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Editors’ Notes

Executive-produced by John Legend, Estelle's sophomore album Shine brings together the best and brightest from Legend’s circle. Kanye West delivers “American Boy,” a slice of modern disco that is perfect backdrop for the song’s cross-continental romance, while Wyclef Jean and Mark Ronson, bring to the table a global sensibility well-suited to Estelle, a West Londoner with a mom from Senegal and a dad from Grenanda. Jean’s tracks, “No Substitute Love” and “So Much Out of the Way,” are hypnotic and heavy, his best productions in years; Ronson, on the other hand, comes through with “Magnificent,” a raw funk beat infused with Jamaican flavor. Of course, these producers are only as good as their singer, and Estelle is completely self-possessed and stylish. In league with other contemporary British sirens like Amy Winehouse and Nicole Willis, Estelle is soulful but not stereotypical, charming but not cutesy. She represents something fiercely current yet utterly timeless and her Shine is a true rarity: a mainstream female pop album that is as sophisticated as it is fresh.


Born: 18 January 1980 in London, England

Genre: R&B/Soul

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legend to 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...
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Shine, Estelle
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