*The Blue Note* ~ Showtimes: 9pm & 11:30pm

Produced by Jill Newman Productions

The palpable authenticity of Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle has ignited a climactic rise from local West London MC to formidable powerhouse in the music, philanthropic and fashion worlds. Estelle’s dynamic cross-cultural appeal can only be attributed to an abundance of arresting natural talent seldom seen in any industry. As one of the most explosive performers of the last decade, Estelle has captivated a worldwide audience that crosses generational, racial, and gender lines. Recently named “One of the 25 Most Style Savvy Women Alive” by Elle Magazine, Estelle has ruled airwaves and dance floors across the globe with her smash hit American Boy and collaborated with top-notch songwriters, producers, and hip hop heavyweights, including Kanye West, John Legend, Talib Kweli, Wyclef, Busta Rhymes, Sean Paul, Will.I.Am, Ludacris, Robin Thicke, Cee-Lo and Gym Class Heroes.

As a sharp young MC growing up in West London with her one-of-a-kind swagger, enchanting personality, and hybrid of musical talent, Estelle has always been one to persevere while forging her own path. Born second into a strict religious Senegalese/Grenadian family of eight children, she was forced to quickly learn responsibility for herself and her family; she looked to music as a way to escape life’s constant pressures. Though her mother had forbidden secular music in the home, young Estelle was exposed to African and gospel music, as well as reggae and dub (reflecting the roots of her West Indian stepfather), which played an integral role in developing the transcendent vocals that she would one day use to mesmerize her audience. At school, ‘80s pop was the dominant sound and it was only a matter of time before a teenage Estelle was sneaking out of the house to listen to hip hop.

These influences fused flawlessly, yielding the essence of Estelle’s unique signature sound. Estelle burst onto the charts in 2004 with the singles 1980 and Free, winning the MOBO Award for “Best Newcomer” and being crowned “Best Female Artist” at the UK Hip Hop Awards for three consecutive years. Estelle skyrocketed to the top of the charts yet again in 2008, winning the Grammy Award for Best Collaboration with rapper Kanye West on the chart-topper American Boy, which was also nominated for Song of the Year. The infectious track skillfully blended elements of pop and hip-hop for listeners on both sides of the pond, ascending to number 7 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 100 Best Songs of 2008. In addition to hitting #1 on the UK Singles Chart, American Boy topped the European Airplay Chart, along with those in the United States, Canada, UK, France, Italy, Belgium, Denmark, and Ireland. The single made history as the third ever #1 UK single to be certified platinum by the RIAA for digital sales alone exceeding 1 million. Additionally, Estelle has been recognized with the 2008 Urban Music Award for “Best Collaboration,” the MOBO Award for “Best Song,” and the World Music Award for “Best New R&B Act.”

Estelle extended her global reach into the cinematic realm when her exclusive song Star provided a colorful backdrop for Kraft Food’s Crystal Light commercial. Her soulful and empowering single, Pretty Please (Love Me) featuring funk crooner Cee-Lo, landed on soundtracks to box office smash-hits Sex & The City: The Movie and Bride Wars. From Magnificent, included on the soundtrack to the 2008 drama 21, to the tantalizing pulse of Freak, featured in 2010’s Step Up 3D, Estelle’s undeniable talent is eagerly consumed by the masses; she is a comprehensive artist who seamlessly crosses all boundaries.

Now, segueing from her second studio album, Shine, the English chanteuse gives fans an in-depth look into her soul with her highly anticipated new album, All of Me. “I look at my first album as me being a kid, saying ‘I just want to sing.’ With my second album, Shine, I wanted to show everyone that doubted me what I am capable of. Now this new album is about proving to myself what I’m capable of,” explains Estelle. Throughout the recording of All of Me, “Every single song was a clear defined moment of saying, ‘This is who I am. This is what I do. This is how I feel right now,’” explains Estelle.

In contrast to the creative process for Shine – written over the course of four years in relative obscurity – All of Me flowed from Estelle’s musical dexterity in between tour dates and appearances, her creative output mirroring the feverish pace of her globe-hopping lifestyle. “I’m grown,” says Estelle, divulging that the recording process occurred in perfect harmony with her realization of what is most important to her. “During the last album people kept asking, ‘Are you enjoying this moment?’ and I wasn’t. My life was amazing; I was flying around the world, but I still had to make some serious changes.” The key, she says, was peeling through the layers to discover who she truly is at the core while still embracing her place on the world’s stage. “Now it’s time for me to be nice to me. Let me go and be happy, smile, and find love. I feel freedom now.”

Having reached deeply into her heart, the singer/rapper/songwriter/producer is ready to invite her fans to take “all of me.” From the pressures of her rise to fame, to the elation of having the world hear her music, to the experience of falling in love, the highs and lows of her unforgettable year have birthed an eclectic collection of songs which are incredibly soulful, vibrant, fun, and upbeat. John Legend lent his trademark touch to Fall in Love, the first single off his protégé’s album. “Her sound is a unique blend of hip hop, pop, reggae and soul,” explains Legend. “She has a special voice, unlike any other out there in mainstream music, and she can really write. She writes hip lyrics with unforgettable melodies.”

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June 24, 2011
$35 @ table/$20 @ bar
Blue Note Jazz Club
131 W. 3rd St., New York, NY, 10019