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James Blunt has said he “enjoys” the abuse he receives on social media and has learned how to “cash in on it”.
The singer-songwriter, 47, is known for hits including 1973 and You’re Beautiful but has also won fans with his witty comebacks aimed at critics of his music on social media.
Blunt described the abuse as a “joke” and said it was easy to ignore when thousands of fans paid to see him perform in arenas around the world.
The former army officer, who served for six years and is a friend of Prince Harry's, told the PA news agency: “I definitely think the real world is a nicer environment with more to offer.
“You meet a nicer person generally in the real world than you do in the world of social media."
He added, jokingly, "but I enjoy the abuse. And I’ve learned to cash in on it too.
“It’s a joke, because I go on tours around the world and I am lucky enough to play arenas of up to 20,000 people a night. There are tens of thousands of people making an effort to come, paying good money and travelling a distance to see these shows.
“It would be a joke to take the two people online who are being mean about me or my music seriously, rather than people who attended the shows.
“They’re making the effort and they are the ones who deserve the recognition and respect.”
Blunt said his record label had encouraged him to join TikTok but suggested he preferred interactions in the real world.
“Every album, the label say there’s a new platform and that you should be on this platform.
“Like all these things, they are quite self-orientated. And I do think the real world probably has more to give.
“But at the same time, I feel very fortunate to have platforms like these, which mean that I can have direct contact with people.”
The singer is known for his openness and sense of humour online, and often speaks positively of his time as an army officer.
"As a touring musician, at pretty much every show there’s an after-party (Corona and vodka) and then, when we wander on to the tour bus, my guitar technician Brian is there with the Breville, offering ham and cheese toasties," he recently told The Guardian.
"A tour bus is more comfortable than a tank, but there’s a great similarity on tour in how I have another team of experts around and supporting me."
Watch: James Blunt caught Covid-19 two weeks before comeback shows
He also owns a London pub, The Fox and Pheasant.
He explained: "We used to call it the Fox & Unpleasant, but then one night I was sitting next to an estate agent who said it was on his books. It’s my local, I’m a minor pop star and one’s entire job surely is to preserve one’s local.
"So I found myself choosing, rubbing down and varnishing wood, and making sure the lavatories became really smart. I got the look from Soho House in Berlin, where a man walked into the loo and saw me taking photos of the urinal and exclaimed: 'You’re James Blunt!'
"I imagine he could be relaying to someone, at this very moment: 'I met James Blunt and he’s a urinal fetishist.'
His good sense of humour continues to amuse his 2 million followers.
In reply to a recent tweet, "Seriously lads, stop, I can't take anymore of Ed Sheeran or Adele. Play something else. I'd rather listen to James Blunt tbh," Blunt answered, "Said no one, ever."
While is response to someone asking "Is James Blunt still a thing?" He simply replied, "It is."
James Blunt releases greatest hits album The Stars Beneath My Feet (2004-2021) on 19 November on Atlantic Records.
Additional reporting, PA
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