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James Arthur's early years were marked by a blend of diverse influences and experiences. Born to Shirley Ashworth, a fashion model turned sales and marketing professional, and Neil Arthur, a former DJ and drummer turned delivery driver, James' upbringing was colored by his parents' varied careers. After his parents' separation when he was two, Arthur experienced a childhood split between his father's home and foster care. This period of his life was a testament to his resilience and adaptability. His schooling spanned continents, from North Yorkshire to Bahrain, before returning to England, providing him a broad perspective on life from a young age.

Check out this month's Music Alive! cover story to learn more.

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    Hear the Music: This monthly playlist accompanies every issue of Music Alive!

    1. 02 Say You Won't Let Go 3:32
    2. Blindside James Arthur 3:33
    3. Groove Is In the Heart Deee-Lite 3:52
    4. Coffee Blues Mississippi John Hurt 3:48
    5. St. Louis Blues W.C. Handy 3:03
    6. You Gotta Move Mississippi Fred McDowell 3:21
    7. Vampire Woman Spark Plug Smith & Tallahassee Tight 3:02
    8. Catfish Blues Skip James 4:37
    9. I Can't Quit You Baby Willie Dixon 6:45
    10. Cross Road Blues Robert Johnson 2:38
    11. Chain Gang Blues Ma Rainey 3:12
    12. The Thrill Is Gone B.B. King 5:28
    13. Pride and Joy Stevie Ray Vaughan & Double Trouble 3:39
    14. Ghetto Child Shemekia Copeland 4:07
    15. Taking Me Higher Keb' Mo' 4:03
    16. Rhapsody in Blue Arthur Fiedler, Earl Wild, Pasquale Cardillo & Boston Pops Orchestra 5:48
    17. No Sleep Till Brooklyn Beastie Boys 4:07