With video directed by Johnny Vegas: Jacqui Abbott is on song to hit the charts again with release of What Have We Become with Paul Heaton

St Helens Star: JACQUI Abbott on stage with Paul Heaton JACQUI Abbott on stage with Paul Heaton

JACQUI Abbott has spoken of her excitement at making her eagerly anticipated musical comeback after more than a decade out of the limelight.

The former Beautiful South singer – regarded as one of the strongest singing talents to come out of St Helens – is teaming up with ex-band mate Paul Heaton for a new album ‘What Have We Become’ It is 14 years since she walked away from the acclaimed band at the height of their fame to take care of her autistic son, Matthew.

Now Jacqui and Paul will also be touring across the UK, including dates in Salford and Liverpool.

In an interview with the Star, the 40-year-old said that she feels a little nervous about returning to the stage: “I think it’s because it’s been such a long time.

“By the looks of it everybody likes the album and it’s really been great. The ball is definitely rolling again.” Jacqui was originally spotted by Paul after singing at a house party close to Taylor Park in the mid 90s.

But it was 18 months later that he asked her to audition for the Beautiful South and they went on to record massive hits, including Rotterdam and Don’t Marry Her. Jacqui added: “I disappeared completely.

“I was quite the Scarlet Pimpernel.

“But I had focus because I had two sons. My youngest needed time spent with him. Over the last decade I was just getting on with my life. I went back to college for a while training to be a teaching assistant and volunteered for a number of charities in St Helens.

“But I really missed singing and knew I would when I left.”

Jacqui said that she is happy with the early response to the album: “When it made the playlist on the radio Paul was over the moon. “It’s lovely to hear the things that have been said. We had such a good feeling recording it because there are such a good body of songs.”

What Have We Become’ is released on Monday, May 12.

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