Corinne Bailey Rae has opened up to Red about losing her first husband, Jason Rae, at the age of 29 and why there's always hope in an exclusive interview for our September issue (out now).
The singer and songwriter has reflected on how the tapestry of her life has changed, and what's she's learned along the way, almost 15 years on from the release of her debut single, Like a Star.
A musician too, Corinne and Jason married in 2001 and, after his death in 2008, the star used music as a pivotal part of her grieving process.
‘I remember thinking, “I’ve had a really good run. I’m 29 and I’ve got to have this deep romance. That’s more than a lot of people have, so I’m really lucky. But at the same time, I thought, “How am I supposed to survive the stretching decades? How am I going to survive with this actual physical pain?”’
But, reflecting on the journey now, Corinne's words are a hopeful reminder that there is always light at the end of the tunnel: ‘At first, all you can see is the destruction, but then your life grows. New things grow.’
And new things did indeed grow, as she found love again with now-husband Steve Brown, who she married in 2013.
‘It’s so funny when you know someone already – you know their ex-girlfriend, and the one before that, and you know their failings and flaws. It was very gradual falling in love with him, like the volume being turned up.’
Now a mother-of-two and household name around the globe, it might appear as though Corinne has it all, but the singer has had to work hard on herself to overcome self-doubt.
‘I love being in the studio so much, sometimes I have to prize myself out. [But] failure is a constant partner for me. I feel dissatisfaction with everything I do. For every record I put out, there are three records I didn’t put out because they weren’t right [for whatever reason]. Self-doubt and failure are just part of my life, and I have to overcome them to do anything.’
As well as talking to us about motherhood and juggling a career, Corinne also touched on the Black Lives Matter movement – which renewed its call for justice and the importance of anti-racism after the death of African-American man George Floyd in police custody in June – and her hope for the future:
‘Black Lives Matter is such a poignant statement for me because it’s so humble and entry-level. The idea of mattering, or counting. It’s funny how people find ways to disagree with that statement. My dream is that this never happens again. I mean, I don’t think it’s unrealistic to want a world that is completely free of violence. That’s my bigger hope.’
You can read our interview with Corinne Bailey Rae in full in the September issue of Red, out now.
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