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Style Icon: Janelle Monáe

If you haven’t heard of singer Janelle Monáe before, you have now. Unlike some of her pop and R&B peers, who are primped and preened into bubble gum-chewing, goody-two-shoe caricatures of themselves, this up-and-comer has remained true to her unique sense of style in fashion and music. Rumor has it that her deal with Bad Boy Records gives her total creative control, which means mentor Sean “Diddy” Combs must really believe in her as a star of the future. Part musical theater, part funk, part Dirty South, her sound is a kind of psychedelic R&B. Think Judy Garland meets Lauryn Hill. On Metropolis: The Chase Suite (Special Edition), inspired by the 1927 silent film “Metropolis,” the songstress takes on the alter ego of Cindi Mayweather, an “Alpha Platinum 9000 android” who has fallen in love with a human being. At times, the artist who has described herself as a girl from another planet sounds a little out of this world, but her fashion style is totally down to earth. Her music is futuristic, but her rockabilly image is straight out of the history books. Nowadays, she’s best known for her self-styled pompadour and rockin’ saddle shoes with her trademark trousers, suspenders, and bow-ties. Without a doubt, this fly girl is one to watch out for.

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