Ep 39: Another Side with Celena Cherry from Honeyz

This is another side to a story we’ve already told but what a story this is. In this episode comedian Gearoid Farrelly chats to singer and actress Celena Cherry about her time as the front woman of 90’s R&B band the Honeyz along with band members Heavenli Denton and Naima Belkhiati. The band debuted in 1998 and had a massive hit with the self-penned “Finally Found”. They followed it closely with other mega-hits like “End Of The Line” and “Won’t Take It Lying Down”. The band struggled with internal conflict and Heavenli left just as they were about to sign a million pound deal with Def Jam records in the US, then unprecedented for a 90’s girlband.

But the deal falling apart wasn’t only drama caused by the line-up change. In a bizarre move the groups management salvaged a promotional tour of Australia by adding to the lineup a lookalike of Heavenli Denton (the band member that had left) in the hope that Australian fans won’t notice. Almost 20 years later fans uncovered this slight of hand in internet footage from the tour and so was born the Honeyz meme “Fake-Hev”.

As heard in episode one, Mariama Goodman from the band Solid Harmonie joined the group and the hits continued. But Naima who was powerful force in the group clashed with her from day one. Eventually after eleven months Mariama and the accepted story is that the management brought Heavenli back to the group and insisted she rejoin much to the horror of Celena and Naima. But Celena explains that this isn’t exactly how it actually happened.

The Honeyz gave us some of the best RnB songs of ninties but they existed in an industry that was inherently misogynistic and unapologetically racist.

You can purchase Honeyz music here

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Twitter: @gearoidfarrelly
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Facebook: /gearoidfarrelly

Follow Celena
Twitter: @CelenaHoneyz
Instagram: @cherrycelena
Facebook: cherrycelena1

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