The last decade has been anything but plain sailing for Liberty X star Michelle Heaton.

Ten years ago, following two major cancer prevention procedures – Michelle going through a premature surgical menopause at just 34 years of age. The Geordie singer plummeted into a spiral of depression, turning to both alcohol and drugs to ease the numerous medical blows she’d received. All of this had a huge impact not only on her relationships with family, but also on her work as a performer.

In April last year, the now 42-year-old mum-of-two made the brave decision to check in to The Priory rehabilitation facility in a final bid to save herself, repair relationships with her family, and continue to perform with her remaining bandmates Jessica Taylor, 41, and Kelli Young, 40.

Reminiscing on her recovery, Michelle – who has since launched a range of menopause friendly clothing line called Fifty One Apparel – describes her first sober Liberty X performance last year as a "terrifying experience".

"When we first started performing as a band in our early days, we had a couple of drinks at every gig," she explains. "It gave us confidence.

"So, I was a bit apprehensive of how I’d feel singing and dancing without having had a couple of drinks down me.

"But I ended up having the time of my life during our first live show. Every single performance since then has got easier and easier."

"Jessica and Kelli are both two of my biggest supporters," Michelle also exclusively tells OK! as we catch up to celebrate the anniversary of her sobriety. "I don’t see the boys as much as I’d like to, sadly, but we do check in from time-to-time. The love is still there."

The trio – along with former members Kevin Simm and Tony Lundon – was formed in 2001 by the five finalists of the ITV series Popstars who failed to make it into the winning group Hear'Say.

Despite the band going on to achieve ten consecutive UK Top 20 singles, the group disbanded temporarily in 2007 before reconciling for 2012 documentary series The Big Reunion.

Since then, Kevin and Tony parted ways in search of other careers, leaving Michelle, Jessica and Kelli to represent the band in live shows.

Michelle updates us that the band are still closer than ever, though she wishes they had a group chat.

"I catch up with Kevin the most, he’s currently absolutely smashing it as the new lead singer of Wet Wet Wet, so he’s super busy. And Tony is really high up in the new digital company he works for.

"I’d love it if we all had a group chat to catch up!"

Michelle Heaton is an ambassador for – cool clothes for hot women! @fiftyone_apparel.


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