Gabrielle’s career got off to an incredible start in 1993 when she broke the record for the highest chart debut by a female with the single ‘Dreams’ (it went in at 2, before rising to Number 1). A 23-year-old club singer from Brockley, South London, she was the archetypal outsider: she didn’t possess the sort of belting voice you’d expect of an R&B vocalist. “There were so many other girls with better voices and a hell of a lot skinnier than me that I thought I had no chance,” she says now. Following her dreams Gabrielle launched her career wearing an eyepatch that made her visually striking a voice that made her distinctive – and her differences contributed to her becoming Britain’s most successful soul singer.
In an industry where longevity is becoming increasingly rare, the hits have been unstoppable: ‘Give Me A Little More Time’, ‘If You Ever’, ‘When A Woman’, ‘Sunshine’ and ‘Out Of Reach’ which she wrote for the soundtrack of Bridget Jones’ Diary. Then there are the multi-platinum albums; ‘Gabrielle’ ‘Rise’ and ‘Dreams Can Come True’.