A few months ago, the mysterious group Rhye floated dreamily into our ears with their bouncy, Bacharach-style single, “The Fall,” a track anchored by breathy, honeyed vocals that signaled the second coming of Sade. But it turns out the sultry chanteuse who we thought was singing is actually… a man! And… a Canadian! The L.A.-based duo of Mike Milosh (he of the gentle pipes) and Robin Hannibal are now releasing their aptly named debut album, Woman (out March 5 on Loma Vista), which got us thinking: What other musical blokes have we mistaken for chicks? We look back and rate them on their lady-ness.
FIRST: Watch Rhye's video for "Open" below:
Lost member of Labelle? Donna Summer’s sassy, chunkier sister? Actually, a San Francisco queen playing the best androgyny card of the ’70s.
WATCH: Sylvester perform "Do You Wanna Funk?"
Antony of Antony and the Johnsons
Those smoky torch ballads could only be the work of a weathered, sad-eyed black soul mama, right? Try a pale, baby-faced white guy.
WATCH: Antony perform his cover of Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" below:
Have the “Hot Child in the City” lyrics “Come on down to my place, woman/ we’ll make LOVE” always confused you? That’s because the raspy glam-rock madam you’ve pictured belting out this child prostitution anthem is actually a feathery-haired dude (another Canadian!).
WATCH: Nick Gilder perform "Hot Child in the City":
Little Jimmy Scott
Only a puberty-halting genetic condition could produce such a beautiful, jazzy contralto. Scott’s 1955 rendition of “I’m Through With Love” makes Marilyn Monroe’s version sound downright butch.
WATCH: Jimmy Scott perform "Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" below: