We find out where the eye-patch wearing soul singer ended up...
Gabrielle was a huge singer in the 90s and noughties. Born Louise Gabrielle Bobb in London in April 1970, she hit us with tunes like Dreams (1993), If You Ever (a duet with East 17 in 1996) and Out Of Reach, which was featured in Bridget Jones’s Diary in 2001.
That eye patch
Gabrielle was born with a condition called ptosis, which causes a drooping of the eyelid. When performing, she famously wore sunglasses or an eye patch. Gabs admitted she often got a hard time at school over her condition, but insists it made her stronger. She said: ‘It’s funny, I never saw myself as being bullied. I became a hard person. I was not a wallflower. I was Gobby Gabby.’ Go Gabrielle!
Gabrielle’s soulful voice won her many accolades, including two BRIT Awards in 1994 and 1997 and two MOBOs in 1996 and 2000. She got a Number One album in the UK with 1999’s Rise, which went four times platinum. Not bad for a girl from Hackney.
In 1995, she had a son, Jordan, with a man called Anthony Antoniou, but the relationship soon broke down. She wasn’t together with Antoniou when their son was born, and he was later arrested for the murder of his stepfather by decapitation with a samurai sword and sentenced to life in prison. Gabrielle had to give evidence in court in 1997, admitting: ‘I thought life sucked and people were evil. I didn’t want to leave the house. I thought everyone was looking at me. It had been over between us, and then I had to deal with it all over again.’
Gabs lost her passion for music at the end of the noughties as she felt guilty for not spending enough time with her son. In 2013, she said: ‘Recording and touring took me away from my family too much. I was lucky that my own mum was my rock when I was away, but there were times when I thought, “Does Jordan even know I’m his mother?”’ However, she’s recently been working with producer Naughty Boy, is back in the recording studio, and this May she’ll be headlining Birmingham Pride. Looks like she’s ready to rise again!