theGrio’s 100: Elle Varner, the Cinderella of R&B music

Elle Varner attends the BET Awards '12 at The Shrine Auditorium on July 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Elle Varner attends the BET Awards '12 at The Shrine Auditorium on July 1, 2012 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)

Who is Elle Varner?

Garbrielle Serene Varner, known as Elle Varner, 23, is an R&B songstress. Raised in Los Angeles, she attended New York University’s Clive Davis Department of Recorded Music. Varner is of Cape Verdean and African-American Descent. She no stranger to music, as her parents are songwriters and publishers.

Her mother, Mikelyn Roderick was a backup singer for Barry White and has written and recorded music with Tevin Campbell. Her father, James Varner is a songwriter, producer, and instrumentalist who has collaborated with Kool & the Gang and Will Downing.

At age six, Varner began to play musical instruments and thus far has mastered playing the flute, acoustic guitar, bass guitar, drums and the piano.

Why is she on theGrio’s 100?

This year, the 23-year old released her major label debut, Perfectly Imperfect, which was met with positive reviews from music critics, and even managed to snag a Grammy nomination.

She’s had first lady Michelle Obama endorse her music.

Her fresh and creative lyrics, combined with her stunning looks, make Varner a breath of fresh air in the world of R&B.

During an interview with theGrio, Varner expressed her excitement about new artists, including herself,  who are contributing to the R&B genre. “The current class of R&B is like a volcano set to erupt,” she said.

What’s next for Varner?

The 23-year-old songstress is a rising R&B powerhouse who is just getting started. Varner could take home her first Grammy Award For Best R&B song, for “Refill,” during the live awards ceremony February 10.

Follow Elle Varner on Twitter at @ellevarner