Who is Siobhan Fahey?
Siobhan Máire Deirdre Fahey is an Irish singer and musician who forms one half of the British/Irish-American pop and alternative rock duo, Shakespears Sister. She was previously an original member of the 1980s British pop trio Bananarama. A Dublin native, Fahey relocated to Yorkshire, England, with her family when she was two years old. She also lived in Germany for a period before returning to the United Kingdom. She developed an interest in music quite early in her life. After leaving home, she came to London and became a regular feature in the punk scene of the late 1970s. In 1981, she formed Bananarama with Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward and subsequently released four studio albums with them. In 1988, following a disagreement on the direction of the group, Fahey quit Bananarama and created Shakespears Sister. In the initial days, she was the only member of the musical act. However, American singer/songwriter Marcella Detroit later became her partner. In 2005, she released her debut solo album, ‘The MGA Sessions’.
Childhood & Early Life
Siobhan Fahey was born on September 10, 1958, in Dublin, Ireland, to Helen and Joseph Fahey. She grew up with two younger sisters, Máire and Niamh. Her parents were originally from County Tipperary, Ireland.
At the age of two, she moved with her family to Yorkshire, England, where her father, a soldier in the British Army, was stationed. They then migrated to Germany before coming back to the United Kingdom.
She was a student at a convent school in Edinburgh, Scotland. Later, she studied at schools in Stroud, Gloucester and Kent in southern England.
At the age of 14, she started living in Harpenden with her family. Two years later, she moved to London by herself to pursue a career in music. In the late 1970s, she was highly active in the punk scene of the city.
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Siobhan Fahey completed a course in fashion journalism at the London College of Fashion, where she and Sara Dallin met in 1980. They created Bananarama along with Keren Woodward in the following year.
The girls subsequently collaborated with the male trio Fun Boy Three, putting out two top-five singles with them in early 1982. Later, they released their own top-five hit, ‘Shy Boy’.
In 1983, the group put out their debut studio album, ‘Deep Sea Skiving’. The standard edition is comprised of 12 tracks, including ‘Really Saying Something’, ‘Cheers Then’, and ‘Na Na Hey Hey (Kiss Him Goodbye)’. It earned positive reviews from the critics and was a commercial success, opening at the seventh place on the UK Albums (OCC) charts.
During her time with Bananarama, she worked on three more studio albums besides ‘Deep Sea Skiving’: the self-titled album (1984), ‘True Confessions’ (1986), and ‘Wow!’ (1987).
In 1988, feeling dissatisfied with how things were in the group, she quit Bananarama and set up the musical act Shakespears Sister by herself. The name of the act comes from The Smith’s song ‘Shakespeare’s Sister’.
Fahey has stated that the spelling error occurred on a woodcut sign, but she chose to keep using it because she felt that “it made it sort of my thing.” While writing and recording for the act, she met Marcy Levy, who eventually became a member of Shakespears Sister under the professional name Marcella Detroit.
Four albums have been put out under Shakespears Sister’s name to date: ‘Sacred Heart’ (1989), ‘Hormonally Yours’ (1992), ‘#3’ (2004), and ‘Songs from the Red Room’ (2009).
In 1993, Detroit departed from the act, and she and Fahey had no interaction with each other in the following 25 years. They met and spoke again in 2018, and a year later, Shakespears Sister officially reunited. They released a new single, ‘All the Queen’s Horses’, in May 2019 and are currently working on an extended play.
Fahey re-joined Bananarama in 2017 and toured with them for about a year. She has also performed with Dexys Midnight Runners at some shows. In 2005, her first album, ‘The MGA Sessions’ was released through SF record label. It contains 13 tracks and was produced by Fahey and Sophie Muller.
Family & Personal Life
Siobhan Fahey was married to British musician, songwriter, and record producer David Allan Stewart of Eurythmics from 1987 to 1996. Their oldest, a son named Sam, was born in 1987. He was followed by another son, Django James, in 1991.
Both Sam and Django have followed in their parents’ footsteps into the world of music. They set up an indie rock band named Nightmare and the Cat with Claire Acey, Scott Henson, and Spike Phillips in 2010.
When Sam was an infant, he made appearances in the music videos for Shakespears Sister songs ‘Heroine’ and ‘You’re History’.
Before her relationship and eventual marriage to Stewart, Fahey had dated Jim Reilly, the drummer of the Northern Irish punk rock band Stiff Little Fingers, and Scottish singer Bobby Bluebell of The Bluebells. She had collaborated with the latter on the UK No. 1 'Young at Heart'.