British R&B star Estelle has seen her single American Boy plummet down the US chart after her latest album, Shine, was taken off iTunes in the States.

Record label Warner made the move to force fans to buy the whole album, not just individual songs, reports said.

American Boy, featuring Kanye West, was UK number one for a month in March.

It was in the iTunes top 10 in the US before its removal. It was also at 11 on the official Billboard singles chart – but has now dropped to number 37.

The song has also fallen from number six to 59 on the Billboard download chart.

A cover version, by a group called Studio All-Stars, has taken advantage of the situation, appearing at number 43 on the download chart. Continue Reading….

Oh dear……..

36 replies »

  1. First of all this does not surprise me. Consumers are now fed up of rubbish music, and of labels thinking that they can just run out and buy the album because Kanye appeared on her single.

    Kid Rock has leverage, why? He has been around for years!!!! Funny as he actually started out as a rapper, mixing hip hop with rock (which sounded pretty good)

    His current single features him singing, and you know what? He has good vocals.

    Estelle should have started were she left off….. Rapping, the market (Hip Hop) is gagging for a female MC and she would have killed it.

    I have no sadness for her or her record label.

  2. I think that your comments on this issue are utter rubbish Kaydee.

    I’m no guru of the whole R&B/urban/shurban /pop industry BUT I do know that making something available to consumers at a highly popular download outlet like itunes would improve any artists sales and billboard charting.

    Why, Warner have decided this tactic when a zillion other far more successful artists would still have their music available on itunes beggars belief.

    So my issue isn’t about the quality of the music here, but the availability. That’s how it works today and i should know holding hundreds of tracks on my ipod that not enough people know about because large music conglomerates, Viacom and Clear Channel choose not to play them or that DJS on mainstream radio are given a pool of records to choose from by said machine and so essentially only ever choose what has been improved by their powers. And it’s not because they aren’t any good, just not willing to bend over and get shafted or black up/white up, water down, cross over to simply make a good track. Fact.

    In terms of Estelle rapping instead of singing, I have no comment on this and don’t particularly think that females in rap has been a major success without being able to sing/act/produce/present and all the other addeds that most succesful female rappers have had to do to maintain their keep as it were.

    And let’s not forget that Estelle and Kid Rock are popular music artists who simply want to be popular not create the most seminal, change your life music that is discussed by music afficionados for decades to come.

  3. Reclaimin’, i think saying someone elses opinion is ‘utterly rubbish’ is a bit unecessary, just because it’s different to what you believe, doesn’t call for you to insult someone.

    I don’t live, eat and breathe the music industry so I haven’t got a clue as to why the label has chosen to do this, especially as her singles were selling beter than the album as a whole. It looks like it was a poorly thought out tactic that they hoped would do well, but unfortunately hasn’t.

    Females in rap have been and can again be successful. Yes it is a very hard path for them to walk along than it is for male rappers (who I know also have to work hard – I ain’t hatin’ on the guys out there!), but there are some seriously talented female rappers/emcees out there. With regards to Estelle, I personally prefer hearing her rapping and not singing, but again, that is just my preference which may or may not be different to yours.

    All we can do is hope that Estelles music continues to be well received and this is just a hitch which will soon be overcome.

  4. OK Nessa, I have been told and I apologise for not constructively disagreeing with kaydee…so apologies to Kaydee.

  5. LMAO

    Minor set back??? They should drop her then drop kick her stinking ass home!!

    I bet it was the teeth. Yeah I said it! Her brok teeth!!!

  6. Reclaimin,

    With regards to itunes, they saw that Estelle’s single was sliding down the charts at a rapid pace and so to them it showed that demand for her album was not there. They want to replace her with an act that is selling and has a strong and growing fanbase (they should put Studio All-Stars on there as their cover of her song is performing better than hers!!!)

    It doesnt matter what itunes puts on its site, the consumers are not stupid and if they hear someone trying to sing badly, they aint gonna buy it as was the case with Estelle.

    I think consumers do know about music other than what mainstream radio plays to them over the airwaves as the internet has made it possible for any unsigned or signed act to get their music out (, MySpace, Bebo etc). Also there are Community Radio stations who are not told what to play

    As for female MCs, there are many out there that I have seen (unsigned) but why the labels aint signing them? Who knows.

    p.s. Iam no guru of the whole R&B/u***n (I hate that f**king word) industry but I do work in Radio Promotions.

  7. as long as folk want to buy into ‘pretty’ crossover black girls singin through vocoders as the truth, the demise of black music will continue to dive into furthers depths of depravity…my life, where would Joyce Simms have been today!lmao!

  8. “Estelle should have started were she left off” @ Kaydee…

    Trust me if Estelle had started where she left off, MCing/Rapping, I doubt very much we would be blogging about her now.

    The music industry is not that welcoming of female mc/rappers and she would never have made it thus far just being JUST an mc. You say this as if the market is easy to crack. Just fling on an adidas tracksuit, grab the mic and bobs our uncle.

    Why the comparisons to Kid Rock and the fact that he has leverage. I think that argument is pointless, especially as Kid Rock is white, male and from the US. Estelle is black, female and from the UK . Worlds apart.

    Estelle has been on the scene for many years too, getting no where fast so I don’t see anything wrong in her taking advantage of certain opportunities. She could have stayed in drrrrrrrrrry London and did f–k all about her career.

    If on her journey, there are set backs along the way, tuff at least she tried. Guaranteed she is not the best singer, but she she is an all rounder who has charisma, in my opinion.

    I can think of a lot of female artistes who’s vocals are rubbish, but have gone on to do better ..and we all know why that is……
    IMAGE !!! Estelle doesn’t fit that same old, same old, long hair, light skin persona…so her struggle to stay on top will always be a tricky one.

    The music politricks are just that, so give the girl a break !!!

    As for the consumer being fed up of rubbish music…… are they, I doubt that very much……

  9. I think consumers do know about music other than what mainstream radio plays to them over the airwaves as the internet has made it possible for any unsigned or signed act to get their music out (, MySpace, Bebo etc). Also there are Community Radio stations who are not told what to play

    kaydee, thanks for the far more civilised reply!

    Seriously, i don’t thinks that myspace, beboe, last fm are truly independent ways to expose yourself. In some ways for people like me it’s great but LET’S BEEREAL. If you type myspace in google who appears: Barack Obama or in the UK for a while it was our alleged internet street sensation’ Lily Allen. In truth, it’s still the big corporates who know how to use such social networking sites to promote the same brand you will see advertised in mote orthodox music marketing ways.

    You really believe that all these ‘internet sensations’ just started up with the said artists setting up their sites/friends manually and suddenly a record exec discovered them..ok then.
    Communtiy Radio in the uk is pretty pointless to expose new music, pirate radio maybe. I S’pose in the States there is a far larger population of people who will tune into the countless community stations etc but not so here.

    I still remain that there is an abundance of poor vocalists/rappers who have the backing from majors and so cannot see a good tactical reason to drop Estelle over the countless other not great one-minute wonder hits. At the end of the day, she didn’t get a Number 1 for nothing, consumers bought cos they were allowed to.

    I just took the time to see this Kid Rock dude and cannot see how this cat is being brought into the mix here.
    Sweet Home Alabama or have they changed the title- one of the biggest American tunes covered by someone and is a ‘surprising’ hit with people worldwide. How impressive, not.

  10. Additional: are u truly serious comparing a rock artist to Estelle or is this a smart way to get tags on popular blog sites?

  11. Agnes Kuye,

    Ok so you don’t rate Estelle as an MC, I feel she would have made an impact as an rapper rather than a singer. The market is easy to crack, you just need to be creative in your approach to it, and also it doesn’t have to be the stereotypical image of adidas tracksuits, grab the mic etc as you put it.

    Your right about Kid Rock being white and male, however my question to you is what should all the Black Female talented MCs from the UK with no long hair light skin persona do then? Just give up????

    Sorry I aint giving a break to anyone who cannot sing, maybe you and others will but not me.

    To all the UK Female MCs who don’t fit the same old image…. DON’T EVER GIVE UP!!!! And if you see Agnes Kuye? Turn the opposite way and RUN LIKE FORREST GUMP!!!

  12. Reclaimin,

    The Social Networking Sites are the way to go if used right to generate awareness and build an artists fanbase. “If you type myspace in Google who appears: Barack Obama”? Fans of an artist would type the name of their idol wouldn’t they? Anyone if they wanted to, can become an expert in using any social networking site, there are even books on the subject (I was crap at MySpace so I purchased a book from Amazon).

    Some internet sensations did start up setting their sites and adding friends and a record company did discover them, labels employ interns who’s sole job is to actually surf social networking sites to scout for talent.

  13. I also agree with kaydee about the not giving up thing. Agnes, it seems to me that you think UK black female mcs should just give up. That shows a lack of motivation and negitive thought if you ask me. What if Nelson Mandela just give up? or Oprah just give up? or my main man Russell Simmons just give up??

  14. Reclaimin

    What kind of foolishness are you talking about typing myspace in google?? peps would just type the artist name!!!!


  15. I understand the benefits of myspace, i have three accounts and have benefited greatly on a personal level hence me even being on this thread BUT I find it naive to believe that this method has solely catapulted people from nowhere to somewhere.

    If you have been around the block, ask a choice few artists who have been ‘discovered’ how discovereed they were or if they hadn’t been busting their asses, gigging, nearly making it, dropped from labels before, changed management, gone independent, got resigned, get sidelined,never got paid for the track they appeared on etc… and all the day to day stories that make up the music industry.

    It is convenient to sell to thoughtless consumers that these people came from obscurity and then were signed to majors, I’m happy for anyone who believes it but I’m afraid it’s simply not true.

    Yes, you can enter an artist on myspace and get to know them a bit better etc but will you enter your credit card or paypal details to some obscure mp3 web page to purchase or try a tried and trusted route like Itunes?

    Do you know how many people I know who have told me that they are not making jack from selling their tracks online if the they are not with a reputed brand seller and that guess what, they would rather have their music sold in large outlets like HMV who maintain high percentage profit deals with small labels on sale or return?

    With regards to the interns whose sole job is to look for new product, that’s always been there-I get it. But I guarantee that they look for people that already have invested a fair amount in their product. ie. built a decent, presentable website, spent money on logo of band, artists, had professional shots, recorded material that has been mastered to a degree. A friend who works for T4 music confirmed this when I asked why they always are quick to promote skinny boy bands. Their relative middle-class wealth allows them to be able to have a few coffers to pay for the initial set up so that by the time they’ve got their myspace profile page or whatever, the labels have very little work to do to make it happen. And don’t forget the helpful myspace friend adders that can make you feel like a rockstar in a matter of days! Lots of numbers, sure but real fans…hmmmm

    Sorry if I come accross cynically, but show me a recent ‘discovered from obscurity’ artist and I will show you long history of blood,sweat, backstabbing, royalty feuds, stage schools and tears.

  16. Reclaimin

    Ok true, its not just through SNS sites that acts get discovered, I should have mentioned getting out there and performing at as many open mic sessions as possible aswell.

    With regards to people not making money from their music online; either their music is not good or they have not properly done their homework and really taken the time to educate themselves about how the music biz works.

    Your right, the labels will go to acts who have invested a fair amount in their product, that’s because those very few artists have actually taken the time to understand the music biz and know what the labels are after, and you don’t necessarily need loads of cash to start your music career.

    At the end of the day if your music is shit hot then people will find you regardless of whether you have cash to invest from the beginning or not.

  17. @ Kaydee – keeping it short and sweet…. hopefully lol !!!

    I do rate Estelle as an Mc, very much so and more so than I do as a singer. My comments were misinterpreted. The point I was trying to make is that we all know she can do that. If she can sing a little why not mix it up. Whats wrong with her throwing in a little creativity.

    ” my question to you is what should all the Black Female talented MCs from the UK with no long hair light skin persona do then? Just give up????

    You missed the point again. What i said was as a female SINGER not an MC there are other rubbish artists who get more air time than those more deserved, beacuse they have a certain stereotypical look. A good example of this would be CASSIE. You can make your own mind up on that.

    I agree with you on not giving a break to people who cannot sing, but I like Estelle’s style and that she does try to switch it up a little. To me she is something diff to look at, other than the same old battery doll look. Everyones entitled to their opinion and if you think she is crap, then so be it.

    As for female mc’s turning the opposite was and running like Gumpy, I’ll admit i did lol, but you missed my point. I was referring to Estelle as the SINGER AND NOT THE MC.

    The market is saturated with look a likes. I champion all female Mc’s but you took my point out of context. The adidas tracksuit bit was taking the
    p–s at your comment of it being easy to crack the market. I still don’t think it is.

    There are some great female mc’s out there but what airtime do they get in comparison to singers.

    Thanks for the good debate and jokes…

  18. At the end of the day if your music is shit hot then people will find you regardless of whether you have cash to invest from the beginning or not.

    we will agree to disagree.x

  19. @ CJ Michaels – “Agnes, it seems to me that you think UK black female mcs should just give up. That shows a lack of motivation and negitive thought if you ask me. What if Nelson Mandela just give up? or Oprah just give up? or my main man Russell Simmons just give up?? ”

    IT SEEMS TO ME THAT YOU ARE MISSING THE POINT !!!. In no way shape or form did i suggest that black uk female MC’s should give up. Where the hell did that come from. Lorrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrd you are banding about words and losing the plot BIG TIME !!!.

    Wow, talk about get misintepreted. In my responses to Kaydee and her dislike of Estelle as a A SINGER, I was simply saying Estelle has been doing that for years, why can’t she mix it up a little.

    As for your earlier juvenile comments on her “brok teeth and send her stinking ass back home”, you are a fine one to talk about NEGATIVE comments.

  20. Agnes

    No she should not “mix it up”, the girl CANT SING!!!!! Singing a little is not good enough… you can either sing or you cant. Damn the girl should get vocal lessons. As for throwing a little creativity? Please someone throw her OUT OF HER RECORD CONTRACT!!!!!

    Rapping? Yes!!! Mcing AHH HELL NO!!!!!

    An artist who can sing and rap?…… Lauryn Hill Now that’s what Iam talking about!!!!!!

  21. Reclaimin,

    I tell you what, you mentioned earlier that you know artists who are trying to get their break in the music biz, will maybe I can help, check my MySpace ( and it has all the info on what we do, if their music is any good we can promote it to radio and handle their online pr as well (provided they have all the content we require).

  22. It’s not that they are trying to break into the music biz per se…it’s that they may not be the acceptable face for many out of touch (imo) labels.

    Do you want artists that have quality music that could be sold on the strength of people loving their song or someone without bruk teeth?

    Seriously, cos I don’t want to waste your time reeling off artists that don’t look like!

  23. Yes Quality, all I want is artists that really want to be in the business and are focused and have goals.

  24. Reclaimin

    Also I dont feel its about having to be acceptable, f**k that, this is why Iam in the biz to change all of that bulls**t!!!! Its a hard battle but I aint giving up 🙂

  25. Ok,
    Before I start, let me say that I am primarily a jazz and electonic head so the soul, hip hop i like will not always be commercially viable but here are some examples of tracks i think had they been on mainstream radio in the more orthodox r&b circles would have done farebetter if more pople had of heard them.

    These are not new artists, they are jobbing musicians and this is just a tip of what they have produced..

    ‘Vaceo- Room For All’.
    Link to listen:

    Natalie Williams – Butterfly
    Link to listen:

    Rasiyah- U better run
    Link to listen:

    Vanessa Freeman – Show Me
    Link to listen:

    Xan Blacq – a music genius who has to put up with Amys nonsense to pay bills..
    Link to listen:

    Link to listen:

    Shea Soul & Motet- Turn It Out
    Link to listen:

    just a few examples not forgetting you Ty;-) ..plenty more peopk if anyones interested in checking them out but i’m at work so u know how it goes

  26. Vanessa Freeman – show me,….what at track, heard it years ago, and thought why don’t more ppl know about this sister.

    as for estelle .

    what don’t kill, will, only mek stronger the will, to succeed!… Watch her and believe!!!


  27. Vanessa is doing fine working with people that know the score but tell me why the alleged ‘soul communitys/urban’ etc in the UK don’t know her.and i do mean the Choice FM/Touch Magazine, RWD circles- my favourite camps to hate on

    Sorry that this thread has steered into a launch pad for my hate for mediocre music and cowardly black folk in the industry that should know better again Jan!l

Follow MAD NEWS UK on

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Follow me on Twitter




September 2008
%d bloggers like this: