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RETRO CHART 2005: Marmite ‘You’re Beautiful’ put James Blunt on worldwide map 17 years ago

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You're Beautiful was a global hit, number one in the UK, Ireland and the US.

You're Beautiful was a global hit, number one in the UK, Ireland and the US.

You're Beautiful was a global hit, number one in the UK, Ireland and the US.

1 You’re Beautiful James Blunt

2 We Belong Together Mariah Carey

3 Army of Lovers Lee Ryan

4 Ghetto Gospel 2Pac ft Elton John

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5 Gasolina Daddy Yankee

6 From The Floorboards Up Paul Weller

7 Since U Been Gone Kelly Clarkson

8 Crazy Chick Charlotte Church

9 Roc Ya Body (Mic Check 1 2) MVP

10 Axel F Crazy Frog

Possibly loved and derided in equal measure, You’re Beautiful helped launch the career of James Blunt, reaching the top of the charts in the UK, Ireland, Canada, the Netherlands and Sweden all of 17 years ago.

It also topped the Billboard Hot 100 chart and remains Blunt’s only song to reach the top 40 in the US.

The third single from Blunt’s debut album Back To Bedlam, You’re Beautiful received extensive airplay and quickly became a favourite with couples at their weddings.

In spite of its commercial success, and indeed positive reviews at the time of release, it’s marmite, the target of much derision on social media.

In a poll conducted by Rolling Stone in 2007, You’re Beautiful ranked number seven in a list of 10 most annoying songs (The Black Eyed Peas’ My Humps was No. 1).

In 2014, the self-deprecating Blunt told Hello!: “There was one song that was force-fed down people’s throats - ‘You’re Beautiful’ - and it became annoying. And then people start to associate the artist with the same word. I think, at the end of the day, I was marketed by a record company to appeal to women during Desperate Housewives commercials and you lose 50 percent of the population in doing so.”

You’re Beautiful sold more than three million in the US alone. It helped drive huge sales of the Back To Bedlam album which, to date, has chalked up global sales of over 13 million.

Blunt explained the meaning of You’re Beautiful on the Oprah Winfrey Show in 2006: “It’s kind of miserable. It was about seeing my ex-girlfriend on the Underground in London with her new man, who I didn’t know existed. She and I caught eyes and lived a lifetime in that moment, but didn’t do anything about it and haven’t seen each other since.”

Just over a decade later, the singer elaborated, revealing the song is not as romantic as would first appear. “It’s about this guy who’s high as a kite stalking someone else’s girlfriend - and should be locked up and put in prison. But people think, ‘Ah, he’s a sweet romantic.’ If you think that’s what romance is, then I think you’re pretty weird.”


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