Willy DeVille (b. August 25, 1950) is an American singer and songwriter. First with his band Mink DeVille (1974?1985) and later on his own, DeVille in his 35-year career has created songs that are wholly original yet rooted in traditional American musical styles. DeVille has worked with collaborators from across the spectrum of American music, including Jack Nitzsche, Doc Pomus, Dr. John, Mark Knopfler, Allen Toussaint, Eddie Bo, Brenda Lee, Los Camperos de Nati Cano, and David Hidalgo. The typical DeVille song ? if any of his songs can be called "typical" ? is filled with romantic conviction and yearning. Latin rhythms, blues riffs, doo-wop, Cajun music, strains of French cabaret, and echoes of early-1960s uptown soul can be heard in DeVille's work. Mink DeVille was a house band at CBGB, the historic New York nightclub where punk rock was born in in the mid-1970s. DeVille helped redefine the Brill Building sound, and after his move to New Orleans in 1988, helped spark the roots revival of classic New Orleans R&B. His soulful lyrics and explorations in Latin rhythms and sounds have helped define a new musical style sometimes called "Spanish-Americana." Jack Nitzsche said that DeVille was the best singer he had ever worked with. He is a star in Europe but unheralded in his native United States.
Critic Robert Palmer wrote about him in 1980, "Mr. DeVille is a magnetic performer, but his macho stage presence camouflages an acute musical intelligence; his songs and arrangements are rich in ethnic rhythms and blues echoes, the most disparate stylistic references, yet they flow seamlessly and hang together solidly. He embodies (New York's) tangle of cultural contradictions while making music that's both idiomatic, in the broadest sense, and utterly original."