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I became aware of Estelle through the hit American Boy (above) simply because my daughter had the radio tuned to stations that played it. Her part is great, but the pop/hip hop response format -- Estelle and Kayne West in this case --  always seems forced.

Another of the YouTube clips is Wonderful Life (below), which I like just as much. It's a completely different, which demonstrates her talent.

This is what Wikipedia says about Estelle:

Estelle Fanta Swaray (born 18 January 1980[1][2]) commonly known as Estelle, and formerly as Est'elle, is an English R&Bsinger-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.

In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day, which peaked with in the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles "1980", "Free", and "Go Gone" which all charted with in the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single "Wait A Minute" failed to chart anywhere. The second single "American Boy" peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle's first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me. The lead single "Break My Heart" featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single "Thankyou" peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the US R&B chart and the third single "Back to Love" was released. (Continue Reading...)

Here is the start of Estelle's AllMusic profile:
Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legendto Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London's renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12" on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when "1980" was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. (Continue Reading...)
Here is Estelle's website.

Originally posted to cweinsch on Mon Feb 25, 2013 at 06:00 AM PST.

Also republished by An Ear for Music.

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