Singing sensation ANASTACIA weds her 'soul mate' Wayne in a dream beach ceremony in Mexico
Singer Anastacia is blissfully happy now she is permanently wrapped in the strong, protective arms of martial-arts expert Wayne Newton. The affable British-born hunk was formerly the Chicago native soul starís personal bodyguard. Now heís her husband. They exchanged vows the weekend before last in an intimate ceremony in Quinta Real in Huatulco, Mexico, which nature-loving Anastacia calls "a private and soulful beauty spot".
With 80 non-celebrities present Ė longtime friend Sir Elton John "who is like family to me", sent his apologies Ė this superstar wedding was positively low key. "Absolutely not an ego in the room", says Anastacia. "We kept it to family and friends. It was intense with honesty and joy."
On her big day, Anastacialooked radiant in a hand beaded gown and feather-light veil by British designer Jenny Peckham. Guests poured into a flower-filled room for the 5pm wedding, and a shaman officiated the spiritual ceremony.
Among the gathering were Anastaciaís mother and sister and her uncle was present with his family. "Thatís the only other family I have contact with", Anastacia explains. "My father passed away. But Wayne had a million relatives present."
Iím from Hackney by way of Guyana", says Wayne laughing. "Weíre a really close family with lots of cousins."
This is a first marriage for both Anastacia and Wayne. She ended a six-year relationship with actor Shawn Woods in 2001, while Wayne has two children, aged ten and two, with former girlfriend Lorrain Elston - unfortunately, they couldnít be at the wedding.
After the ceremony, the wedding party adjourned to another flower-filled room for cocktail hour and Anastacia and Wayne relaxed. "We hung with our friends and family who flew in from all corners of the earth. God bless their hearts, jet-lagged and all", she says.
At 8pm, as the sun was setting, everyone departed for al fresco wedding dinner. The tables were set out partway down a cliff face, so the couple played it safe and had their guests arrive by shuttle. "It was a beautiful setting, but all the stairs and walkways and stiletto heels? Not good", Anastacia laughs.
By then she was wearing a stunning turquoise evening gown, also by Jenny Peckham. After dinner guests partied the night away on a patio overlooking a pool and the beach.
Anastacia whose first international hit was ĄIím Outta Loveď met Wayne three years ago when he became her bodyguard and her happiness now tastes all the sweeter after heartache and debilitating health problems that have beset her life. Her parents separated when she was small. Anastacia, her mother, her sister and her brother, who has autism, once lived in a one bedroom flat in Manhattan. Anastacia was just seven when problems with her eyesight meant she began wearing glasses Ė something that later became a trademark. At 13 she was diagnosed with the intestinal disease Crohnís.
In 1998, an MTV talent show led to a record deal, but more personal difficulties lay ahead. Troubled by backache, Anastacia opted to have breast-reduction surgery in 2003. A pre-op mammogram led to a cancer diagnosis. Fortunately it was caught early and she had radiotherapy.
Today, however, as the Newtons start married life in Los Angeles, their future looks bright. Anastacia has a clothing line with s.Oliver and is planning a follow-up to Pieces Of A Dream, her greatest hits album. "Iíll start writing when we get back from the honeymoon", she explains. "I couldnít focus on anything else once Wayne asked me to marry him Ė I was like: Oh my God, Iím a bride!" The couple spoke exclusively to Hello! on the eve of their secret honeymoon.
Wayne and Anastacia, tell us about the December proposal!
Anastacia: I was wondering, whatís wrong with him? What happened? Is he upset? Iím all worried. Then out of the blue he says: "Can I have two single dollar bills?" and I thought, Heís crazy! He was dumbfounded when I gave him two dollars without looking inside my bag. So he had to point inside it, saying, "Whatís that?" as if he had x-ray vision.
And you found the ring?
Did you accept Wayneís proposal immediately?
Were you hoping heíd propose?
What is the ring like?
Anastacia: Diamond being the birthstone for April and seven being the year we decided to get married. We focused on diamonds and on the number seven, which is a very strong, spiritual number in our wedding bands. We exchanged the seventh diamond within each of our rings. He gave a pink one to me and I gave a blue one to him. Theyíre very simple, but elegant.
Had you always dreamed of your wedding day, Anastacia?
Wayne had you ever dreamed of getting married?
How did you find the magical location for your wedding?
Was the Mexican location important?
Anastacia tell us about your wedding dress.
What shade did you choose?
Was your wedding all traditional?
Did you write your own vows?
Anastacia: Yes, heíd written them in his head! And I felt like such a loser when he said heíd already written them. Three weeks before the wedding I sat down and wrote mine. But he ended up writing his about two hours before he started getting ready for the wedding. It was so from the heart, though. Heís the one who brought everyone to tears.
Did you play Anastacia tracks at your wedding party?
Do you both have a lot in common?
Wayne: She is a great girl. She is very funny. Really generous. She is forever thinking about other people Ė sometimes to a fault Ė and how to make their lives easier. She loves watching football with me. Itís not about one person, itís about sharing ideas and being open to each other. It sounds really soppy. Iíve waited a long long time to meet somebody that I really could commit myself to and I feel really really lucky.
Would you like to have children together?
Your honeymoon is top secret. What can you tell us?
Why are you living in Beverly Hills rather than England?