POPULAR singer, songwriter and social media sensation James Blunt has turned 50 years old.

Born 'James Hillier Blount' in Tidworth in 1974, he changed his surname to 'Blunt' when he broke into the music industry, in order to make it easier for people to spell.

Blunt initially served as an officer in the British Army before rising to fame in 2004 with his song 'You're Beautiful' making him a household name globally.

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With more than 20 million records sold worldwide, his first album, 'Back to Bedlam', was the best-selling album of the 2000s in the UK, and is one of the best-selling albums in UK chart history.

Growing up in St Mary Bourne, Hampshire, over the years, Mr Blunt has amassed quite a career - a former soldier, Blunt saw action with NATO in Kosovo, carrying out reconnaissance at the North Macedonia-Yugoslavia border in 1999.

Blunt kept up the morale of his fellow troops and locals by playing his guitar and singing while he was deployed.

Eventually breaking into the music scene after Elton John's agent heard his track 'Goodbye My Lover', Blunt shot to fame and soon became a household name, the rest, as they say, is history.

Some of his greatest hits include 'You're Beautiful', '1973', 'Bonfire Heart', 'Goodbye My Lover' and 'Wisemen'.

He married Sofia Wellesley, granddaughter of Valerian Wellesley, the eight Duke of Wellington, in September 2014, and the couple have two sons.

In the early 2000s, Blunt became very close with the late Star Wars actress, Carrie Fisher, who played Princess Leia in the popular franchise. He lived with her and often described her as his "best friend". She was the godmother of his eldest son, while Ed Sheeran is the godfather.

Blunt has done his fair share of philanthropy. He is a patron of Help for Heroes, Blunt has held a number of benefit concerts for the charity.

Nowadays, Blunt is very active on social media, often engaging and responding with fans on X, formerly Twitter, and posting satirical messages often mocking himself.

With 11,718,825 monthly listeners on Spotify, Blunt shows no sign of slowing down, having released his latest album 'Who We Used To Be' in 2023.

Happy Birthday, James Blunt.