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Madeleine Peyroux's Nearly 'Perfect World'

Anytime Madeleine Peyroux sings, her music sounds a little different.

The Georgia-born Peyroux (her last name is pronounced like the country Peru) became famous, in part, for putting her idiosyncratic touch on time-tested standards. Many have compared her voice to Billie Holliday's.

Peyroux moved to France as a teenager, singing in the streets. After making her debut at 22 with Dreamland, she waited eight years before putting out a follow-up album. That was 2004's Careless Love.

For her latest album, Half the Perfect World, she returns only briefly to the older American songbook, choosing to cover more recent material, from Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen to Bob Dylan.

Peyroux recently dropped by NPR's studios to performs songs from the new collection, and threw in a reprise of the lovely old Dylan tune "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go," which appeared on Careless Love.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit

Steve Inskeep
Steve Inskeep is a host of NPR's Morning Edition, as well as NPR's morning news podcast Up First.
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