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Tragedy struck pop star Corinne Bailey Rae this past weekend: her husband, saxophonist Jason Rae, was found dead from a suspected drug overdose in Leeds on Saturday. He was only 31 years old. BBC NEWS reports that Leeds police later arrested a 32-year-old man on suspicion of supplying Rae with drugs.

This isn’t the sort of story you expect to hear from the squeaky-clean Bailey Rae. Thankfully, the tabloids are being surprisingly respectful: The Sun, for example, has compiled tributes to Jason Rae from his friends, including Mark Ronson. A friend told The Mirror: “Jason partied a lot and was a really colorful character, always fun and joking. He was an amazing sax player, a complete legend and contributed enormously to a band that was really hot. His relationship with Corinne was always intriguing because he was such a flamboyant Scots character and she was so sweet with a quiet churchy image.”

Corinne famously met her husband in a Leeds jazz club when she was a cloakroom attendant. The couple married in 2001. Jason Rae was a saxophonist in the jazz-funk band The Haggis Horns, and you can watch a documentary on the band on YouTube. In Part 1, the Scottish-born Jason, whom you can see below, introduces his bandmates and performs a few bits on the saxophone. Click on the picture to view it.

British R&B songstress Estelle has ended Duffy‘s five-week reign at No. 1 on the singles chart. Her collaboration with Kanye West, the “American Boy,” has zoomed to the top spot on the back of strong digital sales. Last year, Rolling Stone called her “An Artist To Watch,” comparing her to Lauryn Hill minus “the crazy.” And her mentor is none other than soul crooner John Legend (check out his appearance in the video for “American Boy”). Let the stateside push begin!

Madonna’s new single “4 Minutes” – a “duet” with Justin Timberlake – enters the chart at No. 7. Radio 1 quipped that the record should be billed as “Justin Timberlake featuring Madonna,” as Her Madgesty is barely on the track. Hmmm, perhaps that’s why it’s her best record in years…

Here are the top ten UK singles of the week:

1. Estelle ft. Kanye West – AmericanBoy
Watch the video

2. Duffy – Mercy
Watch the video

3. Leona Lewis – Better InTime/Footprints In the Sand
Watch the video for “Better InTime”
Watch the video for “Footprints In theSand”

4. OneRepublic – Stop and Stare
Watch the video

5. Nickelback – Rockstar
Watch the video

6. Flo Rida ft. T-Pain – Low
Watch the video

7. Madonna ft. Justin Timberlake – 4Minutes
Watch the video

8. Utah Saints – Something Good’08
Watch the video

9. Girls Aloud – Can’t SpeakFrench
Watch the video

10. H Two O ft. Platnum – What’s ItGonna Be
Watch the video

In other news:

  • Neil Aspinall, former road manager for The Beatles and head of Apple Records, has died at age 66.(BBC)

  • Amy Winehouse‘s mother says she’s too ill with multiple sclerosis to cope with her daughter’s drug addiction.(Mirror)
  • Late Factory Records boss Tony Wilson left behind about $1 million in his will.(Mirror)
  • Billy Bragg thinks artists should profit from AOL’s $850 million buyout of social networking site He says he’s had conversations with Bebo founder Michael Birch about it: “In our discussions, we largely ignored the elephant in the room: the issue of whether he ought to consider paying some kind of royalties to the artists. After all, wasn’t he using their music to draw members – and advertising – to his business? Social-networking sites like Bebo argue that they have no money to distribute – their value is their membership. Well, last week Michael Birch realized the value of his membership. I’m sure he’ll be rewarding those technicians and accountants who helped him achieve this success. Perhaps he should also consider the contribution of his artists.”
    (New York Times)
  • George Michael wants to be “the Tony Bennett of his generation.”
    (Contact Music)
  • Take That singer Jason Orange endures “freeze therapy” to sooth aching joints caused by the band’s rigorous dance routines. “He stands in a bone-chilling chamber and is frozen to minus 135 degrees C. Teetotal health-food fan Jase – the band’s party animal in their heyday – is a fan of kriotherapy, a radical Chinese treatment in which he’s immersed in a frozen liquid-nitrogen tank for a bodynumbing three minutes.”(Mirror)
  • James are back with a new album, and lead singer Tim Booth says it’s “f***ing brilliant. But then we would, wouldn’t we? We wrote over 120 songs for this album, and if it hadn’t turned out well, there’d have been no point in us getting back together.”(The Times)
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By Kevin Wicks
Kevin Wicks is the founding editor of Anglophenia.