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Corinne Bailey Rae

Real name: Corinne Bailey
Birthdate: N/A
Status: Single

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Corinne Bailey Rae (born Corinne Bailey on 26 February 1979) is an English singer and songwriter who released her eponymous debut album Corinne Bailey Rae in February 2006. Rae was named the number-one predicted breakthrough act of 2006 in an annual BBC poll of music critics. The poll's predictions subsequently came true, as she became only the fourth female British act in history to have her first album debut at number one. She has been nominated for Grammy Awards and BRIT Awards and won two MOBO Awards.

Rae was born in Leeds, West Yorkshire to a Kittitian father and an English mother, and she was the eldest of three daughters. She used to be racially abused on a regular basis while growing up, even though her verbal attackers mistakenly thought she was of Iraqi origin. She says about the situation, "My sisters and I were different and people used to say, 'Ah, aren't they cute, the little chocolate children', and 'look at their hair'". "I know they were only being cute but it was over the top. Then people from other schools would shout, 'Paki' (a commonly used racist term used in the UK) to me because it was the most common racist insult of the time. At least if you're going to do it, get it right". "I used to shout back, 'But my dad isn't from Pakistan, he's from St Kitts – so there!"

Performing in church broadened Rae's musical horizons, and her love affair with making music was solidified after a local youth leader offered to buy her an electric guitar. In her mid-teens, she became obsessed with rock legends Led Zeppelin, "I loved that band during my teens; I wanted, somehow, to follow in their footsteps, and to create music of my own".

After the disappointment of Helen, Rae went on to attend the University of Leeds where she studied an English Literature degree. While at University, she began work as a hat check girl on an evening in her local jazz club. Permitted to sing on stage with the jazz band when business was slow, it was there that she discovered a different type of music that sent her on a different musical path: "I kept hearing this jazz and soul stuff and I realized I loved that music too". It was there also that she met saxophone player Jason Rae, whom she eventually married in 2001 at age twenty-two. "I was Corinne Bailey. I added on Rae, my husband's name, when I got married. There's no hyphen; stops it being posh!"

Over the space of the next three years, Rae began working on solo material – this time steering away from her indie past and embarking on a more "soulful" path. She collaborated with Leeds-based funk group The New Mastersounds on the track "Your Love Is Mine", featured on their 2003 album Be Yourself, released via One Note Records. The following year she again worked with another Leeds-based group, Homecut Directive, on the song "Come the Revolution", which was the first single from the group's debut album.


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