80s pop stars Pepsi and Shirlie share their journey in new book

Pepsi and Shirlie

Eighties pop stars Pepsi and Shirlie are sharing their journey through fame, and their long lasting friendship, in a new book Pepsi and Shirley: It’s All In Black and White. 

The duo came to prominence as the backing signers for George Michael and Andrew Ridgely’s band Wham! The duo appeared in many of their iconic videos and toured the world with the band, before launching their own career.

Shirlie Holliman dated Andrew Ridgely and was invited to sing backing vocals and be a dancer for his new band project alongside school mate George Michael in the early 1980s. Originally Holliman appeared alongside D.C. Lee, but when she left to join The Style Council, Helen ‘Pepsi’ DeMarcque was brought in as a replacement.

They appear in some of Wham’s most iconic videos including Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, Freedom, and Last Christmas.  

When Wham! broke up in 1986 and George Michael and Andrew Ridgely launched their solo careers, Pepsi and Shirley started releasing records as a duo.

Their first release Heartache was a hit, and they had further success with a cover of All Right Now, originally by British rock band Free.

For their second album George Michael wrote them a tune Somedayand even performed backing vocals on the track. The single and album however sunk with out making an impact on the charts.

Shirlie married Martin Kemp from Spandau Ballet, and their son Roman is a well known TV presenter in the UK. While Shirlie appears with daughter Harley in The Spice Girls video for Mama. Pepsi and Shirlie also popped up singing backing vocals on Geri Halliwell’s song Bag It Up.

DeMarque went on to work with Mike Oldfield, but eventually stopped working in the music business. She lived in New Zealand for many years, but later moved to Saint Lucia where she operates a sail charter business with her husband. She now goes by the name Pepsi Demarque-Crockett.

The duo say even though close friend George Michael passed away in 2016, they feel like he’s still with them when they are out promoting their new book, because they keep hearing his music in hotel lobbies.

Pepsi and Shirley: It’s All In Black and White will be released in November by Allen & Unwin.

OIP Staff

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