Published on November 20th, 2010 | by thevyne


Woman to Watch: Corinne Bailey Rae

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Name: Corinne Bailey Rae

Birthday: February 26

Hometown: Leeds, UK

Education: She graduated from Leeds University in 2000 with a degree in English literature

Occupation: Musician

Albums: Corinne Bailey Rae (2006), The Sea (2010) (Full discography here)

Family: Corinne is the oldest of three children. She has two younger sisters, Candice and Rhea (an actress). Her father is West Indian and her mother is English.

Musical Roots: Singing is “in her blood” – both her mother and grandmother sang and she said that music was always around her in the house. Her first instrument of choice was the violin, which she studied and started playing at the age of six. A youth leader at her church bought her first electric guitar which later prompted her to start a band. When she was 15 she started her first band – an all-girls band – named Helen.

Some of her Musical Inspirations: Led Zeppelin, Curtis Mayfield, Donny Hathaway, Bjork, Lenny Kravitz

Her Sound: Though some have called her as a modern day Billie Holiday, she  describes her sound best when describing her first album: “[It’s] a little bit of everything: it’s chilled out, acoustic, kooky, atmospheric and soulful.”

Accolades: She became the fourth British artist have their first album debut at #1, her debut album was also 2X platinum within two months of its release, several Grammy nominations, and Grammy awards for Album of the Year and Best Contemporary Jazz Album in 2008.

Tragedy: In 2001 Corinne married saxophonist Jason Rae. Both musicians with a love and appreciation for jazz (they even met at a jazz nightclub), the two not only were married, but also went on tour together and Jason even managed her for a period of time. In 2008, Jason was found dead after an accidental overdose.

How She Healed: “I have experienced a lot of beauty in the loss in the way that I’ve been able to survive. The way I feel like I’m being held – held up.”

Giving Back: Corinne is the Special Ambassador for the charity CORD and the central ambassador for the charity Pump Aid.

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