Shontelle Layne (born 4 October 1985), known professionally as Shontelle, is a Barbadian singer-songwriter. She released her debut album Shontelligence in November 2008. Her second album, No Gravity, was released in September 2010. Her singles, « T-Shirt », and « Impossible », achieved modest international success.
Shontelle began work on her debut studio album in early 2008, and completed the album in six months. The album’s title was given to her by the album’s engineer who used the word « shontelligence » as a joke after Shontelle and her producers were playing a game that involved making up words from her name. « T-Shirt », Shontelle’s debut single, was released in July 2008 and reached number thirty-six on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming a moderate hit. However, it peaked within the top ten of the charts in Belgium and the United Kingdom.
Shontelle’s debut album, Shontelligence, was released on 18 November 2008. The album reached number 115 on the US Billboard 200, selling 6,200 records in its first week, and reached number twenty-four on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. It was re-released on 10 March 2009, and has since sold 30,000 records in the US.
The second single from the album, « Stuck with Each Other », featuring Akon, was released in February 2009 in the US and May 2009 in the UK. The single failed to chart in the US, but reached number twenty-three in the United Kingdom. Shontelle toured as a supporting act for the UK leg of the New Kids on the Block World Tour in January 2009. Shontelle was also Beyoncé Knowles’ opening act for her I Am… Tour from May to June 2009 during the British leg.
Shontelle was also the host of My Prom Style! and Universal Motown’s 2009 Ultimate Prom fashion reality series. She performed at a high school prom in New York City in June 2009, but first she led three students in a competition to design the dress that singer Kat DeLuna, the headliner, wore at the Ultimate Prom concert.
Shontelle’s second album, No Gravity, was released in the US on 21 September 2010. Shontelle stated that the album would be experimental and that she wanted to change her original sound for the record. While the title ‘No Gravity’ symbolises a mantra, Shontelle states she has adapted to her life and to her career, to motivate herself to keep climbing higher and to have nothing hold her down or hold her back. Shontelle collaborated with Bruno Mars, Tony Kanal and Darkchild among others for the record. In the first week of release, No Gravity placed at number eighty-one on the Billboard 200, selling 7,000 copies. Later that year Shontelle would co-write Rihanna’s song « Man Down » from her fifth studio album, Loud (2010).
The lead single from the album, « Impossible », was released in February 2010 for digital download, but failed to garner success until May 2010, when it debuted on the Billboard Hot 100. It has since become her most successful single to date, reaching number thirteen on the Billboard Hot 100. The second single from the album, « Perfect Nightmare », was released in August 2010. « Say Hello to Goodbye » was sent to pop radio on 15 March 2011, as the third single. Both failed to chart on the Hot 100, however both managed to chart on the Pop songs chart. No Gravity has sold an estimated 150,000 copies in the US as of 2012.
Shontelle played at GUMBO @ The Canal Room in New York City on 15 July 2011, where she revealed news about an upcoming single and third studio album. It was also revealed that she had departed from Universal Motown and had joined Universal Republic. The lead single from the upcoming album is called « Reflection » and it premiered on SoundCloud in September 2011. Songs from the album were expected to be previewed at Shontelle’s birthday bash. Amongst those confirmed to be working on the album were Rockwilder, Tony Kanal, and The Runners. Following a restructure at Universal Music Group whereby Motown Records was separated from Universal Motown Republic Group and merged with The Island Def Jam Music Group. Subsequently left as a stand alone label, Universal Republic was shut down and instead all artists were transferred to the newly revived Republic Records. Shontelle is now recording for Republic Records. In December 2012, Shontelle confirmed that « Put Me On Blast » would be the lead single from her upcoming third studio album, and that she has already filmed the music video for the single in Los Angeles, California.