‘X Factor’ winner James Arthur says he experienced suicidal feelings during career slump

2012 champion is now rebuilding his career with a second album due in November

Former X Factor winner James Arthur has revealed that he experienced suicidal thoughts because he believed he had sabotaged his own career.

The Middlesbrough-born singer won the ninth series of ITV’s long-running talent contest in 2012, then saw his debut single ‘Impossible’ reach Number One. Both follow-up single ‘You’re Nobody ‘Til Somebody Loves You’ and Arthur’s self-titled debut album peaked at Number Two the following year.

However, Arthur later established a reputation as something of a loose cannon and was forced to apologise after using homophobic lyrics in a diss track aimed at a rapper called Micky Worthless. He was subsequently dropped from Simon Cowell‘s label Syco Records.


“I genuinely was at the end of my tether,” Arthur recalled in a new interview with The Sun. “I’d never been a guy who suffers from suicidal tendencies but I had taken all I could take from life. I thought that was my chance and I’d ruined it. You never see an X Factor winner make a comeback. It doesn’t happen.”

Speaking about his decline after being dropped, Arthur added: “My lowest moment was when I was going to bed, I’d take 15 pre-rolled joints and smoke one after the other, popping anti-depressants. My head was an absolute mess.”

However, Arthur has since begun to rebuild his career and is now preparing to release his second album in November. “Quitting drugs has helped me gain some perspective,” he told The Sun. “I don’t recognise that artist in my first album. A couple of songs are great, but I was writing for other people then. I was trying to write a hit, trying to be the best X Factor winner ever – they weren’t honest songs as you didn’t hear any of my character.”

“This one, there’s loads of me in it,” he continued. “There is a bit of self-indulgence in there as I had to tell my story. People will relate to it and the message is hope, love and respect, to like yourself.”