JAMES BOURNE didn’t exactly get critical acclaim when he launched his career in Noughties pop group Busted.
But after almost two decades in the industry he’s finally gained the recognition of one of his heroes — Eric Clapton.
The legendary guitarist got in touch with the singer last week following the release of his debut solo single Everyone Is My Friend, which fans said sounded like one of Eric’s tunes.
Chatting to Bizarre over the phone from his Hollywood home, James said: “The first single is out now and people have said some amazing stuff about it, which is really awesome.
“I got an amazing note from Eric Clapton, because a lot of people have said it reminded them of him.
“I wrote the song with a guy called Stephen Bishop, who is a lifelong friend of Eric’s and who has written some amazing songs with Phil Collins.
“Stephen sent the song to Eric and he wrote back an amazing message that was very complimentary about it.”
On whether they could perform it together, James said: “There is this cool part going on behind the vocals and the acoustic take it would be cool to hear him play.”
The song is the first to be taken from his upcoming debut solo album, Safe Journey Home, due out on October 23, and he has already written the follow-up, too.
James said: “I’ve made an unbelievable album, which is going to be my next one after this one. I made it in lockdown.”
James had plenty to write about after years of being in bands including Busted, Son Of Dork and then supergroup McBusted.
He also has his romance with stunning British YouTuber Emily Canham to inspire new tunes. They spent almost half a year in lockdown together before his return to the States.
He explained: “She comes out all the time, but the travel back and forth is not as simple now because of lockdown.
“We did lockdown for five months in Cornwall but it got to the point where I needed to come back out here.”
There could soon be another reason, aside from his girlfriend, for him to return to the UK, a collaboration with Lewis Capaldi.
He outed himself to James as a huge Busted fan a few years ago and James said: “I’d never say no to working with Lewis, I love doing collaborations.
“I’ve done a lot of writing for other people but I kind of want to focus on songs that I’m going to sing myself now, just really to be more of an artist than a songwriter.”
But there is a problem.
James added: “I don’t really want to play socially distanced gigs. There is no vibe. I’m not really in a mad rush if that’s the way it’s going to be.
“I’ve put my time into songwriting and when the time comes I will have plenty of songs.”
It’ll be worth the wait.
Pixie's dark side
Pixie Lott has ditched her trademark blonde hair for this darker shade and she might be trying new skills too.
The Mama Do singer told the Sunshine Sessions podcast: “Over the last couple of years I’ve got into meditating.
“On the side I really want to do an online teacher training course, just to have it as a new thing I’ve learned.
“I could help people with the benefits of meditation, which is like making you feel calm and putting things into perspective. I’d love to try that out.”
She doesn’t need to do much more than post a snap like this on Instagram to be heaped with praise though.
Little Mix’s Perrie Edwards commented: “Will I ever get over this hair? Probably NOT!”
Pixie has been a fixture of Saturday night TV as a coach on The Voice Kids.
With this hair, all eyes will be on her for the final a week tomorrow.
Clean Bandit tick the box
Superstar Elton John is yet to make the cut on a Clean Bandit track.
Grace Chatto from the British trio has revealed they have shelved a series of collaborations they recorded with the pop icon in 2016.
And she is unsure they will ever be released.
In an exclusive chat, she told me: “We were in the studio for a couple of days and it was two of the most exciting days of our lives because we’re such massive fans.
“But we’ve just written all these new songs so we’re focused on those at the moment.”
Now they have their sights set on working with another music heavyweight, Rihanna, and reckon they might be in with a chance after discovering she lives a stone’s throw from them in London.
Grace said: “Rihanna is always top of our list. Pretty much every song we write, we think about her. But we never approach her, so this is me putting it out there.”
They have spent much of the past eight years on the road but have thrived in lockdown, completing their ridiculously catchy new single Tick Tock, with Mabel and 24kGoldn, which is out today.
Grace, in the band with brothers Jake and Luke Patterson, said: “The lockdown has actually been really productive for us.
“It’s been so liberating to just completely focus on music without travelling at the same time. It felt like it was really needed, to just stop moving for a moment.”
And despite the title of their track, Tick Tock, they insisted there won’t be comparisons to Kesha’s 2009 hit Tik Tok. Grace added: “It’s a different style.
“Our song is about being obsessed with a guy you want to get out of your mind but can’t. I don’t think it’s going to be in competition with that song.”
Miley's minus one
She’s just split from Cody Simpson but Miley Cyrus has heartbreaks figured.
The Nothing Breaks Like A Heart singer explained: “I’m a logical person and I really try to not get lost in emotion, because our emotion lies to us. Our emotion makes us believe that every thought is real.
“And at a time we’re dealing with heartbreak it’s like, ‘I’m never going to be the same again’. It’s not true.”
Miley told Zane Lowe on his Apple Music show: “I am obsessed with lists.
“So when dealing with heartbreak I look at what’s being added, what’s being subtracted, and I write down each on each side.
“Then I measure from one to ten and I can make a logical decision based on numbers, not based on every thought.”
Kim Kardashian looks even peachier than usual in this bright outfit.
Kylie Minogue fans can look forward to purely the pop princess on her upcoming album Disco.
Asked if she had duetted for the record, out in November, she said: “I haven’t and there’s nothing planned.
“I genuinely love collaborations. It’s better to be able to do live performances together.
“There’s an unspoken understanding of what it is to be an artist and performer.”
Rob's song Ayd
Robbie Williams has finished 50 new songs in lockdown – and he’s been getting help from wife Ayda.
The actress and former X Factor judge could even duet with him on his next album, which former Take That bandmate Gary Barlow is also helping him out on.
On their podcast At Home With The Williamses, Ayda said to Robbie: “I wrote a song with you which I was really chuffed with.
“Can I just put it out there because A) it’s cool to do with you and B) as a feather in mummy’s cap because I’m never going to write a song otherwise.”
Robbie added: “I now have four or five albums- worth of material.”
Sounds like we’ll have nothing to listen to apart from Robbie next year.
Tilda Swinton, Cate Blanchett, Ron Perlman, Christoph Waltz and Stranger Things’ Finn Wolfhard are just some of the big names in the Netflix animated musical Pinocchio.
New-comer Gregory Mann will play the lead, with Ewan McGregor as Cricket.
The Rolling Stones will open a flagship store in London on September 9 selling fashion and merchandise alongside on-going releases.
RS No. 9 Carnaby, will be in Carnaby Street, Soho, and has been created in partnership with merch company Bravado.
Pop star Astrid S gets X-rated in her latest music video, dancing around in front of a variety of hefty sex toys.
The Norwegian singer’s track, Marilyn Monroe, follows Dance Dance Dance and I Do, which are all expected to be on her debut album later this year.
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