Linda Carlsson had been a singer her whole life, exploring everything from rock to blues, jazz, Broadway, even opera and metal, and performing in a variety of shows and bands, but it wasn't until 2006 that the then-24-year-old Swede launched her career in earnest, transforming herself into Miss Li and embarking on a string of releases that was notably prolific and not a little precocious. Accompanying herself on the piano despite not having played the instrument since she was required to at school, and recruiting a backing combo including double bassist Clas Lassbo, drummer Gustav Nahlin (who also helped out with production) and a three-piece horn section, Carlsson penned a slew of songs drawing on pop, jazz, polka, country, and rhythm & blues but essentially rooted in a theatrical cabaret/music hall pop style, with lyrics focused primarily on romantic and sexual escapades and a campily glorified hedonistic lifestyle. She released both her first single, "Oh Boy," and album, Late Night Heartbroken Blues, in November of 2006; God Put a Rainbow in the Sky followed the next May, and Songs of a Rag Doll appeared in October 2007. Not long afterwards, her label put out Best of 061122 -- 071122, making Li probably one of the first artists in history to have a greatest-hits compilation a mere year and a half after her debut release (and a double-disc at that, including one set of B-sides and outtakes), although considering that each of her three albums is only ten songs and a half-hour long, there wasn't really all that much to choose from, so it functions as more of a helpful condensation. It was, however, her most successful release to date, reaching number 11 on the Swedish album charts, coincident with "Oh Boy"'s delayed rise to the Top Ten. Li has also performed duets with her countrymen Lars Winnerbäck ("Om du Lämnade Mig Nu" -- a number one hit) and Maia Hirasawa ("Crackers.") ~ K. Ross Hoffman
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