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Pop star transformations

We rate Joss Stone, Hilary Duff, and Macy Gray’s makeovers

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In the makeover-mad music biz, nothing says ”Pay attention to me!” quite like a new sound — except maybe a new look. Below, we examine three pop-star transformations.

JOSS STONE
Originally Known For Shoeless flower-child ensembles, messy blond curls, covering semi-obscure ’70s R&B tunes.
Now Showing Magenta-streaked locks, thigh-grazing hemlines, and, for the first time, an album of truly grown-up material — hence the title of her third effort, Introducing Joss Stone (Virgin, March 20). With her past discs, says Stone, label execs ”had every right not to trust me, because I hadn’t proved myself as an artist. But this I really like, thank God.” As for the hair? ”I just love art and color. Plus, I’m a 19-year-old chick!” Ah, the fashion prerogatives of youth…

HILARY DUFF
Originally Known For Dimples and blond curls, mall-princess ensembles that echoed her Disney Channel alter ego Lizzie McGuire — and feather-weight pop tunes to match.
Now Showing Dark mane, dental veneers, luxe and vampy fashions. Dignity (Hollywood, April 3) abandons the 19-year-old’s bubblegum sound for diva jams. ”It is more rhythm- and dance-oriented,” confirms Duff’s manager, Andre Recke. In fact, her new video, the femme fatale-ish ”With Love,” is like Madonna’s ”Justify My Love” for the TRL crowd — steamy hotel assignations, wigs, etc.

MACY GRAY
Originally Known For A shock of troll-doll hair, highly flammable fabrics, VH1-friendly R&B — and that inimitable voice.
Now Showing A shorter, sleeker ‘do, fresh will.i.am beats, and guest spots from Fergie and Justin on BIG (Geffen, March 27). Plus gowns, gowns, gowns. ”After I go to red-carpet events,” she tells EW, ”I come home and sit around in my gown…. It’s like a robe!” The locks soon followed: ”It was like, enough already with the Afro, so I cut it all off.” More appropriate for a thirtysomething mom of three? Sure. But we can’t lie: We miss the old wackadoodle Macy.

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