Meet Corinne Bailey Rae, a British singer and songwriter, and guitarist. Corinne had a breakthrough in the music industry with her number one self-titled debut album, and has sold over 4 million worldwide.
Corinne Jacqueline Bailey was born on February 26, 1979 in West Yorkshire, England. She began her music career at the performing arts school, where she studied classical violin. Corinne started out singing in church. She became musically diverse from performing different kinds of music in church, and later her youth leader offered to lend her money to purchase her first guitar.
Corinne was influenced by Lenny Kravitz while growing up, through him she discovered Led Zeppelin and Jimi Hendrix. She formed an all-female indie band called “Helen” while she was 15 years old. The group performed in many places around West Yorkshire, and became the first indie band to be signed to RoadRunner records, an heavy metal based label. The group however disbanded after the bassist became pregnant.
In 2000, Corinne graduated from the University of Leeds after studying English Literature. While attending university, Corinne sang at a jazz club; it was there that she discovered a different type of music which would lead her on a path to an evolving music career. Corinne married Scottish-born musician Jason Rae in 2001, at the young age of 21. Corinne began working on her solo music, steering away from her indie roots and embarking on a more soulful path. In 2004, she got signed to Global Talent Publishing, and was approached by Mark Hill to work on his album “Better Luck Next Time“, under his alias “The stiX”.
Corinne released her debut single “Like a Star” in 2005, and her debut self-titled album in February 2006. The album debut at number one on the UK charts, and number four on U.S Billboard 200. The album sold 1.9 million copies in the U.S alone, and “Like a Star” sold over 327,000 in U.S downloads. However, her follow-up single “Put Your Records On”, became her most successful to date, selling over 945,000 in the U.S alone. In 2006, Corinne went on her first international tour through Europe and North America, alongside singer John Legend. She later won two MOBO Awards in the U.K: Best Newcomer, and Best UK Female. In 2007, she received three Grammy nominations: Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best New Artist. In 2008, she won two Grammy awards for Album of the year, and best contemporary Jazz album. On March 2008, Corinne’s husband Jason Rae was found dead in his home in the UK.
In 2010, Corinne released her sophomore album titled “The Sea“. The lead single “I’d Do It All Again” was released in November 2009, and the follow-up “Closer“, was released a day before the album came out.
Corinne Bailey Rae is the special Ambassador for the charity CORD. She is also the central Ambassador for the International Water and Sanitation charity, Pump Aid.
Check out my favorite Corinne song below, “Like a Star“: