THIS YEAR is turning out to be the year of the come backs: Destiny’s Child, Justin Timberlake and The So Solid Crew are all returning to the music business after lengthy spells away from the limelight. Also gearing up for a possible return to the charts is Deniece Pearson, the former lead singer of the eighties British pop band Five Star. Comprised of siblings Steadman, Lorraine, Deniece, Doris and Delroy Pearson, the group was formed in 1983 by their father Buster Pearson, they were considered to be the UK’s version of the Jackson 5 at the time.
After six albums and a string of hits Five Star called it a day in 1995. During the last 17 years there have been attempts to release new material but with little success. But 2013 will mark the second time Deniece Pearson has attempted to launch a solo career. In 2007 the singer announced to the world that she would be releasing her own material, but the venture was not a success. Since then the Stay Out of My Life hitmaker has moved on to musical theatre, in the form of Thriller Live and Respect La Diva and even became a contestant on the singing competition The Voice.
Speaking to L&S Pearson explained this second coming will bring more success than her previous comeback because she finally has confidence in being a solo star, confidence she lost when she was in the group.
“When I was 13-years-old, I used to play my guitar and write my songs and I told my dad to sign me, way before he created Five Star,” said the 44-year-old. “When my dad decided to put us together in the group any chance of me singing with my guitar or having a solo career was put on the back burner, until now.”
“Pursuing a solo career is a big step but I’m believing in me now! I’ve always had people believe in me and tell me ‘come on Deniece, you can go solo’, I tried but then things weren’t going to plan it fizzled out and then it started again and fizzled out. But this time I believe in me. Fingers crossed I get good results,” laughed the Let Me Be Yours performer.
Over the last three years ,Pearson has made the transition from mother to solo performer, taking into account the previous success that Five Star had attained in the UK, a televised talent competition would be the last place you would expect to find the singer. Yet, in 2012 Pearson became a contestant on the BBC programme The Voice.
“I watched Britain’s Got Talent and the X-Factor and there were a lot of people saying they were talented but they weren’t. When I heard about The Voice, which sounded like it was based on talent and ability, I thought I’d give it a go.”
“A lot of people said I should go on as a coach, not a contestant. Most of my friends supported me and spurred me on to reintroduce myself to people; the show had over 11 million viewers so I decided to do it.”
Making a massive impression in the auditions, Pearson was chosen as one of Tom Jones’ final six, but was eliminated in the battle rounds, one episode before the live shows. Saying she was happy with the outcome of the show, the Essex-born Brit award winner also admitted that if she had the opportunity, she would never go on another talent show again.
AS THEY ONCE WERE: Five Star
“No!” laughed Pearson. “It’s not something I would do again. I’ve been through the experience. On the shows, things were moulded into things they are not and I like when things are true. A lot more went on behind the scenes - nothing is really what it seems to be. TV spells entertainment. If you have a background that people will feel sorry for, they go for that.”
Despite her early departure from the show Pearson’s solo career has remained steady. She has recently released a new single, Close To Nowhere and shows no signs of slowing down.
Rejecting the often harsh criticisms about her age, Pearson says being a popstar is not only for young people.
“Pop is not a young girl’s game. Look at Tina Turner, she was in her 40s when she went solo and she was rocking it. Look at Madonna; she’s still doing her thing. This music business is a beautiful thing but a lot of people like to jump on the band wagon. It takes someone with balls to get out there and do their thing.”
“Talent, especially when its God given, is wonderful but many young kids only want the fame and would do anything to get it. Because as long as you look good they can auto tune you, build a pop star and shove you out there for a year or two and then it’s on to the next fad.”
Realising a life-long dream, Pearson was recently announced as a special guest on The Jacksons’ Unity tour, along side Jackie, Jermaine, Marlon and Tito Jackson and her excitement at the up-coming tour is patently evident.
“Oh my god, I’ve always wished for this. I was at my photo session when I got the news that they would like to work with me. I had met Tito before at Thriller Live, and the Jacksons do remember my family. It was also my dad’s dream to work with the Jacksons, and at some point in our lives, it had to happen. I guess we were wishing it into our future; now it has come about and it’s a dream come true.”
Deniece Pearson’s single Close To Nowhere is out now through Baronet Records.