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“He told me I needed to let the sunshine in, that it sounded like I had recorded it in a bubble” (the kind of bubble, perhaps, that kept her largely unaware of bands like Coldplay). He wanted to know why we had taken the drums out of the second verse of “Green Aphrodisiac”. ’ he told me.” And so he invited her and Brown to Los Angeles, to work on it further.

Corinne Bailey Rae was halfway through making her second album when her husband died.

She tells Nick Duerden about the hardest year of her life and how she found her way back to music, happiness and love When the album was finished, she says, she “felt relieved.” She then presented it to her American label boss, who liked it but also had reservations.

It's how we in the west now view the mind."win a Grammy, before she retreated from public view. Bailey Rae had first shot to enormous global fame and acclaim when, at the start of 2006, her self-titled debut album featuring hit singles such as 'Put Your Records On' and 'Like A Star' entered the UK charts at Number One and reached Number Four on the US charts.

She became the first British female singer-songwriter to debut in the Billboard Top 20 in decades, pre-dating the wave of British females to follow; Amy, Lily, Ellie, Adele….

But the loss of her first husband two years later kept her from public view until emerged, an album of unique and rare beauty, full of pathos and love.

Understandable as that first retreat from the spotlight was, this second absence from public life signified a different way of doing things for this singular, mercurial talent.

"I asked her for help to finish a song that was inspired by 'The Makings Of You' by Curtis Mayfield.

A month later I got an email from her, with the subject line 'dibbles and dabbles'.

'The Skies Will Break' opens the album with a mix of piano and pounding beats.

whereas 'Night', one of the first songs she wrote, is the spine-tingling coda to the album.

Burrowing inwards at home in Leeds, UK, she built her own studio – a place to play, in every sense of the term.