The Puppini Sisters

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The Puppini Sisters
Puppini Sisters at Graham Norton Show.jpg
The Puppini Sisters (Smith, Puppini and Mullins) backstage at The Graham Norton Show, Christmas 2012
Background information
Origin London, England
Genres A cappella, pop, jazz, close harmony, swing
Years active 2004–present
Labels UCJ (UK), Verve (US)
Members Marcella Puppini (2004–present)
Kate Mullins (2004–present)
Emma Smith (2012–present)
Past members Rosana Schura (2004)
Stephanie O'Brien (2004–2012)
Terriane Passingham (2012)

The Puppini Sisters are an English close harmony vocal trio composed of Italian-born singer Marcella Puppini and English singers Kate Mullins and Emma Smith. Although the three are not related, the name was chosen in tribute to The Andrews Sisters. The three met in the same Music College, but their résumés were very different: Kate (the blonde) had sung in the heavy metal band Killed In Action; Marcella (the brunette) had recorded the dance hit Revolution after serving time in a punk group; as for Rosanna, and later Stephanie, they both came from a classical background. After eight years with the group, O'Brien was replaced by Emma Smith, who comes from a London Jazz dynasty, and is a Royal Academy of Music graduate with a soulful voice and a very cheeky personality.

Marcella had had a career in fashion (she had graduated from Central St Martins College of Art and worked with Vivienne Westwood before embarking on a Music degree), so the trio’s first appearances were (almost naturally) à la mode. But their gigs quickly became a unique rendezvous for a mix of impassioned fans: jazz-goers, retro-aesthetes, people into nostalgia, others with a style obsession, and also kids, spellbound by the vivacity and colour which sparkled in the Sisters’ voices…

The trio are backed by a three-piece band featuring Blake Wilner on guitar, Henrik Jensen on double bass and Peter Ibbetson on drums. Critic Arion Berger described them as part of "Retro's futuristic vanguard" and characterised their sound as "swing-punk"[citation needed]. The group is associated with a burlesque revival.[1]


The group was founded in 2004 by Marcella Puppini after she was inspired by the animated film Les Triplettes de Belleville (2003). In 2005 they were signed by UCJ (Universal Classics and Jazz). The Puppini Sisters' debut single, "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy", was a cover of the hit single by The Andrews Sisters. The Puppini Sisters' second album, The Rise and Fall of Ruby Woo includes original compositions by Puppini, Stephanie O'Brien and Kate Mullins.

The Puppini Sisters television appearances include This Morning, Loose Women, The Alan Titchmarsh Show, Big Brother's Little Brother, Hell's Kitchen, CBeebies' Space Pirates, The View (on ABC), and 2011's A Michael Bublé Christmas on NBC and Graham Norton with Bublé in 2012. The group also appeared in the 2009 Jonathan Creek New Year's special "The Grinning Man", performing their 2007 single "Spooky". The trio was also featured on the soundtracks for the US TV series Greys Anatomy and Chuck. In 2015 the Sisters also appeared on BBC1's Strictly Come Dancing.

The group performed at Glastonbury Festival 2009 on 27 June[2] as well as performing at Goodwood Vintage Festival on 15 August.

On 27 June 2012, O'Brien announced via the group's Facebook page that she was leaving the group.[3] It was later revealed that Terrianne Passingham would replace O'Brien.[4] However, Passingham also left the group and shortly thereafter Emma Smith took her place. The singer made her debut with The Puppini Sisters on The Graham Norton Show in November 2012.[5]

The trio started a Pledge Music campaign to crowd fund their new album with the help of fans. The album was finalized before Christmas 2015 and its release is scheduled to March 2016.


According to Marcella Puppini, the group sings about modern and risqué subjects in a quaintly old-fashioned way. This comes from their interest in 1940s songs such as "Hold Tight (Want Some Seafood Mama)" that have sexual undertones despite their overtly innocent lyrics.[6]

The Puppini Sisters' MySpace page includes a list of acts which have influenced the trio, including The Andrews Sisters, The Chordettes The Boswell Sisters, Marlene Dietrich, Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers, Kate Bush, Mike Flowers, Joan Crawford, The Smiths, and Tom Waits.


The Puppini Sisters won a Gold Disc for international sales of their first CD, Betcha Bottom Dollar, in 2007.[7]

The Puppini Sisters website won the 2008 Cream of Yorkshire awards "Gold Award" for best website. The digital advertising agency twentysix won the top award the "overall Grand Prix award" for its design of a website for Universal Music showcasing the group.[8]






  • "Could It Be Magic" appears on Magicians OST (2007)
  • "Crazy in Love" on Swing Style – Swing Beats for Dancing Feets compiled and mixed by Gulbahar Kultur, Lola's World (2008), 100 Hits – Voices (2009), Radio Modern – The ABC of Swing, Bop'n'Roll (2010)
  • "In the Mood" appears on Actrices OST (2008)
  • "It Don't Mean a Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)" appears on Jazzism 1 from Jazzism Magazine (2008)
  • "I Will Survive" appears on Tom Middleton Presents Crazy Covers 2 (2007), Bolero Fashion Sound compiled by Olivier Rohrbach (2007), Jazziz 8: Women compilation by Jazziz Magazine (2007), You're Beautiful – 40 Inspiring Songs (2007), Smile Style 2 compilation by DJ Weritos Lounge (2009), Intelligent Music Favorites Vol 7 (2009), Peppermint Candy (2011)
  • "Jilted" appears on Back to Soul – New Soul Queens and Legendary Divas (2008)
  • "Jingle Bells" appears on A Classic Christmas (2006), Now That's What I Call Xmas (2006), Now This Is Christmas 2008 (2008), Wonderland (2008), Now That's What I Call Christmas! 3 (2009), Christmas with the Stars (2010), Merry Christmas Everybody (2010), Now That's What I Call Xmas (2010)
  • "Libertango" appears on Lost Vagueness OST (2007)
  • "Mele Kalikimaka" appears on Christmas Tales 2010 by Raar FM (2010)
  • "Mr. Sandman" appears on The Jazz Album 2006 (2006)
  • "Panic" appears on Jazz for Dinner (2006), Party Jazz (2010)
  • "Side by Side" and "Playmates" appears on Kit Kittredge: An American Girl OST (2008)
  • "Spooky" appears on 100 Hits – Voices (2009)
  • "Sway" appears on The Jazz Album 2006 (2006), 100 Hits – Voices (2009), TSF Jazz 1999–2009 10 Ans (2009)
  • "Tu Vuo Fa L'Americano" appears on The Very Best of Latin Jazz (2007), New York New York (2008)
  • "We Have All the Time in the World" appears on You Raise Me Up 2008 (2008)


Christmas 2011 saw the release of "Jingle Bells" recorded with Michael Bublé for his Christmas album.[11] They also recorded "Frosty the Snowman" with Bublé on the same album, as a bonus track on the deluxe edition.

The group recorded a close harmony version of the song "Apart of Me", by Stephen Coates of The Real Tuesday Weld, and acted in the video for the song, playing "a corpse, murdering waitresses, worms and chickens". Two versions of the song exist, one being that which was used for the video and the other is a track on The Real Tuesday Weld's 2008 album The London Book of the Dead.

The group used period costumes designed by Vivienne Westwood in their video for "Jilted", an original song written by Marcella Puppini (not to be confused with the 1954 Theresa Brewer country number). Jesse Quin, bassist of the British band Keane appears in the video as extra.

In November 2012 the Sisters featured on the album Electro Swing V by Bart & Baker collaborating with The Real Tuesday Weld on the song "Last Tango in Clerkenwell".

The group has recently recorded with Bublé again on his album To Be Loved. They performed back up on the track "Nevertheless (I'm in Love with You)".

In 2013 the trio sang 'Welcome to My Hell' with Raphael Gualazzi in his Happy Mistake album

Live Reviews[edit]


  1. ^ "Swinging Sister: Marcella Puppini Express Magazine 12 June 2008". 12 June 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  2. ^ "Glastonbury: Best of the Rest BBC 27 June 2009". 29 June 2009. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  3. ^ "Official announcement". 27 June 2012. Retrieved 27 June 2012. 
  4. ^ "The Puppini Sisters". Neil O'Brien Entertainment. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  5. ^ "What a way to welcome the wonderful Emma Smith into the fold!". 24 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012. 
  6. ^ "The Puppini Sisters Christmas Metrolife 23 December 2008". 23 December 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "twentysix wins three top awards in one night creativematch 5 November 2008". 5 November 2008. Retrieved 2 January 2011. 
  9. ^ a b "The Puppini Sisters – Chart history". Billboard. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  10. ^ "The Puppini Sisters: nouvel album et série de concerts en France cet automne". 20 July 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 
  11. ^ "Michael Buble recording duet with Shania Twain | CTV News". 15 July 2011. Retrieved 17 July 2014. 

External links[edit]