James Blunt's mother has defended her son against the criticism he receives because of his privileged background, insisting the singer does not deserve such "harsh" treatment.
The You're Beautiful hitmaker is often ridiculed because of his posh accent and expensive school education, and his mother, Jane Blount, was prompted to speak out after she heard record producer Pete Waterman denounce the British music industry as "snobbish" in a recent radio interview.
Waterman did not mention Blunt specifically, but he pointed out that many of today's stars, including Lily Allen, Florence Welch and Coldplay's Chris Martin, all attended upmarket schools.
Blount contacted BBC Radio 4's Today programme via email and staunchly defended her son, insisting artists should be judged on their talents - not their backgrounds.
The email reads, "I was most interested to hear Pete Waterman's thoughts on public school rock stars. His attitude is reflected by most of the critics in the U.K. My son James Blunt, who is hugely appreciated worldwide, receives harsh criticism here and we have, rather sadly, been aware that it is because of his background.
"We are relieved that on the whole James' fan base take no notice of the critics."