2018 Headline Artist: Estelle
Estelle has come a long way from local West London MC to being a successful
Grammy Award‐winning artist. Born the second of nine children in a strict
religious Senegalese/Grenadian family, Estelle learned early to escape life’s daily
pressures through music. Growing up she was exposed to African and gospel
music, as well as reggae and dub, all of which have played an integral role in
developing her music today into a unique, original blend of sounds.
Estelle’s international recognition came with the debut of her second album
Shine, released under John Legend’s Homeschool label, in partnership with
Atlantic Records. Her hit single “American Boy,” in collaboration with rapper
Kanye West, won a Grammy Award for Best Rap/Song Collaboration, in addition
to being nominated for Song of the Year and many other awards worldwide.
Her third album, All of Me, gave fans an in‐depth look into her soul with the chart
topping single “Thank You.” The duality of this album showcased the vocal ability
of this multi‐talented songstress as the emotionally raw songs flawlessly
demonstrated the richness of her musical history.
Taking full creative control of all her music endeavors Estelle launched her
independent label, Established 1980 Records. The first project released under the
label was her fourth album True Romance. The album features the inspirational
anthem “Conqueror,” which skyrocketed even further after a special duet version
aired during a episode of FOX’s hit show Empire. Performed by Estelle and Jussie
Smollett, “Conqueror” became one of the highest‐charting song from Empire to
date and helped spur The Original Soundtrack from Season One of Empire to the
#1 spot on the Billboard 200 as well as a a Grammy nomination.
With the release of Estelle’s fifth album her musical career journeys back to some
of it’s original influences. Partnered with VP Records Estelle is set for a spring
2018 release of an album based in the sound of Reggae and African music that
raised her. “Love Like Ours,” the first showing from the project, is a feel good
duet that matches Estelle with reggae great Tarrus Riley. “This song represents
the level of quality and care that I’m bringing to this album. Since Come Over with
Sean Paul fans have consistently asked when I would make an entire reggae
album,” Estelle says when talking about Love Like Ours. “Well, I’m happy to give
the people what they have been asking for and I’m proud to share another piece
of my life and art with the world.”
Ada Vox, a San Antonio drag queen who has been singing her heart out on ABC’s 2018 reboot of “American Idol.” As a Semifinalist and Top 14 contestant, Her appearance marks a first for the TV competition show and she was one of the standouts from the audition rounds thanks to her performance of “House of the Rising Sun.” When Katy Perry asked if she was going to take this competition seriously, Ada responded, “I’m not here to play with anybody. I’m here to chase my dreams and make them come true.”
Ada Vox auditioned for American Idol back in 2013 when she was known as Adam Sanders. In one of his Season 12 performances, he got a standing ovation from three of the four judges with his rendition of Etta James’s I’d Rather Go Blind. Despite this, he got eliminated after Hollywood week. After he appeared on Season 12 of American Idol, he started getting threats on social media. He revealed on this year’s show right before his audition: ‘People attacked my weight, my sexuality, telling me that I was horrible, that I sucked, that I don’t deserve to be here, that I shouldn’t be who I am. And I let it get to me in a wrong way. It killed me inside. It killed me inside almost as much as people were telling me that I should kill myself…I was contemplating lots of things that I shouldn’t have.’
Adam did not let that deter him from his dream and when he heard the show was coming back to ABC this year, he decided to audition again as his alter ego Ada Vox. He said: ‘I was an OK singer then – I was. But I’m a hundred times better now than I ever was then. I’m vocally better, I’m a better performer, I’m a better entertainer, I’m more prepared as an adult now to take on the challenges that come with a competition like this.’
Adam was born in San Antonio, Texas, and has worked at a seafood restaurant by day and drag queen by night. The 24-year-old is a University of Texas graduate and lists his influences as Lady Gaga, Beyonce, Aretha Franklin, Patti Labelle and more.
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