My formidable pre-teen years were spent imitating my older sister. This imitation centered around listening to the same music. While living in England, my sister urged me to listen to Estelle, a well known singer from London who was famous well before singers like Adele and Amy Winehouse incorporated their 60s sound. She made it big in the U.S. when she featured Kanye West in "American Boy", but has been around since the early 2000s.
The winner of World Music Awards, Grammys, and BET awards, Estelle is a strong female presence in hip-hop both overseas and stateside. She paved the way for hip-hop female artists and was one of the huge female singing sensations in the UK after the Spice Girls. As stated above, her style is now emulated by songstresses like Adele. But her strong, Black, female presence in hip-hop is not only felt in the burgeoning artist scene, but sets a standard for female performers in style, artistry, and skill.