Sometimes the strangest things can happen to someone’s career and for R&B singer Shontelle Layne it did happened. Who would have thought that the Barbadian beauty, who was aspiring to become a lawyer, would have one day defined a different path for herself and become a rising star in the music industry?

“Impossible,” the lead single from her second studio album, “No Gravity,” has been climbing the chart since it was released earlier this year, peaking at number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100. Of “Impossible,” Shontelle explained to Teen Magazine that she wrote the song because she felt that the chart needed a ballad presence. “I knew that there was no song out there for heartbroken people. I just wanted to put a song out that gave people hope.”

Shontelle, best known for her first hit single, “T-Shirt” is the oldest of three sisters. Born in 1985, in Barbados, to Raymond and Beverley Layne, Shontelle is the niece of Kim Derrick, a famous Caribbean singer. At an early age, Derrick encouraged her niece to pursue music, so while in school the singer was part of a group called “Cadets” in which she was a drill sergeant. It was during that time that she befriended an unknown and newcomer Barbadian artist known as Rihanna who will later become one of the biggest stars of the island.

While studying Entertainment Law at Harrison College, she was approached by Carl Sturken and Evan Rogers who wanted the singer to create a cover of her song “Roll” that she had co-written for Socca singer Alison‘s debut album; in 2007 a reworked cover of the song entitled “Roll It” was released in Europe. The new version was performed by J-Status and featured both Rihanna and Shontelle, who assisted in writing the two different versions of the song. That same year, Sturken and Rogers signed Shontelle to SRC Records, where she released her debut album, “Shontelligence” in 2008. “T-Shirt,” the lead single was mostly successful in the U.K. On the other hand, the album was a mere success selling 5,000 copies in its first weeks. Eventually, it went on to sale 25, 000 records altogether and due to low sales SRC re-released it again in early 2009. The re-release did not sell very well either and as of today the record has sold only 50,000 copies in the US and 10,000 copies in the UK.

“No Gravity,” Shontelle second studio album will be release on September 21, 2010 and her second single, “Perfect Nightmare,” will hit radio on August 31, 2010. The album will have a dance and Rock influence similar to Katy Perry. The album will also feature a collaboration by Mr. Hudson on the track, “The DJ Made Me Do It” previously titled “Do It,” which he co-wrote. A remix of “T-Shirt” featuring The-Dream will also be included in “No Gravity.”

Indeed, things may not have work out for Shontelle as a lawyer but with her music career she can now connect listeners to another side of her talent and with the overwhelming success that she’s been getting the past several months with “Impossible,” one would normally expect that this 25 year-old Bajan singer soon become one of the latest artists from the West Indies that will eventually conquer the world.

Written by Valerie Varasse

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