FAVORITE DAUGHTER: Best Overall Music Act

Janelle Monae

Staff Pick

Look around, Toto. JANELLE MONÁE is not in Kansas anymore. Over the past 12 months, whirlwind success has swept her into an industry filled with lions, tigers and Diddy, oh my. Even before she and her Wondaland Arts Society independently sold more than 10,000 copies of her EP suite Metropolis: The Chase, hip-hop wizard Sean Combs came calling. Since signing WAS to Bad Boy, Diddy’s made an unprecedented career move by keeping his mouth shut – except for that one time when he told MTV Monáe was the next Elvis – and handing over complete creative control. It’s a testament to Monáe’s artistic vision that the world’s big-gest hype man realizes there’s little need to blow hot air. Last month, Bad Boy re-released Monáe’s EP (with two additional songs), showcasing her operatic vocals and Wonda-land’s quirky funk. Earlier this year, she turned a pirouette in the Atlanta Ballet’s big and darn near stole the show. Now she dances with Diddy and keeps her integrity in-tact. What a twister. www.myspace.com/janellemonae.

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