Award winning singer Corinne Bailey Rae to give a talk in Leeds

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Grammy Award winning musician and songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae is returning to the University of Leeds to deliver a talk and an intimate acoustic performance.

Corinne Bailey Rae shot to prominence after the release of her self-titled debut album in 2006 which featured the hit singles 'Put Your Records On' and 'Like A Star'.

The acclaimed singer, who was born and raised in the city, studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds.

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After graduating in 2000, she is now returning to deliver a talk and an intimate acoustic performance of tracks from her latest album ‘Black Rainbows’.

Corinne Bailey Rae / Photograph: Koto BolofoCorinne Bailey Rae / Photograph: Koto Bolofo
Corinne Bailey Rae / Photograph: Koto Bolofo

Rae has said that the album, which was released to critical acclaim last month, was inspired by an art exhibition she visited in Chicago.

After visiting the Stony Island Arts Bank during a stop on her last tour, Rae says she knew her “life had changed forever.”

“I saw scores for songs written during slavery times, thousands of Black books in a double height library, a Nick Cave Sound Suit just hanging on the wall, postcards, glass slides, ceramic objects, African masks and everything was so tactile; wood, glass, marble, stone, ceramic, leather.

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"The objects were talking to me. While I was on my tour bus driving through America all I could think about was that space, I had to get back.”

‘Black Rainbows’ is a product of the visceral, emotional, spiritual and artistic connections to the objects she saw in the Stony Island Arts Bank.

Rae will “discuss her values, culture, the city of Leeds and the impactful inspiration behind her new album” at the event.

The conversation will be led by Dr Emily Zobel Marshall, a Leeds Beckett University academic and long-time friend of Rae.

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After the conversation, event organisers say that “those attending in person will be treated to a short, acoustic performance featuring two songs from this project.”

In January, Rae headlined The Awakening, the opening show for the Leeds 2023 Year of Culture.

The event will be held at the Clothworkers Centenary Concert Hall on Friday November 17, 6.30pm.

Online access to the event is free and general admission costs £5 - tickets are available to buy online.