Lily Bee and Her Lovely Ukelele

April 7, 2011


There’s only one type of music I love more than hip hop: downtempo love songs by female vocalists. It has been my life’s work to get everyone I know obsessed with my favorite singer of all time, Esthero. I tend to act like an annoying hipster about my love for Amy Winehouse (I got Frank when it was released and liked her before anybody in the US knew who she was!). I tried to keep my love for Corinne Bailey Rae on the low, but cried for two hours when I first heard “I’d Do It All Again,” and then cried for another half hour when I first saw the video. And now I have a new singer to gush about.

Lily Bee, born Lilian Bui, is a DC-based jazz singer whose music will have you desperately yearning for summer. She has an album of quirky love songs that should appeal to fans of She & Him (and fans of, well, good music), with a contralto voice reminiscent of Norah Jones. No, really, she is a dead ringer for Norah Jones.

Her résumé is pretty impressive, too. She started playing the piano at age 5 (something many of us can thank our parents for, I’m sure), but she also plays guitar, ukelele, and violin. Oh, and according to her official bio, “At twenty-three, she has completed a full marathon, written and directed a musical, been the coordinator of a hip-hop dance team, worked on Capitol Hill, served in AmeriCorps, and traveled to various countries around the world, all of which contribute to her unique perspective as a singer/songwriter.” I can’t decide if I’m more impressed or more envious.

I hesitate to call her music “adorable” because it wouldn’t be fair to her lyrics, but to steal a word from one of our blog editors, her music really is charming. Find her latest video for “They Don’t Make ‘Em Like You” below.

For more on Lily Bee, checkout her website and her YouTube channel.


Theresa Celebran Jones


Theresa Celebran Jones was born and raised in Connecticut and has moved cross-country four times. She currently lives in Los Angeles with her husband and two young daughters. She works full-time as a technical writer and is an MFA dropout. Her only other hobbies are reading, taking pictures, scrapbooking, and listening to hip hop. Clearly she has no social life.



She's definitely got a beautiful voice. Thanks for sharing!

i love that garage-sale, poor-hipster, good-looking normal-people video. and yes, besides the catchy melodies, her lyrics are very good.
thanks, Phil Yu, for posting her video on fb, where we found it.