Cultural Life: Estelle, singer

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The Independent Culture


I am so excited that I am short-listed for the Mercury Prize this year. It means people actually like my album, Shine, past the single "American Boy". I would say my greatest musical influences have been Ella Fitzgerald and Mary J Blige. Recently I have been listening to old albums – Coldplay's Parachutes and Keane's Hopes and Fears. I'm also listening to Carole King's greatest hits, Lil Wayne's new album Tha Carter III and Feist's album The Reminder.


The reality show America's Next Top Model is my girlie pleasure. I always watch the sitcoms Curb Your Enthusiasm and The Game, which is a spin-off of the sitcom Girlfriends, but it is based on football stars.


I just read Chasing Harry Winston by Lauren Weisberger. She also wrote The Devil Wears Prada. It is a bit like Sex and the City. I can so relate to the problems the girls get into with men. One of the girls who is very successful ends up accepting a marriage proposal off a guy whom she is totally mismatched to but he meets the criteria on her checklist. I also recently read the supermodel Alek Wek's biography.


Hancock is great. I like Will Smith so I'm biased! I love rom-coms. Any will do. Films such as How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days or Funny Face with Audrey Hepburn. I can't wait to see Baby Mama, starring Tina Fey, who plays a successful single business executive who finds out she is infertile and hires a surrogate mother.

Visual arts

The last show I went to was the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition last year but I really want to go and see Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, when I next have a day free in New York. It looks at comic book costumes and their influence on haute couture.

Estelle's album 'Shine' has been shortlisted for the Nationwide Mercury Prize 2008