Estelle's Musical Icons

Estelle's Musical Icons
ESSENCE.COM Jun, 18, 2012

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“Chaka Khan is incredible just because she wasn’t doing what everyone else was doing. She didn’t look like the regular starlets of the time in the ‘80s. She was definitely very ’80s, but she was a bit of a hippie. Like, ’You know I’m going to have this wild hair and look like Pocahontas today. This is my whole thing and I’m going to sing soul music!’”

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Estelle shares her first memory of meeting Patti LaBelle: “Because of you I get to sing ‘American Boy,’” I told her. “Because you were out there in the ’80s, with the outlandish hair and the shoulder pads, the peplums, you were doing that. And I was five. Because of you, I get to do it. I get to bring it back. Thank you for doing it and being brown like me and being a Black girl.”

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“When Erykah gets in her zone, when she is doing her show, she sounds like a trumpet to me. She’s a horn instrument. I don’t know how she does it.”

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“Jill Scott is incredible because of the music that comes from her. She’s like an opera singer in the hood. And I love it. It makes sense to me. I was watching her Storytellers and she gave me Broadway in the same breath. She inspires the hell out of me. "

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“I’ve seen her, I love her. Ledisi is my girl. But I’m like, ‘Just how? Those notes that you hit. Wow?’ Like where does it come from. I have to think when I sing sometimes and she’s just loud. Everyone is always talking about her natural hair and her look versus her actual vocal is flawless. And she’s just got this parlous smile. She’s not an ugly singer, she like, ’I’m going to sing and I’m going to look pretty doing it.’ You know, that’s something that’s a skill. How do you smile and sing at the same time? That’s great. She’s incredible.”

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“Melanie Fiona, I think she’s another one. She’s a young legend. That girl, she gives give me baby Chaka Khan all day. She said everyone says that, I said ‘But, it’s true!’ Her voice is something else.”

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