Duffy biography

Duffy. Photo: Jazz in black and white

Last updated: 17 November 2008

Duffy is the biggest of the current wealth of British female singer-songwriters with her bluesy vocal style.

Still in her early 20s, former Llyn Peninsula resident Duffy is the one forging that path at the moment, and she's working with some of the best-known names from the alternative music scene.

Now signed to A&M Records, her octave-straddling, smoky, soulful voice attracted the attentions of ex-60ft Dolls man Richard Partfitt and Catatonia's Owen Powell. They put her in touch with Rough Trade's Jeanette Lee who became her manager. Lee orchestrated a meeting between Duffy and Suede's ex-guitar virtuoso Bernard Butler.

Butler, his old musical partner David McAlmont, and a number of other musicians have formed the backbone of Duffy's forthcoming debut album Rockferry, which was released on 3 March 2008.

Her first forays into the wider world of music and press attention came during 2007. The Observer Music Monthly frothed, "[songs] such as Rockferry... make the hairs on the back of your neck prickle with their bewitching grace".

With praise such as this, and Rough Trade's head honcho Geoff Travis declaring Duffy's voice to be, "almost unnatural", Duffy represented a Welsh foray into the world of critically-acclaimed, serious soul pop.

This proved to be more than true during 2008 when she secured both the best-selling album and single of the year, with Rockferry and Mercy respectively.

And it wasn't just the UK which took her to its hearts: she became a major star in America and elsewhere around the world. In January 2009 she became a four-award nominee at the Brits and she scooped the Best Pop Vocal performance Grammy in February.

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