Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Soul Sister from Devon Is Taking the US by Storm; THE 'WHITE ARETHA' AGED JUST 16

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Soul Sister from Devon Is Taking the US by Storm; THE 'WHITE ARETHA' AGED JUST 16

Article excerpt

Byline: JAMES LANGTON

SHE is America's newest soul sensation. But it is not just the voice that leaves audiences stunned when Joss Stone walks on stage.

The leggy blonde is 16 years old and comes from Devon.

Despite a debut album climbing the US charts, the idea of a white girl following in the footsteps of soul queens like Aretha Franklin and Whitney Houston is not without controversy.

The teenager, dubbed the "White Aretha", is currently touring America following the release of Soul Sessions, a collection of vintage R&B classics that has won her rave reviews. But others say a rural English upbringing makes a mockery of the tough ghetto roots from which the Motown sound first sprung.

"Girls who sing as well as she does are dime a dozen on amateur night at the Apollo," says black magazine editor Elizabeth Berry, referring to the Harlem concert hall. "But blonde hair and a British accent make her a marketers' dream."

On internet chat sites devoted to black music, her success has started the biggest debate since Elvis Presley first burst on to the scene. …

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