|Born||8 December 1964|
Red Rebel Music
James Blundell (born 8 December 1964) is an Australian country music singer. Born in Stanthorpe, Queensland, Blundell first rose to prominence after being named "best new talent" at the 1987 Country Music Awards of Australia. Blundell also won the 1987 Star Maker Quest. He has since released several albums in both Australia and the United States, with his most successful album This Road (released in 1992) selling more than 145,000 copies in Australia. Blundell was an unsuccessful candidate for the Senate in Queensland at the 2013 federal election, running for Katter's Australian Party.
Blundell was born in Queensland town of Stanthorpe, and was brought up on a sheep and cattle station near the town. As an adult he worked as a station hand across various locations in northern Australia. After a back injury sustained while working on a farm in Papua New Guinea he turned to music. and he subsequently won a Golden Guitar Award as the "best new talent" of 1987. Blundell released his eponymous first album in 1989, which was followed by "Hand It Down", which was released in the United States in 1990 following its success in Australia. He appeared on the 1990 compilation album Breaking Ground - New Directions in Country Music which was nominated for the 1991 ARIA Award for Best Country Album. His next albums were This Road and Touch of Water. This Road, which sold more than 145,000 copies in Australia, included the hit "Way Out West", a collaboration with James Reyne which went to #2 on the ARIA Singles Chart. Blundell's first works reflected his background as a jackaroo and his love of that lifestyle.
Although his next albums were less successful commercially, Blundell continued to play regularly at folk and country music festivals around Australia. In 1997, Blundell featured in a Qantas commercial, singing "I Still Call Australia Home", and in the lead-up to the 1999 Australian republic referendum, Blundell recorded the official song for the "No" campaign, despite being in favour of a republic. In 2003 Blundell garnered media attention for his song "Postcards From Saigon" and speaking out against the war in Iraq. In November and December 2010 and the following February, Blundell performed in a musical theatre show, The Ultimate Rock 'n' Roll Jam Session, with Nick Barker, Dave Larkin, Ezra Lee and Doug Parkinson.
In June 2013, Blundell was selected as Katter's Australian Party's lead Senate candidate for Queensland in the 2013 federal election. This was largely at the urging of Bob Katter, the party's founder and only federal member of parliament. Blundell had previously been approached to stand in elections by the Liberal National Party (LNP), but declined. His selection was controversial within the party, in part because he had not been a party member before his candidacy was announced, and contributed to a former vice-president, Kevin Brown, resigning his membership. Some of Blundell's political positions have been controversial within the party, notably his support for same-sex marriage and the abolition of penalty rates.
Blundell has been married twice--firstly to Louise, a former manager, and secondly to Lidia, with whom he had two sons. He left his second wife in August 2007 for Jesse Curran, a singer who he had met at one of his concerts, and he and Curran have since had two children together. In May 2010, Blundell filed for bankruptcy, having gone into debt attempting to finance his albums, as well as having lost money on the sale of an investment property the previous year. The bankruptcy was discharged in April 2013--had it not been, he would have ineligible to stand as a candidate for election.
Blundell's brother, Peter Blundell, is a former mayor of the Stanthorpe Shire and the Southern Downs Region. Peter Blundell has since moved to Central Queensland where he resides in the coastal town of Yeppoon and is a radio presenter with Rockhampton community station 4YOU. Peter Blundell has also been preselected by the Liberal National Party of Queensland to contest the next Queensland state election in the Central Queensland seat of Keppel, in an attempt to defeat sitting Australian Labor Party state member Brittany Lauga. James Blundell has displayed public support for his brother's political ambitions and has performed at campaign events for his brother.