Jackie: A life in music & a life lived to the full

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Jackie Storrar, who has died aged 50, devoted her life to music, and also to love.

Growing up in Kirkcaldy a young Jackie was surrounded by music from a young age.

Not many people have a photo of the moment they proposed but the keyboard player in Steve Thiebault and Jackie Storrar's band caught theirs through an open window in Maui, Hawaii moments after Jackie said 'yes'.

Not many people have a photo of the moment they proposed but the keyboard player in Steve Thiebault and Jackie Storrar's band caught theirs through an open window in Maui, Hawaii moments after Jackie said 'yes'.

Her father, Bob Storrar, was a church organist and choir conductor at Whytes Causeway and her mother, known as Nancy, introduced Jackie to the joy of country music which was to prove influential in her career.

A defining moment in her young musical development was a solo performance aged 15 in Portland, Maine where thousands of people saw her perform quirky Christian song “I’m 4”11”.

During her teenage years at Kirkcaldy High School she studied piano and oboe as well as dabbling in learning guitar in her own time.

In 1985 she launched a career in radio, which took her from Radio Tay to Malta where she carved a name for herself on Island Sound radio as a presenter, programme controller.

“Malta was the making of her”, said husband Steve Thiebault.

And it was following her time on the Mediterranean island that she accepted a job on a ferry to take stock of her options, that she met Steve who she would go on to describe as “the most influential man in my life”.

A drummer, dancer, actor and musician from London, Steve and Jackie went on to forge a formidable personal and professional relationship, entwining their talents and love to create an envious career that saw them travel to 86 countries.

“It is a life that we’ve totally shared together, ying and yang.

“We completed each other in every way and we lived our lives to the full even after her diagnosis,” said Steve.

A unique courtship saw the couple tour the Caribbean on The Emerald cruise ship before setting sail again for a new adventure in Alaska.

It was in the small town of Sitka that Steve picked out a ring for his wife-to-be before popping the question over breakfast in Maui, Hawaii the next stop on their tour.

They were married on June 7, 2003.

The couple formed duo act ‘Foreign Affair’ and enjoyed success together before they decided to focus on launching Jackie as a solo artist.

Returning home to Kirkcaldy, Jackie introduced Steve to Fife and the couple set up home in Ramsay Road, where they launched the label Parrothouse Records UK where she would go on to release three albums.

In January 2010 aged just 43 Jackie was diagnosed with breast cancer. After getting the all clear, it returned in December 2013.

Jackie’s warmth, passion and unbeatable zest for life and the people in it, spurred her on to create a final legacy album ‘Behind Her Eyes’ which she released shortly before her death on September 14.

With a passion for country music ignited by her mother at a young age, Jackie Storrar spent a career raising the profile of the music in her home country.

During her time in the industry she released three studio albums, with four number one UK singles and a number two USA hit in the country charts – an accolade she was particularly proud of as it meant recognition from the home of country music.

Jackie was also presented with a best radio production award and two British Country Music Association nominations.

Her efforts were recognised further by the country fraternity and despite her advancing illness, Jackie made the trip to London last October after she was inducted into the British Country Hall of Fame to mark her work dedicated to raising the profile of country music in Fife, Scotland and beyond.

She also devoted an incredible amount of time to raising money for Maggie’s Centre, Fife which helped her, Steve and her family deal with the enormity of the diagnosis of a terminal illness.

Speaking to the Press before she died, Jackie said: “I see first hand what a special place it is and I believe it is not only special to me but to a lot of Fifers.”

The funeral will be at Kirkcaldy Crematorium on September 27 at 3pm in her married name of Jacqueline Thiebault.

The family request that flowers be sent to Crosbie Matthew Funeral Directors, 199 Nicol Street.