Rowetta

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Rowetta
Rowetta.jpg
Rowetta performing at Manchester Pride 2010
Background information
Birth name Rowetta Idah
Born (1966-01-05) 5 January 1966 (age 48)
Manchester, England
Genres R&B, pop, soul, rock
Occupations Singer
Instruments Vocals
Years active 1987–present
Labels Factory, Elektra, Gut, Haçienda
Associated acts Happy Mondays, The Black Eyed Peas, Peter Hook and The Light
Website Rowetta.com

Rowetta Idah (born 5 January 1966 in Manchester[1]), also known as Rowetta or Rowetta Satchell, is an English singer. She is best known for her work with the Happy Mondays, recording and touring with the band from 1991-2000 and recently reforming with the original lineup. Her 1989 track "Reach Out" has been sampled by Steve Angello & Laidback Luke, Todd Terry and many more including The Black Eyed Peas on their huge hit "Boom Boom Pow". She was also the last lady standing finishing 4th in the first series of The X Factor in 2004.

Early years[edit]

Rowetta was born to an English mother of Jewish origin and a Nigerian father, politician George Idah, who left the family when she was three. She realised her singing ability after winning a talent competition at the age of twelve. She attended Bury Grammar School, and after completing her secondary education worked as a professional singer. In 1987, Rowetta released two singles with the Vanilla Sound Corps. She also lent her voice to Inner City songs.[2] During this time, she released two songs: "Back Where We Belong" and "Passion". In 1988 she collaborated with Dynasty of 2 on the single "Stop This Thing". She worked as a backing singer on numerous albums including Simply Red's 1991 album Stars. Rowetta is the voice on the renowned 1989 track "Reach Out" with Sweet Mercy. The track has been sampled by many, including Laidback Luke, Slam, Steve Angello and Todd Terry, and was remixed and re-released in 2008, leading to a sample of her voice featuring throughout The Black Eyed Peas hit "Boom Boom Pow".[3]

Career[edit]

Happy Mondays[edit]

In 1990 Rowetta joined the Happy Mondays. She featured on their single "Step On" which charted at number 5. This was followed by two albums, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches and Yes Please!, and three world tours. The group split and reformed a few times, but finally called it a day in 2000. After the break-up of The Happy Mondays, she did not return to the music business immediately, although she did play herself in the Michael Winterbottom film 24 Hour Party People, which focused on the band's years of pop glory.[4]

Rowetta rejoined the Happy Mondays in 2012 with the full original lineup. A tour followed and a new album and world tour is planned for 2013.

X Factor[edit]

Rowetta re-entered the spotlight in 2004 when she auditioned for a place in the finals of The X Factor. After impressing the judges with her rendition of Lady Marmalade, she was placed in the over-25 category, which was mentored by Simon Cowell, who described her as "Amazing, but barking bloody mad".[citation needed]

Her soulful, powerful voice proved to be a hit with audiences, although she was criticised for competing as an established singer against amateurs. The producers defended her, stating that the show was open to anybody.[4] Her performances on the show earned her rave reviews and she made the final four and was the last woman in the competition, never having to compete in a sing-off.

Post X Factor[edit]

In 2005, Rowetta released an album on Gut Records. In November 2005 and 2006, She appeared on the BBC's Children in Need appeal, singing live with the BBC Orchestra in 2005, and on Celebrity Scissorhands in 2006.

In 2006, Rowetta had a cameo as herself in Footballer's Wives:Extra Time.[5] A year later, she made her musical theatre debut at the Palace Theatre, Manchester in The Best of Broadway, alongside Suranne Jones, and appeared at the IndigO2 with Marti Webb, Stephen Gately and Maria Friedman in Christmas on Broadway. Rowetta also spent August 2007 presenting the show The Terry & Ro Show on Gaydio with Terry Longden,[6] and also became the voice behind the jingles on community station Salford City Radio. In addition, she toured Japan, where she has a huge fanbase.[7] She also appeared on a Reality TV Special of The Weakest Link where she was voted off by the audience in the seventh round.

According to a 2008 BBC 6 Music interview with Peter Hook, Rowetta recorded vocals for a track on the debut album by his new band Freebass.[8] A new version of "Reach Out" featuring Rowetta and mixed by Mobin Master spent Christmas 2008 and the first part of 2009 at number 1 in the Beatport Charts.

Rowetta also presents her own radio show on Saturdays at 4 pm on Gaydio 88.4FM. She starred in a nationwide tour of 'The Songs of Sister Act' with Sheila Ferguson. A new version of “Reach Out” featuring Rowetta and mixed by Mobin Master spent Christmas 2008 and the first part of 2009 at number 1 in the Beatport Charts. Rowetta toured the UK with the London Community Gospel Choir in a new version of 'The Songs of Sister Act'. In 2009, the Black Eyed Peas sampled Rowetta on their global hit, Boom Boom Pow. In 2010 Rowetta appeared with Joy Division/New Order bassist, Peter Hook & his band, the Light on many dates of his Unknown Pleasures tour and has collaborated with Tom Stephan (Superchumbo) and J Nitti on new dance tracks. In 2010, Rowetta appeared in the Pop Goes the '80s UK theatre tour. 2011 Rowetta is recording with Peter Hook and the Light, Mirror People and the Kino Club. In 2014, Rowetta appeared on stage at Party in the Park's Poole.

Personal life[edit]

During her time on The X Factor, it was revealed that Rowetta had been a victim of domestic violence in the hands of her ex-husband Noel Satchell, whom she had married at the age of eighteen.[9] In an interview with The Sun, Satchell, a former drug dealer, sold his story to the tabloids and claimed he had beaten her with electric cords and hammers, and tried to strangle her.[10][11] Rowetta, who had two children with her ex-husband, fled the marriage in 1987 to hide in a refuge home, and the couple later divorced. Rowetta has since become a spokesperson for domestic violence awareness, and in 2005 featured in the BBC documentary Battered and Bruised. She also fronted the 2010 World Cup "End The Fear" campaign for Greater Manchester Police.

In 2009, Rowetta told The Sun that alcoholism had affected her chances of winning The X Factor, and most of her performances had been drink-fuelled.[12]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Role Notes
2002 24 Hour Party People Herself Cameo appearance

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://search.findmypast.co.uk/results/world-records/england-and-wales-births-1837-2006?firstname=rowetta&lastname=idah
  2. ^ "BBC Profile". BBC. 5 January 1966. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  3. ^ AOL UK "Cheryl Cole in row with Rowetta"
  4. ^ a b "Happy Mondays". Manchestereveningnews.co.uk. 16 October 2004. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  5. ^ "Footballer's Wives". Unrealitytv.co.uk. 17 February 2006. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  6. ^ "Gaydio". Radiotoday.co.uk. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  7. ^ Japanese tour[dead link]
  8. ^ On Air Now: 07:00 – 10:00. "Hooky's leading man". BBC. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  9. ^ Ian Wylie (11 March 2005). "Battered and Bruised". Manchestereveningnews.co.uk. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  10. ^ "Noel Satchell". Daily Mail. UK. 20 October 2004. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  11. ^ "The X Factor We track losers". Daily Mail. UK. 21 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Rowetta on drinking

External links[edit]