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Belinda Carlisle is back with a new CD box set and a UK tour. Kaye Holland talks to the 80s icon about travel, yoga, staying sober, singing and why she has much more than music on her mind.

The American singer shot to fame as the lead vocalist of The Go-Go's, one of the most successful all-female bands of all time, before becoming a chart topping solo artist with hits like Heaven Is a Place on Earth, Circle in the Sand, Runaway Horse and We Want The Same Thing. The platinum selling pop star, 56, will be releasing Belinda Carlisle: CD Singles 1986-2014 on 21 August and performing six dates across the country in October.

  

Hi Belinda. Thanks for taking the time to speak to TNT today.
My pleasure! 

Congratulations on the new CD Box set. Why did you decide to release it now?
Well my record label is just brilliant at repackaging albums and adding bonus singles and remixes and what not and I’ve got a huge back catalogue that I am really proud of. Plus with the tour coming up, it seemed as good a time as any.

You’ve had so many hits. Heaven is obviously the one that everyone knows and loves but which is your own personal favourite?
Probably Summer Rain and also  Mad About You - they’re both on the box set. It’s hard to say why a song speaks to you per se but Summer Rain definitely does - I guess I like the melodies, the arrangement, the structure.

What songs, by other artists, are you loving in the charts right now?
To be honest I couldn’t really name any. I listen to the radio and like some of what I hear but I don’t know who is singing it. Usually though if I like a current song, it’s out of the UK. There are more unusual, better things coming out of the UK than the US - in my opinion anyway. Personally I am more into world music.  I listen to a lot of Arabic and devotional music or Hindu or sanskrit.

Are there any musicians that you would love to collaborate with that you haven’t yet?
Oh wow. Good question. I think Jack White is incredibly talented so it would be great to team up with him.

Any advice for younger singers starting out?
Young people are really hard on themselves so all I would say is accept who you are and learn to love yourself. There's a lot of self-loathing, a lot of wanting to be something that is maybe impossible. Don’t do drugs and don’t give up. Keep going - it’s never too late to turn your life around around. I’m proof of that. [Belinda famously battled cocaine and alcohol addiction and eating disorder for 30 years.]


You’re going to be touring with this album…
Yes, I’ll play six dates. [The tour begins in Brighton on 3 October and ends on 10 October at The O2 in London. Belinda will also perform gigs in Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.] It's short and sweet but a great excuse to come back to the UK. I'm excited about this tour so come and see me! You can expect all the fan favourites and a few surprises. Then I’ll be taking it to  Australia and Asia - I love travelling. When I’m not travelling with work, I’m travelling for pleasure. My middle name is “wanderlust". I lived between between France and LA with spells in India and Bangkok, for the past 23 years. I’ve got gypsy blood: I can't be in one place for too long.

Away from performing, yoga seems to be a big part of your life. Tell us a little more...
I was introduced to yoga 24 years ago but I only really took to it 10 years when I was getting sober after years and years of drug and alcohol abuse and thought I could use all the help I could get.  I started with Hatha and Ashtanga yoga before discovering Kundalini yoga which is about finding the divine in yourself and helping other find their own happiness. It helps you find your connection to something bigger than yourself. I also discovered Buddhism and chanting and it put me on the path of living a spiritual life. It doesn’t matter where I am in the world, I’lI do my Kundalini every day.

We heard that you drove across India earlier this year in an auto rickshaw to raise money for a charity training slavery survivors to work with animals…
Yes I did it to raise money and awareness for the Animal People Alliance, a Calcutta-based non-profit I co-founded with an organisation called Made by Survivors to help animals in India and other parts of the world.I’ve always been involved in animal welfare and this new animal project is really exciting. I’ll always sing but I think the next part of my life is going to be more about this project than anything else.

What’s next for Belinda Carlisle?
Well, I have the album and the solo dates at the end of the summer, my ongoing work in India and a mantra album that I’d like to release next year.

Any message for your UK fans?
Come and see me!


Belinda Carlisle The CD Singles 1986-2014 will be released on 21 August 2015.  She will be touring the UK in October:

October tour dates

3 - Brighton, St Georges

4 - Birmingham, Town Hall

6 - Leeds, Town Hall 

7 - Bristol, Colston Hall

9 - Manchester, Albert Hall

10 - London, Indigo at The O2

 


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