Few questions in pop culture create as much sturm und drang as guessing who the next James Bond theme singer will be. The only comparable question is perhaps "who will the next Super Bowl performer be," and that's all for a ten-minute show. Bond themes last a lifetime, being welcomed into a culturally significant canon.
Adele's Oscar-winning Skyfall theme from two years ago has created sizable expectations for the next film. Sam Smith, the rising British star, would seem to be a smart choice. Yet in an interview with NME, Smith discounted the rumors that he would be taking the reins.
If not Smith, then who? We've got eight ideas – some old, some new, some too perfect, and some just right – in case producers need some help finding the perfect voice for Bond's next adventure.
Fresh Young Choices
Going electronic would be a different kind of move for the Bond franchise, but would it be that unexpected? This is the team that went with Jack White and Alicia Keys for Quantum of Solace, after all. So James Blake, the British singer/songwriter who has a killer electrosoul sound, may not be as unlikely as you would guess – even if he's yet to really make a name for himself in the U.S.
Even less known stateside is Jess Glynne, who had a minor hit this summer with "Rather Be" but has otherwise not quite broken out. Choosing her would be a risk, but she's got the chops. Her tone is also very Bondian – clearly British, quite rich. They'll never pick her, but she'd be better than a lot of the expected choices.
Should Have Recorded One By Now
Chris Cornell's "You Know My Name" was disappointing in 2006, but it's even moreso when you imagine what Kelly Clarkson would have done in her prime. She's reminiscent of the last batch of Bond theme singers in a way – Sheryl Crow, Madonna, etc. But Clarkson's a power singer the likes of which Bond hasn't seen since the days of Shirley Bassey. Plus, her American Idol performance of "Stuff Like That There" proves she's more than capable of handling a big, bombastic song.