Anti-Semitic web 'troll' targets Jessie Ware

Rising star's mother leaps to daughter's defence after racist tweet

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

When a Twitter "troll" sent an anti-Semitic tweet to acclaimed new singer Jessie Ware, he made a huge mistake. The offender has now felt the wrath of an angry Jewish mother, furious that her daughter's otherwise jubilant weekend was marred by online abuse.

On Sunday, Ware, a south London singer set to become the most successful British Jewish performer since Amy Winehouse, shot into the album chart at number five with her debut Devotion, a collection of electro-tinged soul music.

But her elation was tempered after she was sent an anti-Semitic tweet which contained an ethnic slur about her nose and called employees at the Jewish Chronicle "c***s".

Ware, 26, who worked as a trainee journalist at the newspaper before launching her music career, tweeted: "Pretty shocked by my first encounter with an anti-Semitic Twitter troll last night. I won't stand for it."

Brixton-based Jessie, daughter of the former award-winning Panorama reporter John Ware, credits her mother, Helena, with giving her the confidence to sing. Helena, who tweets under the name @thelionLennie, with the catchline "a Jewish mother speaks", immediately sprang to her daughter's defence. "You are revolting and I am reporting you for outright racism," she replied to the offensive tweeter.

Mrs Ware added: "You clearly have no friends, either. Just one follower you horrible sad man." As if there was any doubt, Helena tweeted Jessie after her chart breakthrough: "This mama is very, very proud. X."

A spokesman for Ms Ware, who began her career guest-singing on dubstep tracks before developing her own melancholic, seductive style, said: "Jessie believes the matter has been dealt with and she wants to move on." The affair did not stop Jessie tweeting a celebratory Hebrew toast after receiving news of her chart position: "Cheers, Mazel l'chaim everyone!"

Stephen Pollard, editor of the Jewish Chronicle, said: "Sadly, anti-Semitic abuse is not unusual for any Jewish person in the public eye. Twitter has just made it more public."

Mr Pollard added: "We're very proud of Jessie because she used to be a trainee here, working on our website. Nobody had a clue she was planning this great singing career."

Last week, Jessie told her former employers: "All I wanted was to be in a position where the JC would write about me."

She is now signed to Island Records, the label which made Amy Winehouse a star, and can be sure of that. She is an early tip to win this year's Mercury Music Prize.

Ware is also the latest pop graduate of Alleyn's School in Dulwich, south London, an establishment known for producing many a star in its time.

Jessie was a contemporary of Florence Welch, who fronts Florence and the Machine, and performed in a school production of Guys And Dolls with the singer.

The independent school has also spawned members of The Maccabees and The Chemical Brothers.