K.T. Tunstall

The Chinese/Scottish singer-songwriter chanteuse (say that ten times fast) was an immediate hit in her native UK with her 2004 debut, Eye to the Telescope. Her confident voice, strong lyrics and ability to incorporate both stripped-down and full-on band material make her something of a combination of alt-folk icons Jewel and Dido. But huge success across the pond doesn't automatically translate into throngs of admirers on these shores -- just ask Travis, Blur, Goldfrapp and that Robbie Williams guy. Tunstall's music has mostly reached the States as part of TV and movie soundtracks. Her "Suddenly I See" was featured in the film The Devil Wears Prada; she performed on the Today show, and her songs were heard in season finales of both Grey's Anatomy and Will & Grace. But the biggest exposure came when American Idol finalist Katharine McPhee sang an excerpt of Tunstall's "Black Horse and Cherry Tree" on one episode, which, of course, sent millions of AI obsessives to their computers looking for info on the original artist, making the song a hit. She's also the face for a "beauty/lifestyle" cosmetics company and has done several fashion shoots. Tunstall seems to be in the middle of an anything-goes campaign to get noticed. And unlike so many of today's young female singers who are all looks and no voice, Tunstall's got the talent to back it up.
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Bob Ruggiero has been writing about music, books, visual arts and entertainment for the Houston Press since 1997, with an emphasis on classic rock. He used to have an incredible and luxurious mullet in college as well. He is the author of the band biography Slippin’ Out of Darkness: The Story of WAR.
Contact: Bob Ruggiero