Although deep-voiced soul singer Amy Winehouse tragically died this weekend at the young age of twenty-seven with only two official albums under her beehive, Winehouse’s sudden success spearheaded a trend in the United Kingdom for talented neo-soul singers.
If you dig Amy Winehouse, you should check out the other talented babes who can belt on our list of the Top Ten British Neo-Soul Divas.
10. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Jessie J[/lastfm]
Even though the feisty “Price Tag” songstress, Jessie J, is renowned for her hard-edged renditions on the prototypical pop song structure, after her recent jaw-dropping performance on BET’s 106 and Park, we think she is the next great blues-soul singer. We hope that she changes auto-tuned pop songs into something more organic–like the old days of soul.
“Mamma Knows Best”
9. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]V.V. Brown[/lastfm]
With the style of a modern-day Billie Holiday, V.V. Brown is probably the least well-known person on this list, but her sweet, soulful voice and impeccable fashion sense are totally refreshing in the days of Ke$ha-esque torn tights and “glitter on the dance floor.”
We think V.V. Brown easily has the potential to become the next Adele.
“Shark In The Water”
8.[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Lily Allen[/lastfm]
Sassy singer-songwriter Lily Allen is known most for her candid, well-written and especially candid pop-soul songs, her eccentric style, and her stellar collaborations with the King of British Soul production–[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Mark Ronson.[/lastfm]
While not all of her songs would be considered “soul,” we think the amount of her personality that she instills in every song more than makes us for it.
“Oh My God”
7. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Estelle[/lastfm]
In 2009, Estelle won a Grammy for her song with Kanye West called “American Boy” which explicitly highlighted the reggae-tinged soul singer’s very British roots and her desire to hook up with an American boy. Ever since then, Estelle’s song has been a party staple. We dare you not to blast it when it comes on the radio.
6. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Joss Stone[/lastfm]
Reaching her fame at a very young age with her 2003 multi-platinum debut album, Soul Sessions, Joss Stone has blossomed before our eyes from a teenage girl with a golden voice that was just covering soul songs to a talented singer-songwriter who still remains understated whilst simultaneously overshadowing even the most veteran of vocalists.
“Tell Me ‘Bout It”
5. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Florence Welch[/lastfm] from[lastfm link_type=”artist_info”] Florence + the Machine[/lastfm]
While Florence Welch of Florence + The Machine isn’t considered a “typical” soul vocalist, Welch’s expansive, theatrical, almost operatic voice is ripe with energy and spirit. Her dynamic performances are colorful and full of character.
Unlike some other artists, Welch has managed to break into almost every musical market with her unique sound and authentic presence.
“Dog Days Are Over”
4. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Duffy[/lastfm]
Beautiful, blonde singer, Duffy, not only kind of looks like sixties soul singer, Dusty Springfield, she sounds a lot like her too. Hot on the heels of Adele’s initial emergence, Duffy could easily break into the American musical market.
3. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Adele[/lastfm]
When Adele first came on the scene as a mere teenager with her album 19, people were floored by how mature, grounded, and full of life knowledge the young chanteuse sounded.
“Rolling In the Deep”
2. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Sade[/lastfm]
Almost everyone from every genre and market of music loves Sade. Routinely listed as the most “erotic” singer out there, Sade is indeed a sensual vocalist, but part of her appeal is her mysterious, almost exotic nature. What she sings is who she is and this sincerity has made her one of the most popular musicians in the world for decades.
“Soldier of Love”
1. [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Amy Winehouse[/lastfm]
Infamous for her blatant drugging, boozing, and shame-free attitude, Amy Winehouse also has one of the most unique voices in music today. Some might even argue that it was Winehouse’s popularity that started the whole neo-soul movement.
We can’t say she is the greatest role model, but she is one of the most engaging recorded singers we’ve heard since the [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Ronnie Spector[/lastfm] and [lastfm link_type=”artist_info”]Etta James [/lastfm]days.
We love you and will miss you, Amy.
“Back To Black”
- Who is your favorite neo-soul singer? Are you a fan of the movement? Let us know in the comments!