The Puppini Sisters
The Puppini Sisters (Smith, Puppini and Mullins) backstage at The Graham Norton Show, Christmas 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. Puppini first studied fashion design at Saint Martins School of Art, and later music at Trinity College of Music in London where she met Mullins and original member Rosanna Schura, who was later replaced by Stephanie O'Brien. After eight years with the group, O'Brien was replaced by Emma Smith. The trio are backed by a three-piece band featuring Martin Kolarides on guitar, Henrik Jensen on double bass and Peter Ibbetson on drums. The group is associated with a burlesque revival.
The group was founded in 2004 by Marcella Puppini after she was inspired by the animated film The Triplets of Belleville (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.
On 27 June 2012, O'Brien announced via the group's Facebook page that she was leaving the group. It was later revealed that Terrianne Passingham would replace O'Brien. 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.
The trio started a Pledge Music campaign to crowd fund their new album (along with an optional bonus edition of remixes) with the help of fans. The album was finalised before Christmas 2015 and it was released in March 2016 (Those who donated money to the creation of the album were able to receive the album digitally on 25 February and The Deluxe remix edition on 7 June).
From March 2016, the trio embarked on a tour to promote the album across many areas in the country and internationally finishing off in London at O2 Islington Academy. For four dates of the tour, Smith was absent so original member Rosanna Schura filled in for those dates.
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.
The Puppini Sisters won a Gold Disc for international sales of their first CD, Betcha Bottom Dollar, in 2007.
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.
Christmas 2011 saw the release of "Jingle Bells" recorded with Michael Bublé for his Christmas album. 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".
In late 2018, the trio sang with The Real Tuesday Weld on their new song, 'Don't Get High No More', and the video was premiered on YouTube on January 6th, 2019.
In 2019, the trio backed up Bing Crosby's and the Andrew Sisters' vocals on two songs on the album Bing at Christmas, "Jingle Bells" and "The Twelve Days of Christmas," which also featured instrumental backing from the London Symphony Orchestra.