“You Will Always Be Cooler Than Me”: A Mother’s Day Letter From Mabel To Her Mum, Neneh Cherry

Photo: Dave J Hogan/Getty Images.
When your mother is an international icon and bonafide 90s legend, there’s a reasonable expectation that you may inherit a dose of star power. This could be said of BRIT award-winning pop-star Mabel, 26, and her Grammy-nominated icon mother Neneh Cherry. Between them, they share a discography of chart-topping hits (from Cherry’s everlasting banger Buffalo Stance to Mabel’s sexy summer spin Finders Keepers) and two generations of fans. For 2022, the mother-and-daughter have been working on new projects; Mabel has freshly released new single Good Luck featuring Jax Jones and Galantis, meanwhile Neneh Cherry has rebooted her 1988 single Buffalo Stance with the help of Swedish chart-topper Robyn.
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As mother-daughter relationships go, theirs is one of admiration, inspiration and good humour. Earlier this month, Mabel, one of three sisters, helped honour her mum at this year’s NME Awards 2022, where Neneh Cherry was given the icon accolade. Cherry joked to the O2 Academy Brixton crowd, “I’m wondering how I can bribe my family with this. Like, ‘Don’t fuck with me, I’m an icon! Do the bloody washing up, girl.'” In another sentimental moment, proud Mabel said  “I’m so blessed to have you as a mum.” For Mother’s Day, Mabel shared with Unbothered a letter to her “inspirational” mum who taught her how to be “fearless”.
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"Born in 1964 in Sweden and growing up in between Sweden and New York, this Swedish-Sierra Leonian woman has made an impact on music which paved the way for many female artists, and has created a legacy that will live on for the generations to come. Often with a towel upon her head worn proudly as her crown, giant gold door knocker earrings, cycling shorts and Jordans she shook the world with her honest lyrics and raw and spirited production.
Photo: Via @Mabel.
In 1988, when she graced the stage of Top of the Pops wearing her bulging baby bump with joy in a tight sensual outfit, it was clear that she was not only redefining sexiness but that she already was making her mark as a symbol and idol that so many women needed. She made her mark on post-punk music in the 80s creating with The Slits and in the band Rip Rig and Panic, later on, finding her voice as an MC and connecting to her New York upbringing, she found her place in hip-hop creating a sound that would change pop music forever. She has collaborated with the likes of Notorious B.I.G and broke records when she dropped her single 7 Seconds with Youssou N’dor paying homage to her West African roots. She continued to evolve as an artist throughout the years to come making a jazz album with the Norwegian three-piece ‘The Thing’ and later on making the two highly critically acclaimed albums Blank Project and Broken Politics alongside the electronic superstar Four Tet.
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"You have taught me to move with love and grace..."

Photo: Via @Mabel.
Photo: Via @Mabel.
In the 90s she was considered a muse by two of the greatest fashion designers, Azzedine Alaia and Jean Paul Gaultier, and two decades later starring in a Bottega Veneta campaign, this star has proved that in both fashion and music, she will grow and elevate with the times. To you, she is the BRIT award-winning, Grammy-nominated superstar Neneh Cherry but to me she is mum. I am so blessed to have you as a mother! You have taught me to move with love and grace, to own everything I do but beyond all, you have taught me to be fearless. You will probably always be that tiny bit cooler than me but that’s the small price you pay for being birthed and raised by an icon! When I was anxious and scared every day before school you would say to me “never let 'em change you” and I know now that is possible because YOU have never let ANYONE change YOU. 

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