Homeschool and Atlantic Records have announced the upcoming release of â€œSHINE,â€ the hugely anticipated US debut album from British hip-hop/soul sensation, Estelle. The album â€“ which features the current UK #1 single, â€œAmerican Boy (Feat. Kanye West)â€ â€“ lands in stores across North America on April 29th.
â€œSHINEâ€ marks the premiere release from John Legendâ€™s new Homeschool Records label, in partnership with Atlantic Records. â€œHer sound is a unique blend of hip-hop, pop, reggae and soul,â€ explains the Grammy Award-winning Legend. â€œShe has a special voice, unlike any other voice out there in mainstream music, and she can really write. Iâ€™m excited and honored to have Estelle as the first artist on my label. I believe the world is going to fall in love with her album, as I already have. Estelle is an amazing talent, and sheâ€™s going to do big things.â€
Legend â€“ who executive produced â€œSHINEâ€ alongside Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman â€“ is hosting a number of dates on Estelleâ€™s current US club tour. The shows continue through a May 1st performance at Los Angeles â€™ Temple Bar (see attached itinerary).
â€œAmerican Boy (Feat. Kanye West)â€ continues to dominate the UK singles chart, standing tall at #1 for its fourth consecutive week. Last month, the track made history as the third-ever #1 UK single based on digital sales alone, following in the international smash footsteps of Gnarls Barkleyâ€™s â€œCrazyâ€ and Rihannaâ€™s â€œUmbrella.â€ Here in the US , â€œAmerican Boyâ€ has just impacted at multi-format radio outlets nationwide, including Urban, Rhythmic, and CHR/Top 40.
Whatâ€™s more, the â€œAmerican Boyâ€ companion video is looking like an out-of-the-box breakthrough for Estelle. The clip â€“ directed by Syndrome (Danity Kane, Day26, Lupe Fiasco) â€“ has already been added at MTV, MTV Jams, MTV Hits, mtvU, and BET J. Estelle has also been tapped fort he prestigious BET â€œRated Nextâ€ and Vh-1 Soul â€œYou Oughta Knowâ€ programs.
On April 24th, Estelle made her network television debut on CBSâ€™ Late Show with David Letterman. Additional television performances will include, the nationally syndicated Ellen DeGeneres Show, CBSâ€™s Late, Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and ABCâ€™s Jimmy Kimmel Live!
â€œSHINEâ€ is now available for pre-order via the iTunes Store. An exclusive â€œDeluxe Editionâ€ is also on offer, featuring bonus tracks such as â€œLife To Me,â€ Estelleâ€™s 2007 collaboration with renowned hip-hop producer Hi-Tek, as well as the music videos for â€œAmerican Boyâ€ and â€œWait a Minute (Just a Touch).â€
Executive Produced by Homeschool Records founder John Legend and Atlantic Records Chairman/CEO Craig Kallman, â€œSHINEâ€ is without question one of the yearâ€™s most anticipated releases. The album features production from an array of studio superstars, including Mark Ronson (Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen), Wyclef Jean (Mary J. Blige, Shakira), Swizz Beatz (T.I., Jay-Z, BeyoncÃ©), will. i. am (Justin Timberlake, Diddy, Chris Brown), and Supa Dups (of the famed Black Chiney sound system). Joining Estelle behind the mic are such talented artists as John Legend, Kanye West, Cee-Lo, and acclaimed Canadian dancehall/hip-hop MC, Kardinal Offishall.
Even with the star-studded guest roster, it is Estelle who shines brightest throughout the collection. Her idiosyncratic vocals â€“ sensual, swaggering, and always special â€“ unite the albumâ€™s diverse spectrum of sonic styles, spanning funk, reggae, R&B, soul, hip-hop, and anything else which strikes the West London girlâ€™s fancy. Tracks such as the dancehall party jam, â€œMagnificent,â€ or the brass-powered â€œWait a Minute (Just a Touch)â€ display mature confidence, deep soulfulness, and a remarkable gift for no-holds-barred emotional expression.
With â€œSHINE,â€ Estelle more than fulfills the promise of her 2004 debut, â€œTHE 18TH DAY.â€ That album earned her widespread acclaim, as well as a series of honors including a 2004 MOBO for â€œBest Newcomerâ€ and three consecutive received â€œBest Female Artistâ€ trophies from the UK Hip-Hop Awards.
â€œSHINEâ€ has already received ecstatic critical hosannas in Estelleâ€™s home country. â€œEqual parts reggae, pop and hip-hop, it’s stuffed with potential singles,â€ declared the Guardianâ€™s Caroline Sullivan in a four-out-of-five starred review. â€œThereâ€™s a nothing-to-lose confidence in these songs that defies resistance,â€ raved the Timesâ€™ Peter Paphides, hailing the album as â€œan almighty new beginning.â€
Here in the US , Estelle has been acknowledged as one of the yearâ€™s most extraordinary new stars. She is among Rolling Stoneâ€™s â€œOnes to Watch in 2008,â€ Billboardâ€™s â€œWhat Great in 2008,â€ the New York Postâ€™s â€œNew Faces of 2008,â€ and Pasteâ€™s â€œ4 to Watch in 2008,â€ as well as one of Vibeâ€™s â€œNextâ€ artists.
Also offering prolifigate praise are Estelleâ€™s fellow artists. â€œI have never worked with a young artist that reminded me so much of Lauryn Hill,â€ offers Wyclef Jean. â€œEstelle is such a talented singer, rapper, vocal arranger, and songwriter,â€ says Mark Ronson. â€œI canâ€™t think of anyone else who can do all those things as well as she can. Any time that we work together in the studio, she never comes up with an idea thatâ€™s uninspiring.â€
â€œEstelle has a strong unique voice,â€ notes Cee-Lo, â€œreminiscent of old soul. Her ability to think outside the box draws me to her, and this is what will draw others to her.â€ â€œI feel she will be the next big thing in the R&B/soul game,â€ adds Swizz Beatz. â€œShe is a great person to work with and I feel her album is a new feel for â€˜08.â€
(TOUR ITINERARY BELOW)
US Tour â€“ Spring 2008
* Hosted by John Legend
15 Washington DC Zanzibar on the Waterfront*
16 Charlotte , NC Amosâ€™ Southend
17 Atlanta , GA Sugar Hill*
22 Ft Lauderdale , FL The Culture Room
28 New York , NY Highline Ballroom*
1 Los Angeles , CA Temple Bar*