Estelle Fanta Swaray
(born 18 January 1980) commonly known as Estelle
, and formerly as Est'elle
, is a Grammy-Award Winning singer-songwriter, rapper and record producer. Estelle was born in London. After meeting John Legend, Estelle signed a record deal with V2 and Atlantic Records.Able to rap, sing, and write songs that had everyone from John Legend to Roots Manuva singing her praises, Estelle Swaray got her start in London's renowned hip-hop record store Deal Real. Her fellow employees encouraged her to take a chance and get on the mike on-stage; soon she was playing numerous London clubs and appearing with the likes of Manuva and Rodney P. Local hero Skitz asked her to appear on his 2000 album, Countryman, and soon she landed on albums by the likes of the 57th Dynasty and Blak Twang. She made her solo debut in 2003 with the Excuse Me 12" on the Paradise Isle label, but her breakthrough track came in 2004 when "1980" was released by the V2 label and reached number 14 on the U.K. pop chart. A street-level mixtape series called Da Heat and further 12"s like "Free" and "Go Gone" helped build a loyal following, and Estelle gave back to the U.K. hip-hop scene by forming her own Stellarents label to sign new artists. In October 2004, V2 released her debut album, The 18th Day. Three years later, U.S. R&B singer John Legend announced that Estelle would be the first signee to his Homeschool label, distributed by Atlantic in the U.S. Her sophomore album, Shine, was released in April 2008 and peaked at number six in the U.K., while its biggest single, "American Boy," topped the U.K. chart and, in the U.S., reached the Top 10 of Billboard's Hot 100. In February 2012, following the Top 30 Hot R&B/Hip-Hop single "Break My Heart" (featuring Rick Ross), Estelle released album number three, All of Me.In 2004 Estelle released her debut album The 18th Day
, which peaked within the top 40 of the official UK charts. The album released three singles "1980", "Free", and "Go Gone" which all charted within the top 40 also of the UK charts. In 2008 Estelle released her second studio album Shine
which was certified Gold in the UK. The lead single "Wait A Minute" failed to chart anywhere. The second single "American Boy" peaked at number one in the UK and also became Estelle's first song to chart in the US at a position of nine. The album released a further three singles. In 2012 Estelle released her third album All of Me
. The lead single "Break My Heart" featured American rap artist Rick Ross, the single charted at number 30 on the US R&B Chart. The second single "Thank You" peaked at 120 on the US Billboard and 22 on the U.S. R&B Chart and the third single "Back to Love" was released.Estelle's work has earned her numerous awards and accolades, including two MOBO awards, a World Music Award, and one Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for "American Boy". She has also received two Brit Award nominations, including one for Best British Female Artist.