For those not familiar with the term, Blue-Eyed Soul
is an expression created in the 1960s to describe white singers with "black" voices who sing R&B and Soul music. And for the record: no
, not all the artists actually have blue eyes. (In fact, most don't.) Blue-Eyed Soul made a comeback in 2007, thanks to new albums by singers like Joss Stone, Robin Thicke and Amy Winehouse. Although the trend has faded since the end of 2007, there's still plenty of great singers upholding the tradition of Blue-Eyed Soul music. Here's a list of some recommended artists.
is the son of an actor and a singer, so performing is in his blood. But he actually first made his mark in the entertainment industry as a songwriter, not as a performer. After writing a string of successful songs for others, Robin (who's the son of Canadian actor Alan Thicke) stepped out of the shadows and into the spotlight in 2003, when his debut album, A Beautiful Word
, was released. Essential album
: A Beautiful World
. Essential song
: "Lost Without U," from his second album, 2006's The Evolution of Robin Thicke
The late Amy Winehouse
, like another artist on this list, Joss Stone, was a young British woman who grew up with a great deal of affection for 1960s and '70s-era American Soul music. Although Winehouse's debut album, Frank
, was a jazz release, with a little hip-hop mixed in, her second album, Back to Black
was an ode to girl groups of the 1950s. Essential album
: 2006's Back to Black
, which was released in the U.S. in 2007. Essential song
: Back to Black
's first single, "Rehab,"
which is about Winehouse not wanting to attend an alcohol rehabilitation program.
Album cover © Cash Money/Universal.
(also known as Lady Tee and Lady T) is a bona fide legend and one of the most respected Blue-Eyed Soul singers in American history. Her professional singing career dates back to the 1970s, when her first album, Wild and Peaceful
, was released. Teena, whose birth name is Mary Brockert, is a former protege and lover of the late Rick James. And she continues to release music to this day; her most recent album, Sapphire
, came out in 2006. Essential album
, which was originally released in 1984 and contains one of her biggest hits, "Lovergirl." Essential song
: "Fire and Desire," a sensuous duet with Rick James.
Jon B., whose full name is Jonathan Buck, was one of the more popular Blue-Eyed Soul singers of the 1990s. Although his star power dimmed somewhat in the 2000s, he supposedly has a comeback album called Back to Love
being released sometime in 2007. His vocal style is soft and smooth and is sometimes compared to fellow '90s artist Babyface. Essential album
: Cool Relax
, which was released in 1997. Essential song
: "Are U Still Down," featuring 2Pac, from the Cool Relax
By the time Joss Stone
was 19, she already had released three hit albums in the United States. Her most recent, Introducing Joss Stone
, which was released in March 2007, holds the current record for the highest debut for a British solo female artist on the U.S. charts. Despite her age, Joss has a rich retro-soul voice that is reminiscent of popular singers from the 1960s and '70s. Essential album
: 2004's Mind, Body & Soul
. Essential song
: "Fell In Love With a Boy," from her 2003 debut album, The Soul Sessions
Mayer Hawthorne, a singer-songwriter-musician from Michigan, whose known for his nerdy, Buddy Holly-type look, released his debut album, A Strange Arrangement,
in 2009. Although his retro-Soul music has been critically-acclaimed, he is still almost entirely unknown by mainstream music fans as well as many fans of traditional R&B/Soul music. He does have a following, however, among the hipster crowd. Essential album
: A Strange Arrangement
. Essential song
: The broken-hearted "I Need You."
Alice Russell is one of the members of a newer wave of British Soul/R&B artists who grew up listening to -- and were very influenced by -- Motown singers of the 1960s. Although a little older than Joss Stone and Amy Winehouse, Alice arguably has a more booming, soulful voice than the others. Essential album
: Pot of Gold
, which dropped in the U.S. in December 2008. Essential song
: "I'll Keep My Light in My Window,"
which appears on Look Around the Corner
, her 2012 album of collaborations with producer Quantic.
, who's from Cambridge, England, started out making electronic music, but found his voice as a Soul singer on his 2005 album Multiply
, which went triple-platinum in the United Kingdom. His voice and music have been compared to Otis Redding, Prince and Sly & the Family Stone, among others. Essential Album
: 2010's Compass
. Essential Song
: "Multiply," from the album of the same name, is highly recommended.
Daniel Merriweather is maybe the most successful Soul singer ever to come out of Australia, but he's still relatively unknown outside his home country and the UK. Daniel, who's a native of Melbourne, is an award-winning singer who's popular in parts of Europe, but the closest he's come to a hit in the U.S. is his 2009 single "Change,"
which featured the rapper Wale.Essential album
: Love & War
(released in 2009 in Europe, 2010 in the U.S.)Essential song
: The upbeat, Mark Ronson-produced "Change."
© Mercury Records.
Ever since Aimee Duffy's debut single, "Mercy," was released in February 2008, there have been plenty of comparisons between her and fellow British Blue-Eyed Soul singers Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone. But in reality, the two vocalists Duffy should be compared to aren't Amy and Joss, they're '60s Soul singers Dusty Springfield and Lulu. Essential Album
: Her 2008 debut album, Rockferry
. Essential Song
: "Mercy," from her Rockferry