Interview for Mirror.co.uk

Anastacia: 5 minutes with a diva

Jenny Eden

The Don’t Stop Believing judge and singing sensation, 41, on her outrageous demands (for crisps), and diva strops (oh yes)…

What does ‘diva’ mean to you?
In the beginning it was about untouchable stars who had temper tantrums, then divas became respected women in the industry who didn’t compare to many others. I don’t get offended if someone calls me a diva. I’m a way more down-to-earth person than a diva. We all have diva moments, and if we say we haven’t – LIES!

What’s the closest you’ve ever come to throwing a diva strop?
I don’t ask for outrageous things, but I have lost it, been at my wits end, cried and been tired… Which can be seen as diva moments, but I’m not meaning to, I’m just exhausted.

What’s on your rider?
Diet Coke and Doritos. I don’t ask for fresh food, because I don’t want it to spoil.

If you had the balls, what outrageous thing would you ask for on your rider?
I have heard of people asking for rooms to be painted a different colour. I couldn’t do that, because I’d feel so guilty. But this is a really weird business. Some people will say yes to anything that makes the artist happy.

Have you ever said ‘Do you know who I am?’
I’ve said it to friends as a joke, but I stand in lines outside restaurants, I don’t care. I do this for the love of singing, not for the clubs and restaurants I can get into. I’ve only ever used my name as a last resort.

Has it ever not worked?
Of course! Especially in America.

What’s your diva style?
The first four years of my career was navel out – it was the only thing I knew how to do. It was my fashion statement – it was like crop top in the winter ‘sounds good’ in the summer ‘sounds good’. Apparently, some days it’s good to keep your clothes on.

What’s the biggest diva demand you’ve made?
I was in Russia doing a video at midnight and I put on a white dress, which turned out to be see-through. I didn’t want anyone to see my its and bits, so I asked for a pair of Spanx. I didn’t know it was hard to get them in Russia. I said I didn’t care if they were used, I’d wash and dry them. I was told a pair would be there in 45 minutes. Two hours later they arrived – and they had been driven across Russia. The shoot had been delayed for my Spanx to get there! I must have looked like the world’s biggest diva, but I had no idea it would be so much of a problem.

What makes you pinch yourself?
I always go back to singing with Elton John right at the beginning of my career at Madison Square Garden, New York. I thought he was going to kiss my hand, but he kissed my navel. I know he is gay, but it still felt as guiltily girly as a first kiss.

Who is the biggest new diva of the moment?
Leona Lewis – she was a diva before she even won X Factor. But I mean diva as in an artist who doesn’t have a normal talent. Leona is still a very normal person, but her talent is not normal.

Do you have diva mates?
Me and my friends talk about who’d be our celebrity BFF. You know, when you see someone in an interview and you think you’d totally connect with them. I always say Julia Roberts. Although she probably doesn’t know who I am.

How big is your entourage?
I have a person who does my hair and make-up, and my sister travels with me as my assistant. I have security if I’m in any of the Spanish or Latin-American countries where they’re quite grabby. In England you guys are so poised – people know who I am, but they’d never try to pull my hair out, but in Spain they suck my face off. If I’m doing promo it can look like I have a huge entourage because my manager and my agent and the band are with me, but that doesn’t happen every day.

You seem remarkably normal…
I’m sorry – I sound more like diva-don’t than diva-do.

What keeps your feet on the ground?
I come from nowhere, and my career didn’t happen until I was 30, but I’ve been blessed with a family that has shown me a guiding light. My younger brother, Brian, has autism – he will always be a full-grown kid – and he has constantly grounded our entire family. If I ever feel a bit too grown up, Brian will bring me right back to reality, but he’s totally yummy.

See Don’t Stop Believing on Sundays, Five, 7pm

Source: www.mirror.co.uk