British singer-songwriter Gabrielle tells stories of strength and perseverance on her two signature hits, 1993’s “Dreams” and 2000’s “Rise”, both of which topped the UK charts.
• Gabrielle grew up in the Hackney section of London. She and her three brothers were raised by a single mother who immigrated from the Caribbean island of Dominica.
• “Dreams” started out as a poem that Gabrielle wrote about her frustrations with the music industry. After meeting producer Tim Laws, she paired the words with the instrumental track from Tracy Chapman’s 1988 smash “Fast Car”. That initial version earned her a record deal.
• When Gabrielle and her team failed to secure sample clearance from Chapman, producer Richie Fermie reworked the track, replacing “Fast Car” with similar-sounding music. The single reached No. 1 in the UK and went Top 40 in the US, where it topped Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart.
• In 1996, the father of Gabrielle’s elder child was convicted of killing his stepfather. Although Gabrielle had nothing to do with the crime, she was scandalized by association. She went through a period of depression and withdrew from the public eye.
• Gabrielle's third album, 2000’s Rise, topped the UK charts. The title track, which features a sample of Bob Dylan’s “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door”, became her second No. 1 UK single.
• After retiring to raise a family, Gabrielle returned as a guest on British producer Naughty Boy's 2014 single “Hollywood”. That same year, she returned with Now and Always, a compilation featuring previously released material, remixes and six new songs.
• She’s since released two more studio albums: 2018’s Under My Skin and 2021’s Do It Again.
• The singer’s toughness stems from her experiences with bullies growing up. She suffers from a “lazy eyelid” brought about by the muscle condition ptosis, and she generally covers her right eye with a patch or strands of hair.
BORN16 April 1970