Put together as the UK's answer to Destiny's Child and a "friendlier" Eternal, the Honeyz rocketed into the Top 5 in September 1998 with the uber-emotional ballad 'Finally Found'. But after a steady run of Top 10 singles and a platinum album Wonder Number 8, the girls seemed to disappear just as they were meant to be releasing a second record. We got on the blower to lead singer Celena Cherry for the lowdown on what really happened.
How did the Honeyz first get together?
"We first got introduced through our management company, but in those days you had to pretend you were friends before you started a band! We all lived together for a couple of years while we recorded the album. We all got on really well and it was probably two of the best years of all of our lives. We released our first single 'Finally Found' and it was pretty much an overnight success."
What was the highlight of your time in the group?
"Having 'Finally Found' in the Top 10 for ten weeks was amazing. We also got to sing with Lionel Richie and meet so many people we admired. It didn't really last as long as we wanted but we got to travel to places like Japan and Australia and have experiences most people would never get to enjoy."
Why did your second album never see the light of day?
"We still don't really know what happened. We went to the States and recorded with some really good people... then the record company decided to drop us just before it was meant to be released. They didn't even give us a chance. We probably signed one of the worst deals in the history of the record industry. We were messed with from all angles and didn't earn enough money to fight it."
Why do you think they had so much control over you?
"We were so young and naive when we signed the deal and had no guidance. It was the typical scenario where you sign anything because you want to be famous. Then we realised we were in a mess because we were really successful but our bank accounts weren't reflecting what we were doing. We started to question things so it all went a bit pear-shaped and it drove us apart really. We had nobody on our side to make sure we were signing something that would make us set for life. We were doing all the hard work and not seeing anything for it."
Do you still see the girls these days?
"I don't talk to Heavenli but I'm still very close to Naima because we both have young children now. I see Mariama a lot as we still do gigs together. So yeah, I see a couple of them!"
What's the chances of a Honeyz reunion then?
"Zero. I love music and love to sing so we still do Honeyz gigs, but we do them with Mariama and my sister Candace. It's a much more relaxed atmosphere as the three of us are all actually wanting to be there. I've been doing a lot of songwriting too and some acting work. Last year I did the 'Chicago and Beyond' tour so my heart is still very much in the industry."
Press play below to watch the 'Finally Found' video:
More about Celena Cherry at: http://www.myspace.com/celenacherry
What are your memories of the Honeyz? Would you like to see a reunion? Use the space below to leave your comments.