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It was clear that Honey G was destined for greatness from the moment she stepped on the X Factor stage wearing massive shades and a metallic tracksuit and chanting, “When you say Honey, I say G.”
The judges’ jaws hit the floor when the rapper from London launched into her now legendary version of Missy Elliot’s Work It in 2016.
A pocket of harsh haters reacted to her ‘novelty act’ label by launching a petition to get her kicked off the ITV talent show. But Honey G – real name Anne Gilford – had the last laugh.
Not only did she come in fifth place, but she also signed a deal with show svengali Simon Cowell’s record label Syco for the release of her debut single, The Honey G Show.
Alas, the world wasn’t ready for what she had to offer and the 39-year-old’s track limped into the UK singles chart at 149, heralding a prompt dropping from Syco.
Not one to take it lying down, she hit back by launching her own label, Ho to the O Music, as a platform for her next offerings, Hit You With the Honey G and Riding Hot with the Babes in 2017.
And that July she also came out as gay, revealing she was looking for the right woman to settle down and have kids with.
Discussing the timing of her announcement, she told The Sun she hadn’t felt ‘ready’ to discuss her sexuality with the world during her X Factor days.
“At my very first audition, Simon asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said no and that I was single,” she said.
“Being new to the music industry, and being on The X Factor, I think I was just a bit shy and a bit guarded. I was a bit worried about what people would think as well.
“I was just a bit worried about people maybe being homophobic. I wasn’t ready to come out to the public at that point.”
Sadly, by October 2018 Honey G’s ambitions were stalling and the star was in desperate need of some cold, hard cash.
In a bid to pay the bills and to bring some ‘structure’ to her life, she ditched her streetwear and shades and bought herself a smart suit to take a job as an estate agent for an upmarket North London agency.
But selling houses in St John’s Wood proved to be a ‘culture shock’ for both the star and her employer, who she says demanded she choose between hip hop and the job.
According to Honey G, they feared the ‘negative press’ could damage the company’s reputation.
“My boss had told me that he was expecting me to give up my music career which I am obviously not prepared to do,” she told The Sun.
“It’s a shame and I feel they wasted all of my time. They should have done their research before employing me so they knew what they were getting into.
“Anyone who would consider employing someone who has a profile like me should really think about what they’re doing and what their intentions are before they sign them up to the company. There are benefits to working with a celebrity.”
By the by, she claimed to have made a whole load more cash from music than the 9 to 5 anyway, and got back to doing what she does best.
Her single Jerk IT was released in September 2019 and she’s been holding ticket-only YouTube concerts in lockdown. She’s also recorded a new single, Waiting for Your Love, and a sizzling hot video to go with it.
But perhaps the biggest change has been in the star’s appearance.
After signing up to triathlons and 10km runs, the star overhauled her lifestyle and shrank three dress sizes in the process.
She lost two stone and dropped from a size 16/18 to a size 12 thanks to a combination of yoga, running and spinning, and first got a taste for fitness when a friend too her open water swimming.
“I loved the buzz exercise gave me, so I signed up to a do a triathlon. It felt like an absolute thrill to be pushing my body so hard. I do hefty cardio like running, spinning and cycling, and it’s completely changed my body shape,” Honey recently told Closer magazine.
And she’s also given her diet a radical rethink, doing away with fatty takeaways in favour of fiber-packed goodness.
She continued: “In the past, I was harming my body by eating too much and consuming a lot of sugar. I was having too many takeaways and big portions and not realising the damage that was doing.
“I now stay clear of white bread and rice, and instead I’ll have healthy carbs like multigrain or rye bread. I don’t drink alcohol at home, or buy biscuits or chocolates. If I fancy something sweet, I’ll have a protein bar, which might have a touch of chocolate. I get my fix that way.”
This content was originally published here.