Deelee Dube (/'diːliː 'duːbɛ/) born Sithandile Agatha Dube on the 15th of January is a British vocalist, songwriter, and musician of Southern African lineage.
On November 20th, 2016, Dube became the first British winner and recipient of a Sassy Award at the 5th Annual Sarah Vaughan International Jazz Vocal Competition held at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center in Newark, which landed her with a Concord Records contract and a chance to appear at the Montreal Jazz Festival. The panel judges included Sheila Jordan, Dianne Reeves, Christian McBride, Sheila E. Anderson, and Mark Ruffin. Whilst in Newark, Deelee was interviewed by WBGO radio broadcaster Nicole Sweeney prior to her triumph in the Sarah Vaughan Vocal Competition at NJPAC.
A fraternal twin, Dube was born in London, England to a Zimbabwean fashion designer and famed South African jazz pianist and musician, Jabu Nkosi.
Growing up, Deelee and her twin brother would often engage in singing, dancing, and creating music together, and they both took violin lessons as young infants. Deelee often participated in talent competitions and was awarded first prize in a dancing contest at the age of 11. Surrounded by music, particularly by that of their mother's rich and eclectic vinyl collection, Deelee and her twin brother would often indulge by listening and dancing. They both attended school together before she transferred to a girls' school where she continued to practice the violin whilst her twin brother took clarinet lessons. It was whilst she was here that her teacher, Mr. Absolom (Father of British actor Joe Absolom) closely observed and recognised Deleee's passion for creative arts and supported her as she continued to thrive in developing and honing her craft in singing, fine art, songwriting, and poetry.
As a fine artist and poet, Deelee's project artwork was exhibited at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in May – July 1995, and her poetry was published in Write & Shine Regional Anthology (Poetry Now Young Writers Book, 1995) and the Book of Dreams (United Press, 2010).
2002–08: Self Portrait
A collaborative music venture and project with guitarist John Jallow that formed the genesis of Rainy Day Blues and other original compositions that culminated in Deelee's self-produced EP, Self Portrait
Collaborative recordings: Projects and Sessions
In 2002, Deelee was called upon to deliver vocals and features alongside the late reggae artist Frankie Paul. Produced by Don Charles, the two unreleased recordings of this studio collaboration were Humanity and Sweet Reggae Music recorded in 2002.