Singer-songwriter Corinne Bailey Rae grew up singing gospel and Primal Scream covers before her breakthrough in 2006. Following a two-year absence, she’s back to chat eyebrows, karaoke nerves and looking like an easter egg

First crush? A boy at my primary school. I can’t say because I still know him. Here are the initials: S.B.

Last book you read? Just Kids by Patti Smith. First great piece of advice you were given? I was advised never to pluck my eyebrows by my mother. Apart from that, my parents’ style was not to give advice about big things but instead to let us work it out ourselves.

First record you ever bought? A 45 of Prince’s ‘Thieves in the Temple’. I got it from a Boyes [bargain department store] in Scarborough. Last time you were star struck? I was giddy to see Robert De Niro at FELA! [the Afrobeat musical] in New York.

First film you saw that really moved you? E.T. First movie you ever went on a date to? The English Patient.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country? I would invest in affordable housing. There needs to be more provision for homeless people, young people leaving ‘care’ institutions and people on a very low incomes.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work? I go home, look at my garden and sleep. I miss cooking when I’m away so I like to get back into that. First song you’ll sing at karaoke? Karaoke generally makes me nervous. If the occasion calls for it I’ll sing a Marvin Gaye song and hope no one is filming it for YouTube.

Last great meal you cooked? I love to make stews. I made a really rich beef stew recently with huge mushrooms and lots of wine. Last extravagant purchase you made? I bought a jumpsuit by Alexander McQueen in Los Angeles in January. I adore it, it’s such a vibrant blue. An amazing designer.

First time you realised you were famous? I never feel famous. People don’t tend to recognise me. Also, my name is hard to say, so people tend to get it wrong, and that reminds me that I am not, as yet, a household name. First three words your friends would use to describe you? I have considered asking someone for

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this piece, but it seems narcissistic. I would hope they’d say loyal, funny and kind. My first concert came to me. A chamber orchestra came to our school when I was 6 or 7. It was magical.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it? I have just bought an amazing purple, cocoon Stella McCartney dress. It looks slightly easter-eggy on (me). First concert you ever attended?

Corinne Bailey Rae’s new album The Sea is out now through Good Groove/Virgin Records. Her new single ‘Paris Nights/New York Mornings’ is out on Sun 28 Mar, and she plays Oran Mor, Glasgow, Mon 29 March.

We’ll tell you right now what we don’t like. Here at The List we do not appreciate a sad and untimely

death (we’re talking to you Mark Linkous and Corey Haim). So, having performed the necessary grieving rituals (Sparklehorse marathons and Lost Boys quote swapping),

it was time to dig deep and carry on. We found comfort in the new OK Go video for ‘This Too Shall Pass’,

which encouraged a flurry of comforting Mouse Trap flashbacks. There was also

news of a new comic book from Malcy Duff, the reliably

obtuse Edinburgh cartoonist. The Caddy (published by Missing Twin, email for info) must be Duff’s fiftieth or sixtieth tome now, and looks as thought-provokingly abstract as we’d hope.

In a social networking double identity shocker, The List’s very own director, Simon Dessain, who uses his initials, SJFD as his Twitter name, was approached by the San Jose Fire Department, politely demanding his avatar. Dessain, ever the gent, complied, and was rewarded with a parcel of fireman-related treats from California as a thank you. We like.

2 THE LIST 18 Mar–1 Apr 2010