James publicly apologised for his behaviour when he appeared on X Factor a year after he won.
Speaking to Dermot O' Leary he said: "I've made some very silly mistakes.
In May of that year, Ria Vincent and a prostitute revealed performed a sex act on James while he kept his socks on.
He was also accused of using homophobic slurs during a rap battle and has had several Twitter feuds with celebrities including controversial comedian Frankie Boyle.
I want to thank the X Factor for giving me this opportunity.
"I want to say sorry for abusing my position as an X Factor winner because I owe everything to this thing." In a first, James was resigned to Sy Co Records after he had cleaned up his act.
During that time, he shared music on Sound Cloud and You Tube.
The star publicly talks about his battle with anxiety and depression and has been an supporter of World Mental Health Day. "I masked it all with self-medicating and just trying to bury it instead of confronting it. To the point where I had a humongous breakdown.” His issues prompted him to take some time away from the spotlight before returning in 2016.
James embarked on a music career from a young age, writing and recording songs both as a solo artist and in bands in his teens.
Before trying out for X Factor, he also tried his hand on The Voice - but his audition never even aired.
The singer also refrerred to One Direction as a "marketing product" and wrote a song with the lyrics: "I'm gonna blow up your family like I'm a terrorist." James was dropped from Sy Co in June 2014.
After cleaning up his image, James made headlines once again in August 2016 after being the victim in an unprovoked yet violent clash over a girl.
He told us in February: “Romance and girls I don’t talk about anymore, it’s off limits.