British singer Corinne Bailey Rae feared happiness was not possible until she fell in love with her close friend years after her husband's death.
The Put Your Records On star was devastated when she lost her first husband, Jason Rae, in 2008, when he was found dead of a suspected drugs overdose, aged 31. The coroner ruled the case as death by misadventure.
Bailey Rae was struggling with her grief for a long time and she admits she never thought she would be able to feel happiness again, until a romance blossomed between her and close friend Steve Brown, who she married in 2013.
She tells Britain's Radar magazine, “It took me ages to even recognise that I was in love with Steve... but then I’ve only ever been in love twice in my life, with him and Jason. Both times I didn’t recognise it as love, and both times they started out as friends. I just recognised it as an obsessive desire to spend a lot of time with the same person.”
Speaking about marriage, she adds, “If you have a time in your life where you weren’t happy, and in fact couldn’t imagine ever being happy again, then to rediscover it is incredible.”
Brown helped produce her upcoming third album, The Heart Speaks in Whispers, at her home studio in Leeds, England.
She was working on her second album, The Sea, when Rae died, and she threw herself into touring when the record was eventually released to take her mind off her loss.
“What else was I going to do?" she adds. "I was still very much in that phase. It hadn’t been that long since Jason died, and it was still my biggest preoccupation in life, a very real and present thing. Playing live with my band – my most trusted friends – seemed like the only thing to do.
"It was great, and the shows themselves really helped focus my mind. But the promotion wasn’t much fun. The interviews I had to do… they were hard."