Rub! Singers Pepsi and Shirley reveal the secret from their friendship with George Michael
To exclude, to expel:
The pair appear in a new autobiographical film called George Michael Freedom Uncut, which hits theaters on June 22
Video not available
Shirlie Kemp is recalling the moment she showed George Michael the first YouTube videos of her son Roman.
What should have been a simple moment of motherly pride was much more poignant for George, who saw in his godchild what he had always longed for – the ability to admit fault.
“Roman was just a teenager at the time and was starting his own YouTube show,” says Shirlie.
“George said, ‘I’m so proud of him, he’s very confident.’ He was completely mesmerized. Going back to George as a teenager, he didn’t have that confidence and what he saw through Roman he thought was unbelievable – having this boy always be himself. ”
Shirlie, 60, was “hiding from the builders” at her new country house when we chatted via Zoom. She shares a house with
Her husband, Spandau Ballet bassist Martin Kemp, is also 60 years old. They have two children – Harley, 32, a singer-songwriter, radio DJ and host Roman, 29.
S Meddle / ITV / REX / Shutterstock)
Join us as fellow Wham! support singer Pepsi DeMacque-Crockett. She lives 4,000 miles away in St Lucia, where she lives with her husband James Crockett. The 63-year-old, born Helen DeMacque, runs a sailboat rental company and is also writing a novel.
Even via video link, the couple’s 40-year friendship is a joy to witness. The epitome of 1980s pop music, Pepsi and Shirlie traveled
world as backing singer and dancer for Wham! between 1982 and 1986. After splitting the band, they released their debut album All Right Now as a duo and have since recorded backing vocals for Geri Horner.
They star in a new autobiographical film called George Michael Freedom Uncut, which will hit theaters on June 22, three days before his 59th birthday. The singer was heavily involved in the making of the film before his death on Christmas Day 2016 and he narrated throughout, candidly talking about his struggles navigating his private life. private and public.
Fewer people know the real George – born Georgios Kyriacos Panayiotou – than Pepsi and Shirlie, who call him by the nickname Yog (short for yoghurt, because it sounds similar to how the Greek Cypriot family pronounces the name the name. he). They shared their memories with us, revealing the megastar was a compassionate, humble and family-oriented man who put his friends and family before fame and fortune.
ITV / REX / Shutterstock)
Pepsi first met Shirlie (then Holliman) in 1982 outside Finsbury Park Underground station in London on their way to an audition to become a backing singer. Pepsi’s first impression of George was that he was “focused but funny – and a great hugger!” For Shirlie, her friendship with the icon grew further and further. She’s aged above George and Wham! co-founder Andrew Ridgeley at Bushey Meads School in Hertfordshire.
“I missed George very clearly,” she recalls.
“He carried his violin case around and wore glasses – he was really sassy. I don’t really connect with him because I’m fashionable and quirky. ”
Little did she know that the three of them would form one of the most successful pop groups of the ’80s, selling over 30 million records worldwide. Nor did she know that her friendship with George would develop so deeply that she would be the first person he confides in about being gay.
“We were in Ibiza doing Club Tropicana at the Pikes Hotel and we were walking along a road,” said Shirlie.
“He was wearing little white shorts and a little t-shirt and he was about to say, ‘I really need to tell you something.’ I was so nervous because he got serious and he said, ‘It’s about my sexuality – I’m gay. I think I prefer men. ‘ It didn’t bother me but it was a big deal for him. Sometimes I feel guilty because I didn’t take it more seriously.”
Pepsi said, “Oh honey, I knew from the beginning. “Being on the dance floor with George, he can only be gay, honey. He danced like a dream.”
George was 27 years old before having his first gay relationship with Anselmo Feleppa, a Brazilian fashion designer whom he spotted in the crowd while performing on stage in 1991, who appeared very much in the movie. After only a few months together, the couple discovered Anselmo had AIDS, which resulted in his death in 1993. George later dedicated the only book Jesus To A Child to him.
Although George has had a challenging love life over the years, he still enjoys playing cupid for other people – including Shirlie and Martin. Not only did George ring Shirlie to talk to Martin for the first time after the Spandau Ballet star fooled her with his number, he also accompanied her on her first date with the bass player.
The couple, married for 34 years, George has become godfather to their children, a role he takes so seriously that it prevents them from moving to America.
“We had a big argument about it,” Shirlie said. “He said, ‘You can’t take them away from me, we have the best schools.’
He really loves our family. He has a lot in common with Roman in particular – George really connects with him. Both love to argue and are die-hard fans of the Simpsons. He bought Roman his first PlayStation – it really changed Roman’s life. He will come and they will play on PlayStation together. ”
Kemps planned to spend Gifting Day with George before his sudden death on Christmas Day 2016. He was found by boyfriend Fadi Fawaz in bed at his Oxfordshire home after dying of natural causes.
Shirlie said: “My world fell apart when I heard that George was dead. “I don’t know if I’m sick, but I just feel devastated.
My kids are amazing. It was a shock for them but because I was so bad they knew they had to put the pain aside and help Mom because I was in so much pain. ”
It was Shirlie’s daughter, Harley, who called her godmother, Pepsi, to tell them the news. Pepsi said: “Harley was brave enough to call me on that phone.
“When I think about that call, I just break my heart. She knew that Shirlie couldn’t make calls and wanted me to know.
I think she just called to wish me a Merry Christmas. At first it didn’t calculate – then suddenly the coin dropped. It was almost like a star went out and I just fell to my knees.”
Four years after losing his godfather, Capital FM DJ Roman was devastated when friend and colleague Joe Lyons took his own life at the age of 31 and admitted to having wanted to commit suicide. Roman has become an ambassador for mental health, something Shirlie believes George conveys through his music.
Shirlie said: “The great thing about George is that he spoke clearly. “He can be an incredible ambassador for mental health because he has the most beautiful way of talking about it. But he expressed those feelings through composition – that’s what he was left with. That is his talent. That is his legacy.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/3am/celebrity-news/wham-singers-pepsi-shirley-reveal-27268927 Rub! Singers Pepsi and Shirley reveal the secret from their friendship with George Michael