Ten years ago, British hip-hop soul siren Estelle would’ve been Lauryn Hill‘s biggest competition. Today, she’s a rare gem–cosmopolitan, street-smart, and unapologetically outspoken. Featuring collaborations with everyone from Mark Ronson and will.i.am to Kanye West and Cee-Lo, her outstanding U.S. debut CD, Shine–the first release on John Legend‘s Homeschool Records imprint–is a galvanizing blend of hip-hop, R&B, reggae, and dancehall. Why it didn’t blow up like Hill’s 1998 classic, The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill, remains a mystery to me. But at least her single "American Boy" scored a well-deserved Song of the Year Grammy nod. That’s gotta count for something, right?
Dec 25 2008 05:26 PM ET
Estelle's 'Shine': Best debut CD of the year
- 'Arrested Development': We'll binge/recap
- Memorial Day TV marathons: What's on
- Fox reality boss Mike Darnell steps down
- TV season finales: EW grades
- 'Arrested Development': Funkes in town!
- Jimmy Kimmel: Not the 'Nude Bea' buyer
- 'Fast & Furious': 5 films in 1 day?!
- TV music: Our wishlist (and yours?)