Gabrielle in 2008
|Birth name||Louise Gabrielle Bobb|
|Born||19 July 1969|
Hackney, London, England
|Genres||R&B, pop, soul|
|Labels||Go Beat, Island, Universal|
Louise Gabrielle Bobb (born 19 July 1969), known professionally as Gabrielle, is a British singer and songwriter. Bobb was born in Hackney, London. She released her debut single "Dreams" in 1993 and it topped the UK Singles Chart the same year. Her other singles include "Going Nowhere", "Give Me a Little More Time", "Walk On By" and "If You Ever" – a duet with East 17.
After a few quiescent years Gabrielle made a comeback with "Rise", which became Gabrielle's second UK number one in 2000. The Rise album reached the top spot in the UK album chart, where it stayed for three weeks. "Out of Reach" from the soundtrack to the film Bridget Jones's Diary reached number four in the UK Singles Chart. Dreams Can Come True, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 was released in 2001.
Gabrielle was born in London as Louise Gabrielle Bobb to parents from Dominica, and she and her three brothers were brought up by their mother, Patricia. Gabrielle credited her mother for her love of soul and reggae music.
Gabrielle has had ptosis, the drooping of one eyelid, since childhood; in public, she covers her eye with sunglasses, an eyepatch, or hair. In school, she suffered from depression and was sometimes suicidal. After finishing her A-levels, she abandoned an idea to study law and began singing in nightclubs.
1993–1998: Find Your Way and Gabrielle
In June 1993, Gabrielle released her debut single entitled "Dreams". "Dreams" was co-written by Gabrielle and Tim Laws and produced by Richie Fermie. In its earliest version, the song sampled the melody of Tracy Chapman's 1988 hit, Fast Car. However, it was removed after copyright infringement. The single reached number one on the UK singles chart for three weeks in June 1993 having entered the British charts at number 2 which was the highest chart entry a solo female debut act had ever scored in the UK at that time. The song also peaked at number 26 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in the US and at number-one on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart. In Australia, the song made number two on the ARIA Chart. The second single "Going Nowhere" from the same album was written by Gabrielle and George McFarlane and produced by Pete Cragie. "Going Nowhere" reached number nine on the UK singles chart and number 18 ranking in Ireland. It was the second biggest hit from the album Find Your Way. In December 1993 Gabrielle released her third single from her debut album. "I Wish", written by Gabrielle and Jon Douglas, it was not as successful as its predecessors, which both reached the UK top ten. "I Wish" charted at number 26 on the UK singles chart and remains one of Gabrielle's lowest peaking singles to date. "Because of You" was the fourth and final single from Gabrielle's debut album Find Your Way. Written by Gabrielle, George McFarlane and Ray Saint John, "Because of You" peaked at number 24 on the UK Singles Chart. "Find Your Way" peaked at number nine on the UK Albums Chart.
Gabrielle released her self-titled second studio album in 1996, reaching number 11 in the UK Album Chart eventually going platinum. "Gabrielle" also reached number 80 on the MegaCharts in the Netherlands. The album's lead single "Give Me a Little More Time", returned Gabrielle to the UK top ten, peaking at five, spending ten weeks inside the UK top 20. The song also peaked at nine in Ireland. It is her fourth biggest selling single in the UK and has been certified silver. "Forget About the World" was released as the second single from the album. Written by Gabrielle, Wolff, Dean, Barson, who wrote previous single, "Give Me a Little More Time", "Forget About the World" did not perform as well as its predecessor, peaking at 23 in UK. It was the lowest charting single from the album and the only single to miss the top 15. The third single "If You Really Cared" was written by Gabrielle, Wolff, Dean, Barson, who wrote previous single, "Give Me a Little More Time" and "Forget About the World", "If You Really Cared" returned Gabrielle to the UK top 20 after the last single missed out. "If You Really Cared" peaked at 15 in the UK Singles Chart. "If you ever" was covered in 1996 as a duet by East 17 and Gabrielle, and renamed If You Ever. It reached number two in the UK and four in Latvia. It was also one of only three songs by Gabrielle to reach the Top 20 in Australia, peaking at 16. It was the highest charting single from both aforementioned albums. The song was also the 11th biggest selling boyband single of the 1990s in the UK selling 510,000 copies and has received a Gold sales status certification. In 1997, UK singer Gabrielle released her version of "Walk On By" as the fifth and final single from her album. It reached number seven in the UK.
1999–2001: Rise and Greatest Hits
Gabrielle began recording her third studio album Rise in 1998 through 1999. Rise was released on 18 October 1999 in the United Kingdom, and 15 August 2000 in the United States. The album became Gabrielle's biggest selling album to date with it becoming her only number one album. The album became a huge commercial success, spending three weeks at number one in the UK Albums Chart, and achieving 4x Platinum status. "Sunshine" was the album's first single and peaked at number nine in the UK giving her her sixth UK top ten hit. "Rise" was released as the album's second single. It was her second number one single in the UK (and thus far, last). Written by Gabrielle, Ollie Dagois, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton and Bob Dylan, and produced by Johnny Dollar, the song used a sample from Bob Dylan's "Knockin' on Heaven's Door". The song reached number one on the UK singles chart for two weeks in January 2000. The song has sold 460,000 copies in the UK as stated by the Official UK Charts Company making the song one of the 14th best selling of 2000 in the UK. The album of the same name also reached the top spot in the UK Albums Chart, where it stayed for three weeks. It spent 87 weeks in the charts. "When a Woman" was released as the third single from Rise in June 2000. The song reached number six on the UK Singles Chart and was the second-highest charting single from the album. It became Gabrielle's eighth top ten hit. "Should I Stay" was released as a single in 2000 and was the fourth and final single released from the Rise album. The song charted at 13 in the UK Singles Chart, the fourth top 15 hit from the album. The video for the single is very moody and depicts the atmosphere of the song more so than having a linear storyline. The song samples part of the BBC News theme. In 2004, it was used in the second episode of the BBC drama serial Blackpool.
Gabrielle released her first greatest hits collection on 12 November 2001, entitled Dreams Can Come True, Greatest Hits Vol. 1. The album achieved success in the UK where it was certified as a four times platinum seller and became the fifth best selling album of 2001. It was also the 76th biggest selling album of that Decade in the UK. The lead single from the greatest hits album was "Out of Reach" which was also from the soundtrack to the film Bridget Jones's Diary. The song reached number four in the UK and nine in Australia, making it her second biggest hit in the country and also the 37th highest selling single of 2001. It remained on the chart there for more than 20 weeks. In New Zealand, the song was the tenth most successful single of 2001. The song has sold 320,000 copies in the UK as stated by the Official UK Charts Company. The second and final single from the album was "Don't Need the Sun to Shine (To Make Me Smile)". The single managed to peak at number nine in the UK Singles Chart, the song was also her eighth consecutive top 15 hit in the UK and her tenth top ten hit.
An arena tour of the United Kingdom followed in June 2002.
2004–2009: Play to Win, Always and touring
Gabrielle reteamed with frequent collaborators Jonathan Shorten and trio Julian Gallagher, Richard Stannard, and Ferdy Unger-Hamilton to work on her fourth studio album Play to Win. Released in May 2004, it reached number ten on the UK Albums Chart and was eventually certified silver by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). Elsewehere however, the album failed to chart noticeably. "Stay the Same," Play to Win's lead single, peaked at number 20 on the UK Singles Chart but became Gabrielle's lowest-charting single in eight years, albeit her tenth consecutive top twenty hit. Second and final single "Ten Years Time" missed the top 40. In support of the album, a UK concert tour followed.
In October 2007, Gabrielle's fifth studio album Always was released. While the album received positive reviews from music critics, its preceding single "Why," a duet with Paul Weller, failed to enter the top forty. Similarly, Always missed the top ten, peaking at number eleven on UK Albums Chart, and entered the UK R&B Album Chart at number 4. The final single from the album, "Every Little Teardrop" was released; however, it failed to chart. The same year, Gabrielle set off on a sell out UK tour of 14 dates which earned positive reviews on her performances. In mid-2008, she headlined the Zermatt Unplugged music festival along with Alanis Morissette, as well as the Birmingham Pride. In addition, Gabrielle won an Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Collection. and was also Al Green's special guest on the UK dates of his 2008 tour.
2010–present: Now and Always: 20 Years of Dreaming, Under My Skin and Do It Again
Following a lengthy break, in November 2013, Gabrielle released the album Now and Always: 20 Years of Dreaming. Consisting of 34 tracks, including most of her singles, a number of album tracks, remixes from her remix album Rise Underground, and seven brand new tracks, the compilation was produced through Island Records to coincide with the release of her debut single, "Dreams", 20 years ago. The singer worked with several new collaborators on the new material on the album, including producers Naughty Boy and Syience as well as songwriter Emeli Sandé. In support of the album, a remix version of "Dreams" featuring Naughty Boy was released, while "Say Goodbye" served as the album's only single. A minor success, Now and Always: 20 Years of Dreaming peaked at number 38 on the UK Albums Chart. Aheadline UK tour promoting the album, entitled The 20 Years of Dreaming Tour, took place March 2014.
Gabrielle released Under My Skin, her sixth studio album, worldwide on 17 August 2018. Her first studio album in 11 years, it marked her first full-length release through BMG Rights Management. The release of Under My Skin marked 25 years since the release of her debut single, "Dreams". Its release was preceded by lead single "Show Me".
In 2021, she participated in the second series of The Masked Singer as "Harlequin" and finished in fourth place. She then announced the release of her seventh studio album Do It Again for 5 March.
Gabrielle's first two studio albums were inspired by "classic soul connotations" such as Marvin Gaye, Barry White and Bobby Womack. However, the albums also contained influence "by early-'80s British pop" Soul II Soul, Lisa Stansfield and Mantronix. Gabrielle's third album Rise spoke of "optimism, romanticism, devotion, and a keen survival instinct". "Play to Win" incorporated a mix of genres. Gabrielle spoke on the album's influences saying "There's also a couple of songs which lean more to Country, so there will be a couple of surprises for them." She also talks about the genres on the album, saying, "There's nothing wrong with Country. Yeah, I'm a black woman, but I'd like to think that I can just sing 'songs'. This album is diverse but people buying my music can expect diverse music; it's about love, life and optimism."
Gabrielle cited her high school teacher as one influence, saying that she was "inspired the moment her teacher asked her to construct her first poem. Her poetry began to develop into songs, and then she began to sing." Other inspirations came through in an eclectic collection of 1980s pop. "Madonna, Culture Club, Haircut One Hundred, Duran Duran, Adam and the Ants and Wham!. "You know, it was all pop, and at the same time I was a huge Michael Jackson fan, so I had a big picture of him, you know, when he looked really beautiful, and he was dark chocolate and you just wanted to lick him, although they were innocent thoughts those days, when I was younger."
Gabrielle has a son, Jordan (born 1995), and a daughter, Patricia (born 2003).
- Find Your Way (1993)
- Gabrielle (1996)
- Rise (1999)
- Play to Win (2004)
- Always (2007)
- Under My Skin (2018)
- Do It Again (2021)
- Rise Underground (2000)
- Dreams Can Come True, Greatest Hits Vol. 1 (2001)
- Now and Always: 20 Years of Dreaming (2013)
- Dreams: The Best Of (2016)
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1994||Herself||Best British Breakthrough||Won|
|Best British Female||Nominated|
Black Music Awards
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1994||Herself||Best R&B Newcomer||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1994||"Dreams"||Best Selling Song||Nominated|
|1997||"Give Me a Little More Time"||Most Performed Song||Nominated|
|2000||"Rise"||Best Contemporary Song||Nominated|
|2001||Most Performed Work||Nominated|
|2002||"Out of Reach"||Nominated|
|2008||Herself||Outstanding Song Collection||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|1997||"Give Me a Little More Time"||Best Single||Won|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result|
|2000||"Rise"||Record of the Year||Nominated|
|Year||Nominee / work||Award||Result||Ref.|
|1996||Herself||Best Female Singer||Nominated|||
|"If I Ever Fall in Love"||Best Single||Nominated|
Urban Music Awards 2007 – Outstanding Achievement
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