Ever wondered what happened to Sheena Easton? As she launches a comeback in Britain, WOMAN found out...

by Simon Button

It's 20 years since Sheena Easton announced on the BBC documentary The Big Time that she wanted to be the next Barbra Streisand.

Two decades later, while Streisand remains the bigger star, Sheena has conquered America with hit records, acclaimed performances on stage and screen and her own sell-out Las Vegas show. But it's not all been plain sailing. Eight years ago she had to be hospitalised after collapsing on stage because of low blood pressure. She has suffered three failed marriages and blames herself for all three break-ups. And Sheena hasn't had a record out in the U.K. since 1991. All that's about to change this month with the release of Fabulous - a collection of dance classics.

'This is no doubt the best time of my life,' she says. 'I'm finally comfortable with who I am. When I was in my mid-30s I'd say I couldn't wait to be 40 because I thought women in their 40s must have their act together. Now I'm 41 and I don't have my act together but that's the secret - there's no such thing.'


'I've made some huge fashion mistakes,' says Sheena, and as she is now (bottom)

Motherhood has also brought new meaning to her life. She has two children - Jake, six, and Skylar, four - who she chose to adopt as a single mum when her marriages to Sandi Easton and Rob Light both failed after less than a year. She married documentary film-maker Tim Delarm in 1996 but again didn't make it to the 12 month mark. 'All three of my marriages were disastrous,' she admits. 'I'm terrible at relationships. I consider myself to be smart and a good mother but it's taken me this long to realise you don't have to marry a guy after three days or dump him. I found dating a chore, so I ended up marrying quickly so I could get on with my work. But I've been seeing the same man for a year and I like it.'
She won't name names but the new man in Sheena's life goes with her and the kids to Vegas tourist attractions, shopping at Toys R Us or lunching at McDonalds at weekends.

Sheena thought long and hard before adopting. 'I wanted to be sure I wasn't just indulging in a longing. I knew it would be the commitment of my life and I wanted to see it through. Proving I'm a good mother is the one achievement I'm most proud of. It's brought out the best in me'. Adoption, she says, doesn't mean that she has ruled out the possibility of having her own child with the right person.

Although she and the same nanny, Maria, have been raising Jake and Skylar since they were born, she feels it's important they have male role models. 'But I've made a point of letting my partner and children know he's not their dad,' she says, 'I don't want my kids to think, just add water, instant Dad. If I do choose to marry again, which I doubt, I'd have to be sure that the person was right to take on the role of father.'

Sheena moved to America in the early 1980's when her recording career started to take off there. In 1981 she became the first singer to appear in the opening credits of a Bond movie when she sang the theme tune to For Your Eyes Only. She then worked with Prince, most famously on the raunchy rock duet U Got The Look but she claims tabloid speculation about them being an item was simply idle gossip. 'I know people wanted to paint us as Anthony and Cleopatra but the truth is there was nothing romantic about our relationship,' she says in a voice you wouldn't want to argue with. 'We're just good friends.'
Far from being an egotistical diva, she's the first to take the mickey out of herself for what she calls her 'totally messed up' accent, which mixes American and Scottish to weird effect.

She looks back on her 1980s heyday with self effacing good humour too. She hasn't shown her kids the Big Time video yet but when she does she thinks they'll have a good laugh at it. 'I've spent my life making huge fashion mistakes,' she says with a giggle. 'For example, my huge bum in red spandex made me look like a target for a bull. I've also had some bad hair days but even though I didn't have great taste, at least my hair was always changing. I went from short and spiky to long and curly, from black to red - I've done every kind of hair.'

Over here, we remember Sheena in headbands and jumpsuits but in America they've seen her grow from pop star and racy Prince sidekick to the star of Broadway shows such as Man of La Mancha, Grease, and now Las Vegas revue At The Copa with David Cassidy, who was her idol as a teenager.

An estimated personal fortune of $40 million means Sheena has the luxury of being able to do what she wants, when she wants. That said, she's a workaholic who has recently designed angel figurines for sale on the QVC shopping channel and is in the process of writing a children's book called The Elephant In The Attic.

If Fabulous isn't a hit, she won't lose any sleep. 'There's so much in my life that chart success is no longer that important to me,' she says, 'I have my stage career, my children and a wonderful man in my life.'

So how does she feel when she looks back on the days of meeting Esther Rantzen and singing 9 To 5? 'It seems like another lifetime,' she says.