Pepsi & Shirlie
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|Pepsi & Shirlie|
Pepsi and Shirlie (right to left) at the
Echo Arena Liverpool, 25 June 2011
|Years active||1987–1991, 2000, 2011–present|
|Associated acts||Wham!, Dee C. Lee, Mike Oldfield|
|Members||Helen "Pepsi" DeMacque
The act comprised Helen "Pepsi" DeMacque (born 10 December 1958, Paddington, London) and Shirlie Holliman (born 18 April 1962, Watford, Hertfordshire), who had been Wham! backing vocalists. Holliman's original singing partner, Dee C. Lee, had earlier left the group to join the Style Council and later married its lead vocalist Paul Weller.
On Monday 5 January 1987, they released their debut single "Heartache", which was produced by Phil Fearon and Tambi Fernando and reached No. 2 in the UK Singles Chart. "Heartache" also peaked at number two on the American dance charts. The follow-up single, "Goodbye Stranger", produced by Fernando and Pete Hammond, reached No. 9. Subsequent singles and their debut album All Right Now, released later in the year, flopped.
In 1991, they returned with the album Change and its lead single "Someday", a song produced by George Michael. Both the album and the single went unnoticed, not even charting in the UK. After that, the group quietly retired.
Holliman has been married since 1988 to Martin Kemp, a member of the group Spandau Ballet (reunited in 2009) and an occasional actor, whilst DeMacque resided in Wellington, New Zealand for a number of years, working at a gift shop on Lambton Quay. She has also worked as an actor, including portraying Josephine Baker, and for a while lived in Norwich, England with her husband before starting a new life in St Lucia, where she and her husband reside today.
Pepsi toured with Mike Oldfield and appeared on his album The Millennium Bell, released in 1999.
Pepsi & Shirlie re-united for the 'Here and Now 10th Anniversary tour' starting on 24 June 2011.
In popular culture
In EastEnders, Shirley Carter says to Heather Trott she wished Pepsi & Shirlie had drowned George Michael on the "Club Tropicana" video shoot. This is a mistake, Pepsi hadn't joined Wham! yet, she was being confused with Dee C. Lee.
Alan Partridge claims in his 2011 autobiography I Partridge – We Need To Talk About Alan, that either Pepsi or Shirlie (he cannot remember which) was responsible for triggering his Toblerone addiction.
- "Heartache" (1986) UK No. 2 (2 weeks); Switzerland No. 2 (2 weeks); Belgium No. 2 (1 week); Netherlands #2; US Dance Chart #2; Norway No. 6 (3 weeks); Germany #8; Austria #17; France #31; US #78; Australia #49; New Zealand #9; Ireland No. 3
- "Goodbye Stranger" (1987) UK #9; Ireland #5; Switzerland #5; Belgium No. 8 (1 week); Germany #31; Netherlands #28; New Zealand No. 39
- "Can't Give Me Love" (1987) UK #58; Ireland #21; Belgium #23; Netherlands No. 89
- "All Right Now" (1987) UK #50; U.S. No. 66
- "Hightime" (1988) UK No. 79
- "Someday" (1991)
- Pepsi & Shirlie – Heartache at Discogs. Discogs.com. Retrieved on 2012-04-18.
- Whitburn, Joel (2004). Hot Dance/Disco: 1974–2003. Record Research. p. 201.
- HOW WE MET: PEPSI AND SHIRLIE – Arts & Entertainment. The Independent (23 November 1997). Retrieved on 2012-04-18.
- Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 423. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.