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Almost as speculation-fueled as the film itself, the theme to the next James Bond movie has, according to director Sam Mendes, already been recorded and is sounding “fantastic.”
With the last film in the franchise, Skyfall, winning Adele both an Oscar and Golden Globe in 2013, the first awards for a Bond theme and, suitably, for the most successful installment of all time, the rumor mills have been churning as to who might have been scouring for words to rhyme with Spectre (funeral director?)
Mendes says we won’t have to “wait long” to find out the face (or faces) behind the mic, but in the meantime, here’s what British bookies are suggesting.
Sam Smith 2/5
Much like Adele, this British warbler has soared to success on both sides of the Atlantic in almost the blink of an eye, winning four Grammys in February and — highlighting his stratospheric rise — British Breakthough Act at the Brit Awards less than two weeks later.
With a mainstream-friendly pop-soul sound similar to Adele’s, Smith was instantly linked to the Bond job. Despite saying the rumors were “definitely not true” earlier in the year, the betting shops don’t appear to believe him and still have Smith as their top man.
Ed Sheeran 8/1
Another British international success story, Sheeran’s odds possibly have more to do with his current chart appeal than James Bond suitability; he’s generally quite scruffy and unassuming, not exactly 007 qualities.
That said, with Damian Lewis among the bookies tips to replace Daniel Craig as James Bond, perhaps 2015 could be the year for strawberry blonds. Were Sheeran or Smith to get the nod, they’d be the first British male solo singers to record a Bond theme since Tom Jones performed Thunderball in 1965 (the video had scantily-clad woman swimming away from armed frogmen in colorful water).
Like Smith, however, Sheeran denied his involvement, saying his version would be a “bit wet” and joked his voice wasn’t manly enough to perform a Bond theme. “You never know, I’m not ruling it out, maybe in 10 years’ time when my balls drop.”
Ellie Goulding 10/1
Sam Smith tipped this English global chart-botherer as the Spectre songstress while trying to deflect attention away from himself.
Goulding may not be as awards-amassing as Smith, but she’s got a track record of big events, singing at Prince William and Kate Middleton’s wedding reception (for their first dance, no less), the Nobel Peace Prize Concert and at the White House for the turning on of the Christmas lights.
Goulding also recently sent out the cryptic tweet “live and let die,” which could, of course, mean absolutely nothing.
If it ain’t broke …
Adele did such a well-received job last time around that many are expecting producers to have lobbed her the Bond mic again.
If it were to happen, she’d become only the second singer to have recorded a Bond theme more than once. But she’d still have to do another one to draw level with the legendary Shirley Bassey (Goldfinger, Diamonds Are Forever, Moonraker).
Lana Del Rey 14/1
The highest-ranked non-Brit on the bookies’ lists, Del Rey could bring the Bond song crown back to the U.S. after its brief dalliance in the U.K. Prior to Adele, Americans had sung the previous seven 007 themes.
However, given that she’s spent the past year or so recording her third studio album, Honeymoon, due out in September, it’s unlikely she’s had the time.
At just 18, the “Royals” singer and recent global phenomenon is probably only just old enough to be a Bond girl, but she is at roughly the same place in her career as Adele was when she was picked to record Skyfall.
However, there’s the complication of her work on the Hunger Games franchise, and with Mockingjay — Part 2 out just a couple of weeks after Spectre, two major film releases could be a bit much.
Noel Gallagher 25/1
The former Oasis frontman recently volunteered himself for the Bond job, saying he’d do the Spectre theme “in a heartbeat” although admitting that his chances were slim as “you have to be someone in America.”
Whether his call was heard by Mendes — or was just a clever ruse to create the illusion that he wasn’t already attached — Gallagher could follow in the footsteps of one his heroes and inspirations, Paul McCartney, whose Live and Let Die (performed with Wings) from 1979 is still considered one of the best Bond themes of all time.
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