• Welsh singer and songwriter, born Aimée Duffy in 1984 in Bangor, Gwynedd, Wales.
  • As a child, Duffy connected with music that was soulful by artists like The Righteous Brothers. At 15 years old, Duffy was singing in local bands. Before she started college, she spent six weeks in Switzerland collaborating with a Swiss-based songwriter and producer, using an alias name of Soulego. Returning to England to attend college, a teacher suggested that she become a singer full time, so she quit school to try it. She regularly performed at jazz club in Chester England, gaining a following of fans. In 2003, she returned to Wales and competed on a Welsh television talent show, coming in second place.
  • She recorded a three song EP in 2004, self titled Aimée Duffy – all three songs were sung in her native Welsh language. She recorded some demos, and one of them was heard by an owner of a London-based independent record company. She was signed to a contract, and the owner became her manager.
  • The record company connected Duffy with songwriter and guitarist Bernard Butler, and the couple began to write together. Butler expanded Duffy’s repertoire of soul music, teaching her classic soul songs by Al Green, Bettye Swan and others, to evolve Duffy’s vocals to a retro sound. In 2007, her manager succeeded in getting Duffy a contract with a large label, and after performing on several British music television shows, her debut album Rockferry was released in 2008, four years in the making.
  • Rockferry was a worldwide success, reaching #1 in six countries, #4 in the U.S., and top 10 in over twenty countries. The first single released was the title track. While it barely charted in the UK, critics loved it – both Time and Spin Magazine put it on their lists of the Best Songs of 2008. The next single made her a global star – Mercy topped 14 global charts, and it reached #27 on the Hot 100 and #4 on the Alternative Songs chart. A third single, Warwick Avenue, reached #3 in the UK, and it was included on Rolling Stones’ list of the Best Songs of 2008.
  • Riding the wave of success of the album, Duffy performed at venues like the Apollo Theater, Lollapalooza and Coachella in 2008, along with performances on Saturday Night Live and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. At the Grammy awards the following year, she won for Best Pop Vocal Album, and she was nominated for Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance for Mercy.
  • Her fast rise to success was nearly overwhelming for Duffy, and she contemplated quitting the music industry. She changed managers, and purposely slowed down to work on her second album. By late 2010, her Endlessly album was released. While still retaining a soulful edge, the songs on the album leaned more toward a pop/dance sound. It did not enjoy the success of Rockferry – it peaked at #9 in the UK and at #72 on the Billboard 200 album chart. Only one single was released – Well, Well, Well only managed to reach #41 in the UK, and it did not chart in the U.S.
  • Duffy largely disappeared from the music scene after the release of Endlessly. She announced that she was taking a break for two years, but intended to record again. Announcements were made in 2011 and 2012 of new work, but nothing materialized. She acted in the 2015 film Legend, contributing three songs to its soundtrack, and in 2020 she dropped a new song onto her Instagram account. That year, she published a statement claiming that she had been kidnapped and raped years earlier, and that she had been recovering from the incident for almost ten years. She thanked her psychologist and added “I very much doubt I will ever be the person people once knew.”
  • Time will tell if Duffy returns to the music world. 2008 was a magical year for her, but clearly her success was troubling for her. Here’s her video for her blue-eyed soul classic, Mercy.

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