Having been introduced to the musical mainstream by way of John Legend and Kanye West, singer Estelle has one collaboration she's just itching to check off her list: Mary J. Blige. We caught up with the British singer who gushed about her love for the queen of hip-hop soul. "I love her! I keep saying that," she told The BoomBox. "I've been saying that for a year now, so at some point it's gonna' happen."
The singer is prepping the release of her third album 'All of Me,' and credits Blige as her role model and musical inspiration. "She's the reason I sing. I sat in a room singing to her, that's how I learned to sing." Upon meeting her idol for the first time in a London nightclub, the 30-year-old was struck with emotion and broke into tears. To her surprise, Blige not only knew who she was, but complimented her music and requested that the DJ play 'American Boy.'
Like Blige, Estelle isn't scared to tackle relationship issues in her songs. Take the track 'That's Not Your Boyfriend,' off her forthcoming release, for instance. "I was sitting with Wyclef and he had this record," she said. "He was [singing] 'that's not your boyfriend' and I was like 'wooo!' From there it kinda' spiraled. It's basically me and my boyfriend telling this other girl 'stop it! Wake up! Back off!' It's stuff that women go through from a more 'us' versus 'I'mma kill this b----' perspective."
Estelle dropped her second album, and U.S. debut, 'Shine' in 2008. Powered by the hit single 'American Boy' featuring Kanye, she went on to win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration. She is set to release 'All of Me' in September.