Music Mondays: Estelle

She's probably best known for seductively singing the infectious track, "American Boy," but there's a lot more to Estelle than just this catchy tune. The truly versatile singer, rapper, songwriter, and producer has been making her presence felt in the industry since back in 2004. Her latest album, All of Me, includes the emotional single, "Thank You." There's certainly nothing upbeat about this song as it profiles the culmination of a troubled relationship. Estelle's slightly somber vocal delivery is cut with a strong hint of defiance as she tries to ultimately take the high road.

Estelle Swaray has always had a bit of a defiant streak even as a child in West London. The second of eight children born to a Senegalese mother and Grenadian father, she grew up in a very secular household. This future singer/songwriter actually used to escape from her strict household in the '80s and listen to the hip-hop music that was taking over the decade. She also survived off a healthy dose of African music, gospel, and reggae. Estelle helped raise her siblings after her parents split up and even managed to go on to study law. She made ends meet by working at a record store where her fellow employees encouraged her to start performing. Estelle went on to become a regular on the London club scene. She made several notable guest appearances on tracks for other artists, but her breakthrough came with the release of "1980," which chronicled growing up in London. Her debut album, The 18th Day, came out in 2004. She courageously approached Kanye West outside a Los Angeles restaurant at one point and asked to be introduced to John Legend. That ballsy move paid off, though, and she not only toured with the recording star but inked a deal with John's own Homeschool label. After relocating to New York City, Estelle put out Shine in 2008 and its now infamous single, "American Boy," earned a Grammy. Estelle's diverse musical background along with her tenacious spirit and smooth voice have us hooked on this rising music star.

Watch Estelle's video for "Thank You" below before heading over to I AM THAT GIRL'��s YouTube channel. While you'��re there, don'��t forget to tune into our Music Mondays playlist, which is updated every week.

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