Christina Perri has not had an easy year. In July of 2020, the singer-songwriter shared that she was expecting another child with her husband, comedian Paul Costabile. The couple was overjoyed; this would be their rainbow baby after experiencing a pregnancy loss at 11 weeks in January of 2020. But in November of 2020, in her third trimester, Perri was hospitalized with pregnancy complications. Two weeks later, she and her family shared the devastating news that they had lost their daughter. “She was born silent, after fighting so hard to make it to our world,” Perri, who had been 33 weeks along, wrote at the time.
The ensuing grief, she says, was unimaginable. By and large, Perri retreated from her public life, sharing occasional, emotional updates with her fans on social media. But with the anniversary of her family’s loss coming up, she feels ready to speak about what she’s been through—both to shed light on the earth-shattering, incomprehensible heartbreak of stillbirth and to share the memory of the daughter she lost with the world.
Starting with her name: Rosie.
“This is my first time talking about it,” Perri tells me over Zoom from her home in Los Angeles. “I have done so much work to be able to talk about it. I feel not just ready to talk about it—I want to. I want to be that voice.”
Perri’s voice is, of course, what made her famous, beginning with her breakout hit “Jar of Hearts” more than a decade ago. Now, she’s using it to aid in her healing by releasing an album of lullabies on November 24th—the anniversary of the day Rosie died—called Songs for Rosie, an achingly beautiful tribute to a painfully short life. (In the lead-up to the release, Perri debuted her cover of “Here Comes the Sun,” the album’s first single.)
“This record means the most to me because it carries forever the narrative—the correct narrative—that she exists,” says Perri. It also builds upon Perri’s legacy of commemorating her love for her children via song.
In 2019, to celebrate her older daughter Carmella’s first birthday, Perri released an album of lullabies and sing-alongs titled Songs for Carmella. The companion album for Rosie had long been in her mind. “I want to make a lullaby record for every baby,” she says, “so the whole time I was pregnant with Rosie I kept a track list on my phone of songs I planned to [sing to her].” The song selections took on a heart-wrenching new meaning after Rosie’s passing—like “Smile,” which repeats the directive to ”smile, though your heart is breaking,” a challenging missive for anyone parenting an energetic preschooler after losing a baby—and drove Perri on her mission to record the songs. It was now imperative for her to build something concrete to honor Rosie’s life. “There was a moment where I was like should I [make the album]? And then I was like, oh, I absolutely should,” she says. “I have Songs for Carmella, and this is the same album cover. It uses the same font. It’s the second volume. Because Rosie is my daughter. And she will remain part of our family forever.”