Pop stars have traditionally not come from the upper classes of society. Eminem grew up on a trailer park. 50 Cent is from the dangerous ghettoes of New York. The Beatles grew up in the poor, industrial city of Liverpool.
However, some musicians have come from the army. Elvis Presley, the King of Rock and Roll, served with the American Army in Germany whilst Jimi Hendrix was in the parachute regiment.
Following in that tradition comes the latest British musical sensation, James Blunt. His last single, ‘You’re Beautiful’, was a huge hit , and his concerts have sold out all over the country.
But what is a well spoken, ex-army officer doing making music? James Blunt comes from a family with a long tradition of military service. His early life was not filled with music. His army officer father thought all music, even classical, was unnecessary noise.
Being from a good family, he was sent to boarding school at the age of seven. He then went on to University to study engineering, then Sandhurst, the officer training college. His life seemed certain to follow that of his father’s and grandfather’s before him - private schools, a good university and a career as an officer in the Household Cavalry, one of the best regiments in the British Army.
He had, however, started playing the guitar as a teenager. When he was sent to Kosovo, he didn’t just take his gun – he also took his guitar, attached to the side of his tank. As he drove through villages damaged by the war, he used to sing the John Lennon song ‘Give Peace a Chance.’ “Well,” he later said, “we were peacekeepers .”
So where did all this lead him? Well, in 2003 he left the army and went to Los Angeles to make a record. His accent was considered too posh for many record producers and companies in England.
In America, however, it helped open doors. In 2004, his first album ‘Back to Bedlam’ was released, and the singles ‘High’, ‘Wise Men’ and ‘You’re Beautiful’ have been great successes. For the singing soldier, swapping a gun for a guitar has been a good choice.
upper classes 上层社会，贵族阶层
trailer park 活动房屋或(家庭拖车的)停车场
huge hit 巨大成功
sold out 售完，卖光
well spoken 善于辞令的；谈吐文雅的
army officer 军官；陆军军官
boarding school 寄宿学校