Interview for OK!

Lulu, Chaka Khan and Anastacia
‘We’ve been around the block’

ANDREW FRASER
13th October 2009

As the singing sensations get set for their ‘Here Come The Girls’ tour, they take time out of their busy schedule to chat to OK!...

When you first look at these pictures, you could be forgiven for wondering if the Sugababes have gone through another one of their inevitable line-up changes. But in fact this could be the greatest arrangement of female vocalists the world has ever seen, as Chaka Khan, Lulu and Anastacia prepare to storm the nation with the most gorgeous, glittering, girlie spectacular Britain has ever seen.

And as their Here Come The Girls show prepares to tour, national treasure Lulu tells us how she got the gang together, the fabulous Anastacia reveals all about how she looks so good and legendary diva Chaka Khan tells us how she came back from the brink of death...

Lulu, this show is going to be incredible. How did you pull it off?
It was a no-brainer, getting us three together, wasn’t it? I called them and asked them to do it, and they were both, like: ‘Hell yeah!’ They are such cool women. We’ve all been around the block a bit and we’re joined by our love of music.

Will your old Take That pals be coming along? And did you really have a fling with hunky Jason Orange?
Poor Jason. I feel bad that he had that pinned on him. Definitely not. But we stayed friends and I would love to see them on the tour. They are the nicest guys you will ever meet.

Anastacia, you have been through the wringer and yet you look so beautiful and healthy...
I think all three of us have had very interesting journeys. But I’m in a good place now. We all are. I’ve never had a ‘normal’ life. I’ve always been unhealthy, I’m used to being cursed by disease. You have to look at it and smile. I had Crohn’s disease at 13 – and I knew I had that for life. I’ve always valued the health that I do have. I’ve never got into drink or drugs, like a lot of famous people do. I have too much to lose. This is going to be good, clean fun for the three of us. I’m so honoured they believe in me.

Chaka, it’s such a treat to see you back to your best. We heard that you lost the plot for a bit...
For a long time, but I have been sober for four years now. Before that I was despondent. I didn’t want to feel anything. I mean, I was still working, recording, performing, but I was completely numb.

What were you using?
I was snorting heroin. I started off drinking and using weed, and it progressed from there. I moved to New York at the beginning of the ‘80s. I look at pictures of life then and listen to the music and think: ‘Wow, that must have been a great time! Wish I’d been there.’ It’s a whole new experience catching up on the music from that time now.

How come you turned it around?
One day my life coach got me to look in the mirror, and asked: ‘Who do you see?’ I stood there and said: ‘Her name is Yvette,’ which is my real name. I realised I owed Yvette an apology.

Had you got lost in this alter ego of Chaka Khan?
That’s right. I was living as Chaka Khan, but had put to sleep or nailed down Yvette. I needed her to be able to live. I was going to kill myself eventually. Your body can only take so much.

Was it shyness?
Some of it. And a bit of pain too. I would look at the state of the world and I couldn’t bear it so I medicated it. But I went into rehab and had three months of intense therapy. I was like, I don’t need this s**t! But my God, I did.

You were close to Whitney Houston...
I love her very much, but we’re not close any more. I reached out, but she doesn’t want my help. Maybe she thinks I’m going to confront her, but after what I’ve been through, c’mon...

But she’s off the drugs now...
She’s supposed to be, yeah.

What did you think about Kanye West showing up Taylor Swift at the CMAs?
He is disrespectful. He needs to get that ego of his under control or it will be his undoing.

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WITH THANKS TO STYLE CONSULTANT NATALIE BREWSTER.

WITH THANKS TO OCEANA, 154 CLARENCE STREET, KINGSTON, SURREY KT1 1QP.

‘HERE COME THE GIRLS’ STARTS NOVEMBER 21. FOR INFORMATION AND TOUR DATES, VISIT WWW.HERECOMETHEGIRLS.ORG. TO BUY TICKETS, LOG ON TO WWW.TICKETMASTER.CO.UK.

INTERVIEW BY ANDREW FRASER
PHOTOGRAPHS BY MARK BOND ADDITIONAL PHOTOGRAPHS BY GETTY IMAGES, SPLASH NEWS, XPOSURE STYLING BY JANE GILL

Source: OK! (13.10.2009)

Photos: Andrew Fraser for OK! (Great Britain, 2009)