Band to Watch: Elle Varner

R&B rising star has sharp jokes, sharper hooks

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Hometown: Los Angeles

Backstory: Raised by songwriter parents, Varner grew up absorbing their Motown and Burt Bacharach records and tagging along to recording sessions. She sang in her church choir and attended a performing arts magnet school before moving east for college, where she studied at New York University's Clive Davis Program of Recorded Music and signed a record deal soon after.

Family Affair: Varner involved her parents on Perfectly Imperfect, co-writing songs with dad Jimmy (who also helped produce the album); and asking her mom, Mikelyn Roderick, a former backing singer for Barry White, to contribute vocals to "Sound Proof Room."

Hot Clip: Watch Elle Varner's clip for "I Don't Care" above.

Listen to 'Perfectly Imperfect'

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