Claire was born in Wimbledon in 1967. She attended The Doris Holford Stage School until she was fifteen, singing was her strongest passion with dance coming a close second. Claire studied singing with Verona Chard in London and Marilyn Johnson in New York. For two years she worked on the QE2 and Cunard Princess. Aged 21, Claire formed a quartet which featured Jim Mullen on guitar and Jonathon Gee on piano. In 1991 Claire signed to the Linn label.