Were you begging Duffy for “Mercy” in 2008? And are you wondering where she is now?
24 year old Welsh singer Aimee Duffy hit the big time in 2008 with her 60’s-esque yarn “Mercy”, which would top the charts around the world. Her debut album “Rockferry” would go on to sell over nine million copies globally and Duffy became the biggest British music star of the moment. So what happened?
Duffy actually released her self-titled debut EP in 2004 with three tracks sung in Welsh. It won her a recording contract with A&M Records and Duffy set about writing for her first album. It was in 2004 that she was introduced to Suede guitarist Bernard Butler and found that her creative talent and mind had found a perfect match. The outcome of that match was the song “Rockferry” which was released in November 2007 and despite only being released digitally (when digital sales accounted for less than ten percent of music broadcasting) and 500 vinyl pressings, the song charted at No.45 in the UK.
She followed “Rockferry” with a second single prior to the release of her debut album that Spring, “Mercy”. The song was actually a late edition to the album being written and recorded towards the end of 2007 but thanks to enormous radio play and some glowing reviews, “Mercy” took off like a rocket reaching the top five in twenty six countries worldwide and in twelve of those, topping the chart, including her home country where the song has been certified Platinum for sales of over 600,000 copies. With a million copies sold in America, “Mercy” became one of the biggest selling singles of 2008.
The album “Rockferry” was released in March and hardly surprisingly followed suit, topping album charts and selling, to date, over nine million copies worldwide, over two million coming from the UK, where is became the biggest seller of the year and the fourth biggest seller worldwide. The album won numerous industry awards including an Ivor Novello, Brit Award for Best British Album, Q Magazine, MTV and ultimately a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Album. Three further singles were lifted from the album including “Warwick Avenue” which made No.3 in the UK and across Europe.
The singles “Stepping Stone” and “Rain On Your Parade” were also successful charting top twenty across Europe and further afield. In addition, SIX other tracks individually charted in the UK for radio and digital play! In 2009, Duffy recorded her version of the James Bond song “Live And Let Die” by Paul McCartney and Wings for the “War Child Presents Heroes” album raising money to help children in war stricken countries such as Iraq, Uganda and Afghanistan, as well as Lorraine Ellison’s 1966 classic “Stay With Me” for film soundtrack to ‘The Boat That Rocked’.
Work began in late 2009 on her second album which was released the following November. “Endlessly” as it was titled was preceded by the single “Well, Well, Well” which seemed to miss the mark chart wise, generally reaching the bottom end of the top 40’s or in some cases missing it completely. It stalled at No.41 in the UK. The album also proved to be less commercially successful reaching No.72 in The States but faring slightly better elsewhere. It just managed to reach Platinum status in the UK, where it has sold over 300,000 copies.
Duffy announced in 2011 that she was taking a break from music and has since ventured into acting making her debut in the film ‘Patagonia’ with Matthew Rhys as well as appearing in the 2015 Tom Hardy film ‘Legend’, for which she also supplied the song “Whole Lot Of Love” for the soundtrack.
Duffy has made no secret recently that she has been writing and recording new material for a third album with, as yet, no intended release date, news I am sure will be well received by many people!