In 2008, at the height of her career, British singer Corinne Bailey Rae experienced how her life was split in half by the tragic death of her husband, who died from an accidental drug overdose. After a period of mourning, the British singer stood up again and immediately got back in the saddle. She released her second album The Sea (2010), which was already half-finished at the time of her husband’s death. Subsequently, Corinne Bailey Rae found love again in the eyes of her producer Steve Brown. Here are some facts worth knowing about the Grammy winner.
Corinne Bailey Rae Bio
Corinne Bailey Rae (née Jacqueline Bailey) was born on 26 February 1979 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, the first child of a British mother and a Kittie father. When she was still a child, her parents separated and Corinne spent most of her childhood with her mother.
Rae’s love of music began to develop at school, but it was not until she was 10 years old that she really began to explore her vocal abilities. Her mother had just come to believe in Christianity, and as a result, Rae began attending a congregation of brothers where she sang with the youth choir. She then began to visit a Baptist church where the youth leader Simon Hall was to help shape Rae’s future in music. Hall taught the children, including Rae, to write their own songs and also encouraged them to sing primal scream songs, whose lyrics they rewrote.
With the help of Hall, Rae was able to get her first guitar. He also introduced her to the works of musical greats like Led Zeppelin and Lenny Kravitz.
To take her musical journey to the next level, Rae formed an all-girl indie band called Helen. They played locally in Leeds but never really caught the attention of British labels. The only interest they attracted from a US label in 1998 failed before it could materialize. A number of factors, most notably the pregnancy of their bassist, caused the group to disband. Disappointed, but not deterred, Rae kept up with her passion. She had met a certain Bob Miller, a local businessman, who told her that she would do well singing on her own. Miller was later to become her manager.
In 2000, Corrine Bailey Rae obtained a degree in English literature from the University of Leeds. During her school years, Rae broadened her musical horizon by becoming part of a local jazz club. After graduation, she turned to her own music. She first gained recognition by working on the works of established Leeds acts such as the New Mastersounds.
2004 became Rae’s year and with the support of Good Groove, she was able to travel to London to record her debut album. The release of her debut single “Like a Star” was an immediate success. The BBC’s “Sound of 2006” survey predicted that she would become the number one groundbreaking act of the year, and they were right on target. Rae’s self-titled debut album reached the top of the Billboard 200, making it the fourth female British act in history to make their first album debut at number one.
Their follow-up single “Put Your Records On” was an even bigger hit. The success of this album brought Rae, along with Amy Winehouse, to the pop vocals of 2006, and the following year saw her take the credit. Rae won two MOBO Awards and received three Grammy nominations and one British nomination. She received her first Grammy in 2008 for her collaboration on Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Letters.
Corinne Bailey Rae has sold over 4 million copies worldwide, including about 2 million copies in the USA alone. After a rather long break, caused mainly by the death of her husband, Rae proved that she was no one-hit-wonder with the release of her second work The Sea, which, as a result of her loss, contained mostly melancholic themes. Her third album The Heart Speaks in Whispers was released in May 2016.
Family Life, Husband
In 2001, at the age of 22, Rae married jazz saxophonist Jason Rae, whom she met while studying at a local jazz club in Leeds. Born in Scotland in 1986, Jason Rae recorded albums with artists such as Amy Winehouse, Martina Topley-Bird, and of course his wife Corinne.
Unfortunately, Jason lost his life on 22 March 2008 due to a drug overdose. The night before his death Jason met up with his friend James Sheasby for a drink in a pub in Hyde Park, Leeds. The boys retired to Sheasby’s apartment that night and Jason chose the couch to sleep on.
When James tried to wake Jason the next afternoon, he, unfortunately, discovered that he was unresponsive. He found three empty bottles of methadone beside his body. The heroin substitute had been prescribed to James to help him in his rehabilitation. Traces of alcohol and the prescribed methadone were found in Jason Rae’s body.
This incident has ruined Corrine for years. She found solace in music and was able to finish work on her album called The Sea. Then she found love in the eyes of her long time friend Steve Brown, who had worked with her to complete her second album. In 2013 they got married.
Other Facts About Corinne Bailey Rae
1. She has two younger sisters, Candice Bailey and Rhea Bailey The latter is an accomplished actress known primarily for her roles in television shows; The Bill and Coronation Street.
2. From 2016, at the age of 36, Corrine has no children When asked about this in her interview with Independent, she replied: “That’s a bit too private…”.
3. Her personal wealth/net worth was estimated at $8 million. Her second world tour, The Sea Tour, brought in nearly $20 million in 82 concerts.
4. She won her second Grammy Award in 2012 for her cover of the song “Is This Love” by Bob Marley and the Wailers.
5. Her recording of the Coldplay song “The Scientist” was used for the opening title sequence of the movie “Fifty Shades Darker”.