James Morrison biography
James Morrison (born James Morrison Catchpole; 13 August 1984) is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist from Rugby, Warwickshire. In 2006, his debut single "You Give Me Something" became a hit in Europe, Australia, and Japan, peaking in the top five in the UK and New Zealand. His debut album, Undiscovered, debuted at the top of the UK Albums Chart. In 2007 Morrison won the Brit Award for Best British Male.
Morrison released his second album, Songs for You, Truths for Me in 2008, which entered the top five in the UK as well as topping the Irish Albums Chart. Songs for You, Truths for Me featured the top ten singles "You Make It Real" and his critically acclaimed collaboration with Nelly Furtado titled "Broken Strings". He has performed with Jason Mraz, Nelly Furtado, and others in concerts and in songs. Morrison wrote a song for Italian singer Marco Carta entitled "Quello che dai", which debuted at number one in the official chart.
Early lifeMorrison was born in the town of Rugby, Warwickshire, where he was surrounded by the influence of his parents' record collection; his mother was a fan of soul while his father enjoyed listening to folk and country. He began playing guitar when his uncle Joe showed him how to play a blues riff. As a teenager he started busking when he lived in Porth, Newquay, Cornwall, in a local pub called the Phoenix, Watergate Bay. He used to practice playing his guitar on the prom looking over Porth beach. He took GCSE music at Treviglas Community College. After some years of covering other musicians' songs, he eventually started to write his own. He attributes his distinctive voice to a severe bout of whooping cough that nearly killed him when he was a baby.
Morrison has alluded to an unhappy childhood affected by poverty and illness; he said of his hometown "the best thing is I've got memories of being a kid there and the worst thing is I've got memories of being a kid there." He states that he "went blue and stopped breathing and doctors had to resuscitate me four times." After the experience, his parents divorced when he was four years old and he suffered from low self esteem at school, where he was ostracized for being involved in music rather than sports. He finally gained confidence when he moved to Cornwall as a teenager, where people were more accepting of his musical inclinations.
According to Morrison, he was influenced by music from a very young age, listening to artists such as Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Van Morrison and Al Green. Morrison said that the first time he heard Stevie Wonder's voice he was close to tears, and has since been fascinated by the way he utilizes his voice.
Working in Derby, Morrison found an Irish bar called "Ryan's" which runs an open mic night on Wednesdays and Sundays. Morrison met Kev Andrews, who later produced Morrison's demo tape.
He achieved worldwide success with debut single "You Give Me Something", which reached #2 in Holland and the #5 spot in the UK. He released his debut album Undiscovered on 31 July 2006. The album received generally positive reviews with The Sun, claiming "There isn't a bad track on it". An equally positive review by The Times stated that "Undiscovered may prove to be the least apposite album title for years". It topped the UK Albums Chart on its first week of its release. The album sold over 1 million copies around the world by the end of 2006., making Morrison the best selling male solo artist of 2006 in the UK.
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