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Singers who Sound Like Amy Winehouse, Lily Allen

Separated at Birth: UK Singing Soundalikes

It seems like you can't turn on the radio or surf the music blogs these days (or walk into a Starbucks, for that matter) without hearing a lady singer who is from the UK and sounds strikingly similar to Amy Winehouse or Lily Allen. It's as if all aspiring British female vocalists born between 1979 and 1991 were only given Dusty Springfield and Etta James records to listen to for inspiration.

Winehouse and Allen reintroduced the "soulful songstress with attitude and distinctive vocals" persona to the mainstream when they took the USA by storm a few years ago. However, they now appear to be imploding personally, leaving a hole in the genre that record labels have rushed to fill. I'm not complaining, as I happen to really enjoy this kind of music, but how to tell all this talent apart? There are a lot of 'em, and in addition to having similar musical styles, their names (er, um, "name," as the case may be for several of them) are hardly distinctive. It's confusing! For your benefit and mine, here's my attempt to break it all down:

Name Duffy Adele Estelle Kate Nash Gabriella Cilmi
Recent Album Rockferry, 2008 19, 2008 Shine, 2008 Made of Bricks, 2008 Lessons to Be Learned, 2008 (not yet for sale in US)
Single to Download "Mercy" or "Warwick Avenue" "Chasing Pavements" "American Boy" "Foundations" and "Merry Happy" "Sweet About Me" (not yet available in US)
Identifying Features "Mercy" featured on Grey's Anatomy; album sold at Starbucks Voice getting a lot of hype; lacks the bad-girl storytelling of the others As good at rapping as singing; big names like Kanye West and John Legend behind her More Lily Allen than Winehouse; a great choice post-breakup Technically Australian, a budding talent now working it in the UK
iPod Replay Potential* 3 4 8 7 6

*scale of 1-10, 1 = "What's this lady doing on my iPod?" and 10 = "Cannot get enough — it's the soundtrack of my life!"
Source and Source

Additional reporting by Kate Emswiler and Kimra McPherson

Join The Conversation
Soniabonya Soniabonya 7 years
thanks Buzz! I've been racking my brain for the past 2 days trying to figure out the singer I saw while traveling Europe last summer and lo and behold you listed Gabriella Cilimi! Yay! Going to check out everyone else. Looking to expand my music library.
gigill gigill 9 years
I like Kate the best out of the bunch, but am curious to check out Estelle. Are you going to have any coverage of Glastonbury Buzz?
luxington luxington 9 years
The heart of the matter is, the UK is looking for the next Dusty Springfield. It probably won't happen, Dusty's music will endure in the public's memory far beyond these young ladies' 15 minutes.
stone_soup stone_soup 9 years
duffy is a cheap version of amy winehouse, estelle is the british version of mary j blige, kate nash is a sober lily allen, gabriella cimi is the soul version of renee olstead, adele is a british missy higgins (australian)
northofantastic northofantastic 9 years
I seriously had Adele's "Chasing Pavements" stuck in my head for a week. Argh! Great song though! I should look into some of the other women here. :)
nicachica nicachica 9 years
And i swear i'm not one of the band members! Otherwise, i think Kate Nash is the one i'm liking the most. I think Duffy's voice is too grating. Can't be down with her.
nicachica nicachica 9 years
Here's an American band that is simply amazing: Thao with The Get Down Stay Down. I saw them open for Rilo Kiley a couple of weeks ago in DC and the lead singer, Thao, is so amazing. If you like the more indie bands in the vein of Rilo, then they are really great. I really hope they make it cuz they have a lot of catchy tunes, very acoustic rock heavy. :)
bransugar79 bransugar79 9 years
I liek Adele but Duffy grates on me. I saw her on the tonight show and just kept wondering when will this stop. I like American Boy and the other tracks I have heard from Estelle although I have to admit when I heard songs other than American Bo I thought she sounded a lot like Adele which was so confusing because the names are similar.
Car Car 9 years
I heart Duffy! She is so cute! As for Estelle, its kind of crazy that she is getting off the dance circuit, but I guess it is trendy to do the whole retro thing right now.
beingtazim beingtazim 9 years
i also disagree with your ratings. i like Duffy the most of those people, but i also like Adele. I don't care for Estelle, though.
californiagirlx7 californiagirlx7 9 years
That's so funny that you made this chart, Buzz! I keep hearing these new female artist coming out of Britain and they all sound so similar (yet I still like most of them). Kate Nash in particular is a great artist.
dannysf dannysf 9 years
SO needed this chart! Thanks Buzz. For the record, I love the Kate Nash CD.
swwonder swwonder 9 years
The whole 'Mockney' accent phenomenon is getting a little old. I loved Adele's first single 'Chasing Pavements' and love one of her album songs 'Daydreamer' the rest Is a bit rubbish really. I liked the acoustic versions of Kate Nash's songs she had before she got her album together, but now I just find her boring. I don't think Estelle is an Amy or Lily sound-alike at all to be honest and I'm preferring her second album to her debut. And I like Warwick Avenue but Duffy's voice is like nails on a chalk board for me.
jopperma jopperma 9 years
I just picked up a free download of Duffy's Mercy music video this morning at Starbucks. I have no use for a downloaded music video, but it was free so I thought I might as well check her out.
bhilb bhilb 9 years
I disagree about the rating for Duffy. I have had it on my ipod for a couple of months now and still haven't gotten tired of listening to it. Kate Nash, however, I have to be in the mood for.
Francoisehardly Francoisehardly 9 years
I prefer Natasha Khan (Bat For Lashes) and Alison Goldfrapp who obviously do sound different from these, even though Bat for Lashes is kind of a similar sound to Felt Mountain and the new Goldfrapp album. And for Dancey music I like Sophie Ellis Bextor and like what I heard from The Ting Tings. I still mean to check out Laura Marling too. And there is what at least I consider good American music, but it's not exactly things you would hear in the mainstream which I prefer since I don't like the idea of record labels capitalizing on it by coming out with a bunch of similar artists.
Advah Advah 9 years
Interesting, I'd have picked different ratings, Buzz! :) Estelle kind of annoys me, while Duffy is much more my style. My coworker at my old job used to put the CD on repeat, I've kept listening to it since. :) I just love her voice!
uptown_girl uptown_girl 9 years
I honestly don't think there's a single American female singer I am listening to anymore. My iPod is filled with two Estelle cds, Duffy's cd, Amy Winehouse, Adele (I have actually been listening to her non-stop for two weeks now, AMAZING), and older stuff like Joss Stone, Corinne Bailey Rae, and feist (She's Canadian right?). Anyways, WTF is up with America these days? It's like everyone wants to be "pop", commercialized, CRAP. Ugh. As an American, I am really ashamed of what we are putting out into the music world.
bigestivediscuit bigestivediscuit 9 years
Eww, I am so over Duffy and even Kate Nash (sorry, Kate, but who cares if you drink cups of tea and why would you sing about the most boring, inane details of your sad and boring life???).
WhatTheFrockBlog WhatTheFrockBlog 9 years
I'm totally into Duffy right now but her two most well-known songs are my least favorite on the album.
LOVErickii LOVErickii 9 years
loving estelle right now
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