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By EW Staff
September 21, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT


Who They Are Hipsters might recognize the funk-soul Dap-Kings from their work on Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black album. Less savory types might recognize vocalist Jones, 51, from New York’s Rikers Island prison, where she worked as a corrections officer before joining the group — which on Oct. 2 will release their third disc, 100 Days, 100 Nights.

Why They’re Exciting The nine-piece is so committed to their chilled-out Motown vibe that they recorded 100 Days in analog. Perhaps this retroness is a nod to Jones making up for lost time. ”I didn’t [get booked] in the ’70s and ’80s because they told me I was too dark-skinned, too short,” says the Georgia-raised singer. ”I was born in the ’50s, in the South. The KKK burned a cross in my grandfather’s yard. But I figured one day people would accept me for who I am.” — Adrienne Day

EW.com Exclusive ”It Hurts to Be Alone” (to hear it, use the player below)