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Shontelle Trades in Drill Sergeant Status for ‘Shontelligence’

When Barbadian R&B singer Shontelle was a drill sergeant in a high school sub-military cadet program, she saw a tall, striking girl with green eyes. She thought to herself, “I bet she’s going to be a model when she grows up.”

That girl was fellow star Rihanna, or “Ri-Ri” as she calls her. But that friendship didn’t mean that Shontelle, who scored a hit with the song “T-Shirt,” couldn’t pull rank.

“Being a drill sergeant, there were times when discipline calls,” Shontelle said with a laugh during a phone conversation from her home. “I remember one incident specifically when all the cadets were supposed to come out on to the parade square and she was with the group that was late. Being a drill sergeant, I had to do what I had to do. Her whole group of cadets had to do 10 pushups. That was nothing. I had to do my share of pushups when I was in the cadets.”

Now Shontelle is following in Rihanna’s footsteps, releasing ‘Shontelligence,’ featuring ‘T-Shirt,’ Nov. 18. The song, she said, is something that every girl can relate to.”Every girl’s been through something similar where they’re away from their boyfriend or whoever and they just want to have that T-shirt to feel close to them,” said Shontelle, an established high school athlete. “All the guys I know, they said, ‘I love T-shirt. It’s an ego booster for me, hearing a girl tell me she wants to wear my shirt.’”

Fans hoping for another taste of her album can hear her second single, “Battle Cry,” on “Yes We Can: Voices of Grassroots Movement,” a CD sold exclusively on Barack Obama’s Web site.

“That was kind of exciting for me,” she said. “I’m not American and I can’t vote but somehow my music gets to be a part of one of the most historic political events in . I get to be on it with all these artists like Stevie Wonder, Adam Levine, Kayne West, Jill Scott and John Mayer. This is pretty amazing being on an album with all these really, really great artists. It feels kind of cool being this is my first time around. That feels really good for me. Really exciting.”

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