Corinne Bailey Rae's New Album Reflects Dealing With Husband's Overdose

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Music Corinne Bailey Rae

NEW YORK — In the months after her husband died, Corinne Bailey Rae was fixated on the grieving process – specifically, whether there is a right and a wrong way to mourn.

It’s not as if Rae acted inappropriately after the death of Jason Rae from a drug overdose in 2008. The Grammy-nominated singer-songwriter, who dazzled the music world in 2006 with her sunny, silky self-titled debut, dropped out of sight after the tragedy. She spent a good part of her day simply resting, and when she felt like it, taking walks or spending time with loved ones.

She was also confused, in a haze, not knowing how to go forward after the destiny she thought she had was forever altered.


“I’m not familiar with that kind of shock that lasts all that amount of time,” she recalled. “It just sort of takes ages to sink it. You feel it and then you don’t feel it; you know what’s happened and then you don’t really know what happened. …

“Somebody wrote me a letter saying that you need to surrender to it, which I was like, ‘Well, how do I surrender?'”

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While Rae still has not come to terms with her loss, she has determined that the grieving process is unique and different for everyone. And for her, it included channeling her emotions into her music. The result is her touching, tender new album, “The Sea,” started before the death of her husband but finished nearly a year later.

“There are other people that have had these similar experiences … all different kinds of loss, and I feel like a lot of people don’t really sing about it in popular music,” said an upbeat, reflective Rae during a recent interview. “I want to be that one voice that is saying that this is also a human experience that is worth making music about.”

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