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the Music Lounge by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A & E Writer
Joss Stone gives high praise to Melissa Etheridge, prefers hanging out at Gay bars, and appears on Bumbershoot's main stage this weekend
by Albert Rodriguez - SGN A&E Writer

The first words from Joss Stone's mouth when she phoned in last week were, "How ya doing darlin'?." That delightful, sweet tone carried throughout the entire fifteen minutes we spoke. The Grammy-nominated pop diva released her third studio album, Introducing Joss Stone, in March and filled the Paramount Theatre two months later on her first trek to Seattle. She returns this weekend to the Emerald City as a Bumbershoot main stage artist, performing right before John Legend on Monday afternoon. Wristbands are not required for the concert at Memorial Stadium in addition to festival admission. But I do recommend arriving early for a good spot.

Articulate, peppy and ultra friendly, Joss Stone was a wonderful breath of fresh air when our phone lines connected. Here's what this young, talented, hot mama had to say when she boogied her way into "The Music Lounge".

Albert Rodriguez: You were in Seattle about two months ago. Did you have a good time here?
Joss Stone: Yeah, it was really nice. I like it there.

Rodriguez What do you think about Seattle?
Stone: I think it's cool. I like the people. They're always very friendly over there. It's not like a normal city. It's not cold to me, it seems like people are warmer.

Rodriguez Where do you call home?
Stone: England, in Devon. I just went there for a little bit because my dogs are having puppies and my brother's wife is having a baby. It's the longest I've been home since January.

Rodriguez Will that always be your home or have you entertained the idea of moving to the States?
Stone: I might move to the States. If I did, I'd probably go to New York. But to be honest, I don't have time to live anywhere. I have a home and my home has my things in it, and it has my mum down the road. That's why I define it as home. But I actually don't live in my home. I don't live anywhere.

Rodriguez I want to go back two years ago to the Grammy Awards, where you performed alongside Melissa Etheridge - who is a hero to the Gay and Lesbian community.
Stone: She is a hero, isn't she? She is such a strong woman. She is so beautiful and so strong. Just the music alone is an inspiration to me, and it has been since I was little. Then when you know about her as a person, I actually spent time with her, I love her that much more because she's such a strength. It's so rare to find that in women. Not many women have that strength and the grace that comes with it. She's definitely someone other women should look up to.

Rodriguez The day after the Grammys so many people were talking about that performance. It was so powerful. What did it feel like to be present at that moment?
Stone: I was scared, I was freaking. It's just a frightening thing to do. But you get into it. You have to get into it. Like, when you're running and there's only one direction to run in - you just run and go as fast as you can.

Rodriguez Had you been a Melissa Etheridge fan before you performed onstage with her? Stone: I knew her like the back of my hand. I love her! I listened to her since I can't even remember.

Rodriguez Who did you grow up listening to?
Stone: A lot of Melissa (Etheridge), and when I was real young my mum played Whitney Houston, James Brown, and Aretha Franklin. My dad liked The Jam and The Clash.

Rodriguez People draw comparisons to you and Janis Joplin. Did you ever listen to her when you were growing up?
Stone: Not really. I listened to maybe two songs of hers when I was really young, the "Mercedes Benz" song and "Piece of My Heart". My mum really loved her.

Rodriguez Are you aware that you have a large Gay fan base?
Stone: Yeah, it's nice. It's really lovely, actually. There's a big Gay following with my gigs. It's not just Gays, it's Lesbians.

Rodriguez Do you hang out at any Gay bars in your hometown?
Stone: No, not in my hometown. But with my friend Brian, we go out in New York. I feel a lot better in a Gay bar. I really do. I don't really go out clubbing. I think it's a bit of a meat market. But when I go out with Brian and we go to a Gay club, it's much better for me. I can really have a good time. I don't have to worry about some crazy, pervy bloke. It's a hell of a lot nicer.

Rodriguez My favorite Joss Stone song, and it's on my iPOD, is from your album Mind, Body and Soul. It's called "You Had Me".
Stone: Oh, thank you.

Rodriguez I hope you do it when you come to Bumbershoot.
Stone: I will sing it for you, no problem.

Rodriguez It's such an inspiring song, especially for someone wanting to let their ex-boyfriend or ex-girlfriend know that it's over and they have what it takes to move past them.
Stone: Exactly! It's so hard to say that. Oh my god, it's so hard to say that when you really like somebody. That is a strength you have to dig deep to find. You need to say goodbye, and something is telling you to say it in hopes that everything will be okay. But actually, this guy's a dickhead! Just leave! Leave woman! They do, why can't we?!

Rodriguez There are a lot of great rock bands coming out of the UK, like Snow Patrol and Franz Ferdinand. Do you get to meet any of them?
Stone: I do, sometimes. I like Athlete. I really like Arctic Monkeys. I think they're awesome.

Rodriguez What about Coldplay?
Stone: Coldplay, obviously. They're from my hometown. They're really, really amazing. And Chris (Martin) seems very nice. I've only met him once.

Rodriguez He's a cutie pie.
Stone: He IS cute! Very!

Rodriguez Well, it's time to let you go. Safe travels to Seattle. We look forward to seeing you at Bumbershoot. Until then, have a lovely afternoon.
Stone: Thank you darling. You too!

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