Who? Leeds songstress Corinne Bailey Rae made U.K. chart history this year when her self-titled debut dropped there in March. The neo-soul singer-songwriter was the first female British artist to reach #1 in the U.K. with a debut album of all original songs, and that album finally comes stateside today.
What’s the deal? Bailey Rae’s weathered, soulful croon sounds much older than her 27 years. And on each track — from the delicately fingered guitar ballad “Like A Star,” to the jazzy salute “I’d Like To,” to the uplifting blues-fueled single “Put Your Records On” — she delivers like a vet.
Fun Fact: When she was 15, Bailey Rae was in a band named Helen that modeled itself on female-fronted indie noiseniks like Veruca Salt and L7. Helen were offered a deal at Roadrunner Records, but the band broke up when the bass player became pregnant.
Talk: Will Corinne Bailey Rae make chart history in the U.S. like she did in the U.K.?
On the web: corinnebaileyrae.net