This soul sensation's soaring voice contrasts sharply with his boy-from-the-burbs look. Dee, who grew up on the outskirts of Boston, has never concealed his disdain for the music of his time. His idols, instead, are Otis Redding, Etta James and James Brown. Having studied the fine arts, this versatile artist paints as well as pens songs. And while he admits that painting informs his music, he's quick to add that making soul accessible to everyone remains his passion. In 2008, he launched two CDs, including Bittersweet Batch, which features 12 original retro-soul compositions.