Fans have recently seen James make his musical comeback and the singer secured a number one with his new single 'Say You Won't Let Go'. He was re-signed by Simon Cowell's label Syco and the music mogul has praised him for his latest release, but now James has revealed he struggled to get other singers on board to feature on his new album.
Speaking to The Sun, James claimed that he reached out to both Rita and Ellie to work with him, but never heard a response.
He said: "It was tough to get people involved in this one, because I don't think anyone expected me to come back. I was calling Ellie Goulding and Rita Ora, all these guys, saying, 'Do you want to sing this line?' but I got nothing."
While they may not have taken up his offer, James did add that 'Burn' singer Ellie had reached out to him following his return to music.
He said: "Ellie said something really nice. She was like, 'It's lovely to hear just an acoustic and a voice in a chart where everything is electronic.'"
Rita, meanwhile, used to date James.
James opened up about their relationship in October and revealed the pair had previously "seen each other" for a few months. He admitted their failed romance had left him a "little bitter", as the pair suddenly cut contact.
In an interview with the Evening Standard, James recalled: "Me and Rita were seeing each other on-and-off for a few months. All of a sudden we just stopped talking."
"Maybe it was bad for her image to be seen with me," he added. "I was a little bitter about that because she'd said she had a lot of feelings for me."
Rita and James were first linked back in 2013, after appearing to get close at an X Factor party. However, Rita had downplayed their romance at the time, insisting she was "too busy" for a boyfriend and wasn't dating anyone.
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