"For me, personally, Mind, Body and Soul is my real debut."
Joss Stone's words may come as a surprise to fans of the seventeen-year-old singer from Devon, England: Her first S-Curve recording, The Soul Sessions, established Stone as perhaps the most precociously gifted vocalist of her generation. But that September 2003 release, Joss admits, "started out as a side project and turned into this huge thing."
"I didn't mean it to," she adds with a cheerfully self-deprecating laugh, "but people just kept buying it."
Some of those buyers were intrigued by the disc's surprising selection of rarely-covered soul gems. Others were converted by heavy VH1/MTV/MTV2 airplay for her first video, "Fell in Love with a Boy," or by Joss's increasingly confident and exciting live shows. Still more were won over by her scintillating performances on NBC's "The Tonight Show" and the ABC network special Motown 45; and by the inclusion of Stone songs in such popular television series as "The West Wing," "ER," and "Third Watch."
By the summer of 2004, The Soul Sessions was certified gold in the US (with sales in excess of 675,000 units) and had sold more than two million copies worldwide. The disc reached Number One on Billboard's "Heatseekers" chart in February 2004; breached the US Top 40 in April '04, and hit the Top Ten in thirteen countries around the world.
Listen to the dynamic and assured performances that comprise Mind, Body and Soul-from the feverish first single "You Had Me" to the playful dance track "Don't Cha Wanna Ride" to the impassioned rock-soul ballad "Killing Time." Then recall that when Joss Stone came to the New York-based S-Curve label, she had never made a record or performed with a live band before a live audience. What she did have-to quote Joss's co-writer, vocal arranger and mentor Betty Wright-was "a God-given gift," a voice of uncommon strength, soulfulness, and sensitivity.
--- from the official Joss Stone website