Why did she leave the spotlight? The heartbreaking truth behind Grammy award winning Welsh singer Duffy.

Duffy’s debut album Rockferry (2008) was the first CD I was ever bought, at the age of 11. I loved it that much, I went on to perform a rendition of ‘Mercy’ in a talent competition the same year. I think you always have certain artists you just instantaneously click with and connect to, Duffy has always been one of those for me. She really is a prodigy, her second album Endlessly (2010) was supposedly written in three weeks… three weeks for an entire album?! Although Endlessly didn’t hit off as much as her debut studio album, it still made the cut for the top 10 in the UK, Denmark, Finland, Greece, the Netherlands, Sweden, and Switzerland. Endlessly has also been certified gold in four European countries including in the UK. Not to mention the huge success of her debut – Duffy was doing fairly well for herself to say the least.

Now for those that haven’t heard recent news about Duffy, she’s been through a lot. By a lot, I mean – she’s been raped, drugged, kidnapped, stalked and threatened to be killed – to the point she has had to go completely off-grid and move house five times due to her attacker finding her and continuing to place threats. She even reached a point where she was researching into changing her name and starting a new life elsewhere as someone else. Police are now involved, however there doesn’t seem to be much of an update on the case. Duffy had come out of hiding a few months ago and created a website whereby she felt the need to share her experiences after ten years of silence and isolation to help others understand and appreciate why she seemingly disappeared off the face of the earth without a word.

Duffy often gets related to Amy Winehouse in her sound, because she has that distinctive soulful twang. Think how big Amy made it, and if Duffy had kept going, how big would she have made it? Her debut album Rockferry (2008) had four huge singles on it, ‘Rockferry’, ‘Mercy’, ‘Warwick Avenue’, and ‘Rain on Your Parade’ – the album was a humongous success. In fact, the album was that much of a success it went on to be the best-selling album of 2008 in the UK. We had another British female superstar in the line up, who was soon snatched away from the industry and from herself.

On 5th April 2020, Duffy created a website for her story to be read and shared on duffywords.com where she opens up about her endured trauma, “For me, in these hours, I recall the words of Maya Angelou who once said “there is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you”, and I share mine with you today.” There’s no sugar coating it, it is a hard story to read, so if you’re not in the best head space – I wouldn’t recommend it.

Anyone that’s been through trauma, especially the extent of trauma that Duffy endured will know it’s hard to speak out about it, and often you think you’ve done something to deserve it, or that your life will be at risk. In her article she states, “And as I grieved what ‘I must have done to invite this into my life’, I read something that said, “in the end, it’s never between them and you, it’s always between them and God”. That helped me a lot in the absence of justice.

The fact that this person has not only ruined her career but literally ruined Duffy’s entire livelihood, living in fear of the next day and what could (potentially) happen. Her thoughts are now swarmed with severe anxiety and paranoia and her escape (music) she no longer relies on. Duffy announced she won’t be releasing any music soon and she just came out of hiding to announce her story, and explain why she’s been gone for so long.

It’s scary how celebrities can drop off the radar and no one thinks anything of it. Her friends and family didn’t even know. There’s a lot of unanswered questions regarding the drugging and kidnap, but they aren’t what is important. What’s important is that Duffy is now safe, accepting help, going through recovery and hopefully putting herself back together again – piece by piece. Making music seems to be incredibly off the cards for the near future for Duffy, however she hasn’t written it off completely.

A whim of joy rushed over me when I watched the Kray twins film ‘Legend’(2015) featuring Tom Hardy and heard Duffy’s wonderful distinctive voice. I knew it was her. I googled the cast, and you betcha – it was Duffy. This installed some hope in me that maybe she’s just had a mere hiatus in her career, possibly had a child? And that she’s coming back – soon. But, that wasn’t the case. Silence again, until she announced the news of her incredibly devastating story.

What right does that person have to completely destroy another person, especially someone who has so much ahead of them and such a great future. Who would have loved to see Amy and Duffy duet together? I would have. Who would’ve loved to see her live, supporting or headlining? She could’ve been rolling in money, reveling in adoration, but instead she resides in complete seclusion and isolation as she aims to hide from those that hurt and tortured her. Duffy was trafficked, drugged, and physically, sexually, and mentally abused by an unknown perpetrator – if this can happen to someone as big as Duffy without anyone batting an eyelid? How many other people have experienced this sort of thing and kept it to themselves, suffering in silence?

She wasn’t cancelled, she didn’t get in any conflict with her record label, she was selling thousands of records, breaking through into mainstream pop and then just like that.. Poof! She vanished. No one questions it. No journalists. Nothing. It’s like she was just a one hit wonder that failed to make it. That couldn’t be further from the truth.

We lost someone who’s still alive, even right now. That’s the worst way to lose someone, it’s like having a relative with dementia in a way, they’re here but they’re not. Duffy is such a talent and such an amazing, beautiful woman and it truly breaks my heart to know she’s experienced what she has and she feels as though she can’t ever bounce back to her old self, and live her past life before the attack.

On June 18th she posted a track on her Instagram (her only post) called ‘River in the Sky’ which she says is “For Better Days to Come” and that appears to be the last music we will hear from Duffy for the foreseeable future. It seems as though Duffy has found comfort in the world’s current situation and despite what she’s been through, she can sympathise with the rest of the world and the struggles they’re going through due to what’s going on at the moment. Duffy has seemed to have found solace in opening up about her trauma, and says at the end of the article – “I can now leave this decade behind. Where the past belongs. Hopefully no more “what happened to Duffy” questions, now you know… and I am free.

Duffy, wherever you are – you are so loved and you will forever be missed. I await upon your return, but I know that isn’t inevitable. I hope you are keeping well and despite it all, keeping your head above the clouds. One day at a time. X

Duffy – the loss of a living star

Writer: Lucy Wynne / @musicblog89

Previous articleBOB – You Can Stop That For A Start – album review
Next articleThe Otherness: A Glimpse Into The Otherness – EP Review
Music Journalist and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu enthusiast. Currently based in Southampton, England. I also write for my own music blog (@musicblog89), Gigwise, Jits Magazine, and Grappling Insider. Open to press releases. My e-mail is: lucywynne89@gmail.com


  1. A few months ago I tweeted about my love for Duffy’s music and how much I have missed her. I learned what she experienced a few weeks ago, and I have been praying incessantly for her. Thank you for honoring and appreciating our forever Star who will shine brightly in our hearts until she returns❤❤

  2. I’ve love duffy since I heard her song mercy when it came out…i am so glad that she’s doing better and recovering from her horrible ordeal and that she is going to be OK….as for the movie Legend…i knew it was her singing too….her voice is phenomenal

    • Linda, when you have gone through what Duffy has been through, you are NEVER ok. Trust me, I know…
      In time you learn to come to terms with something like that, but it never goes away…

  3. I wondered what happened to her. Thank you for answering that. I would love to hear new music from her and am shocked that she has been through such an ordeal.
    Will read her story when I have more time. Her attacker should be buried in the bowels of a jail and never see sunlight again.

    • I was so shocked and sad to hear what happened to Duffy. I was a huge fan of her and actually saw her at her first NEw York concert at Webster Hall, which was amazing. She was a dream, so talented and generous. I have wondered over by the years why she quit music or trying to produce music. It is the nightmare scenario. I hope she finds some sort of healing, and a way out of reliving her trauma. We all love her and wish her peace.

  4. I too miss Duffy. I await for her return…but do not blame her if she does not.God bless you Duffy…your American friend….Jan Chiodo-Wilhelm.

  5. Ouvi tem pouco tempo, mesmo sendo mais velho gostei logo d cara e ela e ótima, lamento lamento muito em saber que esse tipo d gente possa ainda existir, Moça escute o que digo por mais triste que seja nada pode apagar a sua luz, continue a brilhar.
    D um amigo aqui do Brasil, Deus t proteja.

  6. Oh my goodness what a harrowing experience she’s been through.I hope that she’s recieving all the love and support she needs right now,it really is one day at a time,step by step.Our prayers and love are sent to you,

  7. I am so in shock with this, i am truly love her music, I am so sad reading this happening in this world to a beautiful woman like duffy, I send all my love and infinitely support please come back you are bigger and a star u have to come back and bright even more.

  8. To look at her is much like drinking your first glass of white wine and to gaze into her eyes is to drink, drink and drink again. Such beauty should be cherished like a great piece of art by Rheardon, or Lawrence but instead evil like the devil it is seeks to destroy as usual all that is good and what we see as beauty, but destroy it will fail for we will send prayers, send words which will heal Amy Duffy and make her whole again if there is such a thing.

  9. Amazing welsh singer shocked to hear this stepping stone is a classic how can this horrible person get away with doing this to a wonderful talented women

  10. I have so much compassion for Duffy.
    As someone who has gone through rape and other violations in mostly private ways, especially compared to what she has gone through I can’t even imagine.
    But I can say I allowed all the people who violated me to pget away with it ~I allowed strangers and abusive boyfriends to steal my life, leave me paralyzed with fear~it may have taken me years of therapy but no more.
    She has so much talent that they are not only stealing away from herself but the public that love her and appreciate her talent.
    I hope and pray that she does whatever it takes to bring her back to her fans and most importantly herself.
    I totally empathize how she must feel ~ but hope she doesn’t allowed anyone to steal anymore from her.
    God bless her and keep her safe.
    You are stronger than you know.

  11. I never knew the trauma Duffy went through I can only hope she comes back on the scene with her Beautiful music, best of luck in the future, and remember, what go’s round comes back round to those who harmed you. Keep the faith.

  12. I am so glad you wrote this. I think in a way from all of us a letter to her that we still know and remember you Duffy! And your precious music and her story will always be remembered and never forgotten! I hope she will sing one day in heaven again and Jesus will make her happy and whole one day! Because what she went thru no one can mend except her maker! I’m so glad she spoke up and I respect her decision to stay out of the spotlight! Hope she is doing well and staying safe with family!

  13. love you duffy hope you are doing ok i all kept your music on my twitter page i think you are a amazing lady and singer i all way pray for you your music kept me going in my life i all way share it on twitter to show how great a singer you are please please take cares of you self i wish i could give you a hug and make everything better i think i am one of you biggest fan duffy family important if you can go back home i wish my mother and father were hear but they gone to heaven now i kept your music going on my twitter page god bless you love you from jeff schulist

  14. I often wondered what had happened to this amazing Voice and person!I couldn’t bear to read the torment she’s been through-i have contact with an agency that specialises in this kind of trauma so I can -to a certain extent- ,see the life changing experience that affects everybody from the age of 4 to elderly this has May time and expert help ease ur pain and make u strong again

  15. I really hope that ‘DUFFY ‘ releases more fantastic music.
    Truely hope that she recovers quickly from this tragic / horrific ordeal.
    And those people who are responsible get locked up. Missing you ‘DUFFY ‘ Come back stronger. Regards and respect to you. Xx

  16. I found her by backtracking Angelina Jordan’s cover of Mercy in The Hating Game soundtrack. I hope she returns to singing soon and others discover her via Angelina. A great artist. Her abductor needs to be in a deep, dark hole for a very long time.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here