I listen to all sorts of music but still find myself surprised at how soulful certain white women are capable of being. When you’re casually sitting around listening to a song you naturally get a certain vision of someone. Like when I first heard Gin Wigmore, there was that assumption, I just knew she was a black lady, with an amazing voice. Same with Amy Winehouse…
When I first heard “You Know I’m No Good,” a skinny Jewish/British woman with pin-up tattoos and a black beehive hairdo just isn’t what flew into my imagination. With these artists, I’m too busy listening to their voices to really really consider anything, there’s just a fleeting moment when you decide they’re soulful black women serenading you.
Here is a list of the top five most soulful white ladies of fairly recent years…
1. Adele. Adele wowed us with her sophomoric album, “Rolling In The Deep” and 21 have been going strong for five months, showing no signs of relent. She’s a British powerhouse who speaks with the sweet innocence of a TV nanny. You’d hardly picture her on the stage, captivating the entire world including every musician and entertainer out there. But that’s exactly what she does.
Ask Brad Pitt, ask Bono, ask Jesse Eisenberg, ask Justin Timberlake, I bet they ALL have something positive to say about her. She’s easier to love than Lady Gaga. After I burned my mom an Adele CD she lost it and begged me to burn her another copy, that’s what this music is. It’s for your little sister, your mom and you, especially.
Adele is the effortless class-a soulful white woman and the most talented female song writer, besides Emily Haines and Laura Marling, that I can name.
2. Amy Winehouse. We know the tragic story, the life lost at 27. The powerhouse that was Amy Winehouse, I only put her second because she sadly only had two CDs (one being the excellent Back To Black) and never performed to her full potential due to her drug addiction. Like I said in my very first blog post on The Twist,
Nobody cared as much about her antics even a fraction as much as they cared about news of new material.
At the highest point of Amy’s questionable behavior, videos of her smocking crack, her escape to St. Lucia, her civil fight with ex-husband Blake Fielder, her sleepy performances… Through all of that, people ultimately just wanted her to make a new album. Without her depression and drug-battle, she would not have made Back To Black, and she might still be alive, but then she wouldn’t have been Amy Winehouse at all, would she?
3. Christina Aguilera. Okay, so Christina Aguilera is half white, well part Ecuadorian. She’s got those epic pipes, the ones she sometimes overuses. I can’t complain, she emerged around the same time as Britney Spears and never quite reached the success that Britney had due to mild lack of sex appeal or good marketing BUT she’s still around….
She’s a judge on The Voice, and lending her own to Maroon 5 on “Moves Like Jagger.” She looks like miss piggy’s human counterpart, BUT nobody besides Mariah Carey (also half-white but for some reason I consider her African-American) can truly sing like Christina Aguilera. She’s short, but she doesn’t need a ladder to reach those high notes. Bionic was her Glitter moment, it will pass.
4. Joss Stone. Oh Joss Stone, the name alone makes me smile. The 24 year-old songstress has been pleasing us musically since her cover of The White Stripes’ “Fell In Love With A Girl” which she fittingly and sweetly changed to “Fell In Love With A Boy.” Joss has had four full-length albums since her intro to the public with The Soul Sessions in 2003 AND a best of CD not to mention she’s currently in a supergroup, Mick Jagger’s SuperHeavy.
I can’t believe that in June two men plotted to kidnap and murder her?? She’s the nicest celebrity I’ve ever seen interviewed in my life. She’s a free-loving barefooted UK hippie with a good heart. Who would do such a thing to the English Princess Peach of modern soul?
5. Gin Wigmore. You probably don’t know who Gin Wigmore is huh? She’s a kiwi (New Zealand) recording artist who sings epically soulful pop/rock songs like “Oh My God,” and “Hey Ho.” Out of all these amazing singers listed, her voice is oozing the most with black-lady bravado. She’s like a white version of Janelle Monae or Noisettes’ Shingai Shoniwa.
You will not believe that she’s white, in fact, you’ll probably instantly Google image search this chick in disbelief, just to make sure I’m not pulling your chain.
…That concludes the listing for top five soulful white ladies, honorable mention definitely goes to yet another British singer, Duffy, and also Kelly Clarkson, Laura Marling and Lily Allen.
Is it weird that Christina Aguilera is the only singer from the U.S. on this list? Is America not a soulful place?
Dusty Springfield (also British) was of the course, the most soulful white woman of all time, but this list is of people from recent years, otherwise she’d be number one in a heartbeat. In terms of career and discography, miss Springfield is the undoubted queen of white soul, with Janis Joplin (rest in peace) nipping gracefully at her heels.