Corinne Bailey Rae was in Manchester a few weeks ago as part of her latest tour to promote her album The Heart Speaks in Whispers.
Her venue of choice, much to my delight, was Albert Hall – an intimate, forgotten Wesleyan chapel in the city centre. The perfect ambient setting for her soulful, ethereal style.
I remember I was like the nodding Churchill dog the first time I heard her lyrics “sat on the front step getting her hair combed out and greased” in the song 'I'd like to' from her debut album, Corinne Bailey Rae, ten years ago.
It wasn't just the music I loved and her unbelievable voice, but the fact this northern, mixed race girl sang about experiences I could really relate to. It was a real punch the air moment for me and I've been a huge fan ever since.
Typical me, I've been following her hair journey as much as her musical one.
I actually featured Corinne Bailey Rae as my mane crush Monday back in February with no idea that nine months later I'd get to meet her (and her fabulous mane) in person.
Some famous people are a huge disappointment when you meet them in real life. I know this because I'm a journalist and have met many in my time. But I'm pleased to say she was as delightful as I'd imagined.
After her gig she gave me a big hug and her soft mane enshrouded my entire face. YES! (To be fair I'm sure she got a mouthful of my fro too.)
Her hair is all hers by the way. It's grown so long that I was convinced she'd sneaked a few wefts in there but I was totally wrong. She had a beautiful natural braid out going on.
“I love your freckles” she said zooming in on my nose and cheeks, before chatting to me briefly about hair, because that's just what we do.
I told her I liked hers, she told me she liked mine. And now we're basically BFFs. The end.
One part of that last paragraph might not be entirely true, but she definitely did ask me what my blog is called, wrote it down and said she would have a look so my work is done here.
Corinne if you're reading this, thank you for being so lovely and I hope to ingest your hair again in the future. Lynda x