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The Smooth Late Show with Martin Collins 10pm - 1am
29 March 2022, 16:15
Gabrielle is one of the most successful soul singers of her generation.
From her debut number one single 'Dreams' in 1993 to her huge 1999 album Rise, Gabrielle has sold millions of records around the world.
Here are all the big facts every Gabrielle fan should know:
Gabrielle - Rise
Gabrielle is a British singer born Louise Gabrielle Bobb. She was born in Hackney, London and has released five albums since her debut in 1993.
Her debut single 'Dreams' reached number one on the UK, having entered the British charts at number 2 which was the highest chart entry a solo female debut act at that time.
Her other big hits include:
- Give Me a Little More Time
- If You Ever (with East 17)
- Walk on By
- Out of Reach
Looking back at her career, Gabrielle explained on Smooth's Famous Firsts podcast the story behind how she got her stage name.
How did Gabrielle get her name?
"When I was growing up, I was aware of my middle name, which is Gabriella," she said.
"What used to happen was, I’d say to my mum, 'Mum, why do I have a middle name if I can’t even use it?'
"And she said… 'Well, when you go to your new school, you can ask them to call you by, you know, your middle name.' I was just too lazy. I couldn’t be bothered. I thought, 'A bit pretentious. I don’t need everyone to know that’s my name.'
"And then I started singing at a club called Moonlighting on Greek Street. And, in fact, before I started singing there, there was a lady who was the one who was booking all the talent, and was like, 'What’s your name, darling?' She was so posh. Her name was Lady Carol.
"'My first name is Louise – or Louisa, if mum’s angry with me.' And then she was like, 'What’s your middle name, darling? What’s your middle name?'. 'Gabrielle'. Even though I was Gabriella, I actually always thought I was Louise Gabrielle. But I’m actually Louisa Gabriella.
"'Yes. Let’s call you Gabrielle. Let’s call you Gabrielle for now'. I was chuffed, because I didn’t have to make up a name. I was able to use my middle name. And that’s how it came about.
"It’s weird, because now I still get called both. You’ll find me answering to both. But a lot of people I knew later in life, they just call me Gabs – Gabby Gabs. So, yeah, I’m used to it."
Gabrielle usually keeps one eye covered due to a condition called ptosis.
Ptosis is a condition where the eyelid may droop or fall. The eyeball itself isn't affected, but it might cause minor visual impairments.
Gabrielle has previously said that her covering of the eye was for confidence reasons rather than her health.
Why did Gabrielle decide to wear a eye patch?
Gabrielle has one son named Jordan, who is in his early 20s.
Jordan's father is Tony Antoniou, who reportedly left Gabrielle the day after his son was born. In 1995, Antoniou was jailed for killing his stepfather, Walter McCarthy, with an accomplice.
Gabrielle - Dreams
Gabrielle was born on July 19, 1969. She celebrated her 52nd birthday in 2021.
Her parents are from Dominica, and she and her three brothers were raised by their mother, Patricia.