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On Corinne Bailey Rae

Yesterday I found out that Corinne Bailey Rae’s husband died due to a drug overdose. This news came as quick a shock to me for two reasons, a.) I did not know CBR was married and b.) I feel like I have a strong connection with her because I am a huge fan of hers, and instantly felt horrible for her. The thought of her becoming a widow and how and the negative effects of being a widow would for her profession, kept circling around my head. The majority of CBR’s songs are in fact about love, and I would assume the majority are about her husband or in some way remind her of him. In my opinion, this would make performing extremely difficult. The constant reminder of your loved one, and how they passed away, would be overwhelmingly tragic.

Anyway, despite the feelings of remorse I hold for CBR, I’m going to put them on the side for a minute and explain her appeal to me. First of all I discovered her last year during the being of spring, as an impressionable freshman. I heard her most famous track “Put Your Record On,? right away I was hooked on its catchy beat. I ended up purchasing the album and realizing I really enjoy her unique voice, with its soft flowing sound, and kind lyrics. I can understand arguments against CBR. She’s hard to label, not exacting R&B, Soul, or Pop. But to me that’s what makes her special.

I immediately identified with her image; free falling curls, the spring dresses, and the embellishments on her album cover (they are curly and free spirited lines, much like the doodles I make.) In fact, CBR is the reason I cut my hair short. At the time it was past my shoulders in length and she inspired me to cut into what I called at the time, “my white girl afro.?

There was a specific day I remember being the most influential to my love for CBR. I was walking home from class on the Washington Ave bridge and “Put Your Record On? came onto my iPod. It was a sunny day, with a blue sky, and puffy white clouds. I was wearing my favorite pair of sunglasses and had this uncontrollable urge to let my arms fall freely and spin around in the moment. The way her sound connected with the feeling of the sun on my skin was freeing and enjoyable.

I don’t know exactly what it is about CBR that makes me enjoy her so much. I realize that she isn’t the most talented artist out there, but I love her anyway.