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Last Updated: Friday, 11 April 2008, 09:35 GMT 10:35 UK
Duffy defends 'blue eyed soul'
Duffy performs at the Royal Albert Hall for the Teenage Cancer Trust on 10 April

By Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Duffy insists that when it comes to soul music, the colour of an artist's skin is irrelevant.

The chart topper has reacted to claims by Estelle, another number one selling artist, that the British music industry is unwilling to market black artists.

Estelle also claimed the music of Duffy and Brit winner Adele is not genuine soul.

But Duffy told Newsbeat:"If the talent and the desire is there, I don't really think it matters what colour you are."

In an interview with the Guardian newspaper, Estelle - currently enjoying chart success with American Boy - attacked the state of the music industry.

She said: "I'm not mad at 'em - but I'm just wondering, how the hell is there not a single black person in the press singing soul?
Estelle at the UK launch of her album, Shine

"Adele ain't soul. She sounds like she heard some Aretha records once and she's got a deeper voice - that don't mean she's soul.

"They keep trying to tell me in the media what soul music is and I'm like, we know what soul music is."

On the subject of how black artists are marketed, Estelle speaks from some experience, having left the UK for America following a brush with success in 2004.

She's since worked with major US artists like Kanye West and John Legend.

But speaking before she performed at London's Royal Albert Hall, Welsh singer Duffy defended British soul, claiming Estelle may not be looking hard enough.

She said: "We don't live in the 1950s any more, we're in a multicultural country.

"So no, I think that's pretty far from the truth, look around and I think you'll see that it [Black Soul] really does exist."

Musical influences

Duffy admits she's influenced by a wide range of artists.

She said: "I like a lot of obscure stuff. I think the darker and more mysterious and the more unknown something is, the more you can make it your own.

"I like to dig deep into northern soul and motown and blues.

"I saw the Rolling Stones film the other night which was mind blowing and I remembered the first thing I really saw of music was The Rolling Stones on a video tape.

"I was six years old, no one told me they had been around since the 60s, so for all I knew they were current.

"I remember seeing it and thinking it was the most important thing I'd ever seen.

"So, they're up there as one of my biggest influences because they married blues and rock and roll."

Duffy's debut album Rockferry spent five weeks at number one in the UK album chart.

Estelle's Shine is a new entry, this week, at number six.

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