Flashdance (What a Feeling) by Irene Cara
When I was little my older sister used to go to disco dancing classes and she was obsessed with the TV series Fame and the film Flashdance. Some of it must have rubbed off on me because I still love both of Irene Cara’s biggest hits. There’s something about Flashdance in particular that instantly makes me feel happy – it’s like being given a shot of positivity.
Open Your Heart by Madonna
Once I discovered my love of pop music it didn’t take long for Madonna to become my ultimate idol. There’ve been so many brilliant female popstars since that it’s difficult to remember just how amazing Madonna was when she first burst onto the scene; so much of what we now take for granted she either invented or pioneered and from the start I was blown away by her strength and confidence. Open Your Heart was the first song I saw her perform live, on her Who’s That Girl world tour at Roundhay Park in Leeds. I’d struggle to think of an event that had a bigger impact on me as a child; I was in awe and went away inspired to be as brilliant as I could.
Relight My Fire by Take That
This song reminds me of my teenage years when I started going out in Manchester. Take That were the big boyband at the time and I totally loved them. Because all of the group were from the North West of England and their manager was based in Manchester you sometimes used to see them around town; I once spotted Robbie and Howard in the Haçienda and remember a drunken chat with Mark Owen in the toilets of Paradise Factory. Everyone in the city felt proud of their success and their glamorous lives made me feel like I might just be able to do something special with my life too.
Club Tropicana by Wham
When I moved away from home and went to university I made a group of friends who are still my closest mates now. In those days we were all a bit wild and, even though we worked hard, we went out partying several nights a week. Our ‘local’ was the college student bar and there was a jukebox in there where we spent loads of money we didn’t have. The song number 14-04 was Wham’s Club Tropicana and it became our anthem. On our way to the bar we’d tell each other ‘It’s time for 14-04!’ and get ourselves in the mood for the night.
Bailamos by Enrique Iglesias
After I graduated from university I moved to London and started work in TV production. For about five years I shared flats with friends and we went out all the time, discovering the city, chasing boys and basically having a brilliant laugh. Me and the girls I lived with all really fancied Enrique; we used to listen to Bailamos and dance around the flat when we were getting ready to go out. When I hear the introduction now it still gets me excited!
It’s Raining Men by Geri Halliwell
The original version of this song by the Weather Girls was one of first records I ever bought but it sounds a bit tired now and I think Geri’s version is much better. If I ever have to get up on the karaoke this is the song I perform and when I was the arts correspondent on Channel 4 News I used to wind up the weatherman by singing it to him in the middle of the newsroom. Although I think that secretly he loved it!
Hung Up by Madonna
I was thrilled when my childhood idol made a big comeback with this song after a few years out of the limelight. It’s one of her finest ever moments and it reminded me of everything I love about pop music. I think this is partly what inspired me to write Nothing But Trouble. By that time I knew I wanted to be a writer and watching Madonna perform the song on her Confessions tour made me realize that if pop music had been so important in my life, surely I could channel my love for it into a novel? Well, it’s taken me a few years but I’ve finally got there – and I hope you enjoy it!
I hope you've enjoyed having a little sing-a-long with us. Nothing But Trouble is out now in eBook and Paperback.
Lola Grant is the hottest pop star in Britain and she's about to go global. But behind the music, her addiction to bad boys is taking her personal life in a dangerous direction. When it comes to men, Lola just can't stay away from trouble - and her self-control is pushed to the limit when she meets her handsome new drummer Jake Hunter.
Looking out for Lola is her best friend and manager Harvey Sparks. But Harvey's fighting his own demons and can only watch from the sidelines as the star he helped create begins to fall. When Lola seeks comfort in a life of wild partying, she meets good-hearted showbiz reporter Freddy Jones, a man who may just be able to offer her a way out.
But as she starts rehearsals for her Trouble tour, Lola finds herself faced with an even bigger threat. And unless someone can get through to her before opening night, she's in danger of losing everything she fought so hard for - in full view of the whole world.