Duffy charms NYC at U.S. nightclub premiere

After a whirlwind weekend at the SXSW Music & Film Conference in Austin, Texas, young Welsh singer Duffy made her official U.S. nightclub premiere at New York’s Hiro Ballroom on St. Patrick’s Day – absolutely nailing every song from her debut album ‘Rockferry,’ which shipped near-platinum in the UK (only) one week before. Climaxing the set was “Mercy,” now in its 5th week at #1 on the UK and Ireland national charts.

The attention being paid to Duffy on both sides of the Atlantic in 2008 is nothing short of phenomenal. In the U.S., where ‘Rockferry’ arrives in stores May 13th on the newly re-launched Mercury label, MTV and VH1 have also thrown their support behind Duffy with MTV naming her their latest “Discover & Download” artist, and VH1 adding Duffy to their “You Oughta Know” roster.

NBC’s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno has already confirmed Duffy for an April 28th appearance, one day after she performs at the Coachella Festival in the desert. In New York on the album release day, May 13th, Duffy is set for morning and evening spots on ABC’s Live with Regis & Kelly and NBC’s Late Night with Conan O’Brien, respectively.

UK sales and airplay stats for “Mercy” are mind-boggling: #1 on the BBC’s Radio 1 and Radio 2, with an audience of 91 million, easily the biggest weekly audience of any record in the UK so far this year. In addition to the UK and Ireland, “Mercy” is Top 5 in Denmark, Sweden, Holland, and Greece; and Top 10 on the United World Chart and in Switzerland and Norway.

U.S. airplay is catching up quickly, with “Mercy” bulleting its way inside the Top 40 across-the-board at the influential Hot AC, Alternative and Triple-A formats this week. The video for “Mercy”, Directed by Adria Petty (Regina Spektor & Kings of Leon), goes up on MTV.com and VH1.com at 10:00 a.m EST, Wednesday morning, March 26th, as well as all day on MTV Hits and mtvU the same day. The VH1 Top 20 Countdown premiere takes place on March 29th.

Guileless and beguiling, and blessed with effortless Motown and Stax chops, 23-year old Duffy has blown away London’s hype-driven music machinery like a gust of fresh air. She was born and raised in the tiny Welsh village of Nefyn (population 2,550 at last census), a place so remote that the nearest record store was a bus ride away and only stocked the Top 40.

Isolated, her muse was immaculately conceived and soulfully nurtured. Opting out of college, she worked as a waitress, sang in a bar, and cobbled out some demo recordings, some of which found their way to Jeanette Lee, noted founder and partner of the Rough Trade record label and management company.

She encouraged Duffy to write her own material, put her in the studio with like-minded co-writers/producers, and signed her to A&M/Polydor UK and Mercury Records in the U.S.

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