Retrieved 2010. 
  26. ^ Reines, Ros (26 August 2007). "James Blundell leaves wife for Jesse Curran". Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2010. 
  27. ^ "James Blundell caught out in investment property slump" - The Daily Telegraph. Published 24 March 2009. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  28. ^ "With Senate in sight, Katter's man sings to small business" - The Australian Financial Review. Published 17 June 2013. Retrieved 30 August 2013.
  29. ^ LNP for Keppel: Meet Peter Blundell, Liberal National Party of Queensland website. Accessed 25 October 2017.
  30. ^ Bowman, Trish LNP reveals shock candidate to take on Brittany Lauga, The Morning Bulletin, 19 July 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  31. ^ Bulloch, Shayla Keppel candidate rejects claims of a 1-term mayoral failure, The Chronicle, 27 July 2017. Retrieved 25 October 2017.
  32. ^ Details Facebook event: Tune In Yeppoon, Peter Blundell - LNP for Keppel Facebook page. Accessed 25 October 2017.
  33. ^ a b c d "discography - albums". James Blundell Official Website. Retrieved 2010. 
  34. ^ "James Blundell". Compass Brothers Records. 20 July 2008. Retrieved 2010. 
  35. ^ https://www.ariaawards.com.au/search?term=James%20Blundell
  36. ^ "APRA search - James Blundell". APRA Awards. www.apraamcos.com.au. 26 March 2015. [permanent dead link]
  37. ^ http://country.com.au/golden-guitars/award-winners/1990s

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