Bonnie Tyler says Tom Jones sings ‘amazingly’ on The Voice
The 69-year-old singer had a miscarriage in her early 40s and was never able to conceive again, dashing her dreams of motherhood. “It would have been lovely if it had worked out and the pregnancy went ahead – but unfortunately it didn’t,” says Bonnie. “It is horrible when it happens but you just have to get on with it you know. “Maybe I should have tried to have kids when I was younger but my music career was doing really well and I kept putting it off. “Then when I did try, my body didn’t hang on to the baby.
“But I have a wonderful life and a beautiful family. Before lockdown, I saw a lot of my 16 nieces and nephews and 14 great-nieces and nephews.
“We are all very close. My mother did a good job of bringing us up because we all get on, we all love each other and we have holidays together.
“I know that I am very lucky. One of my nephews lives with us anyway. A lot of people say we are so close. We have become even closer in the pandemic.
“I also feel incredibly blessed to be with my husband.”
Bonnie and husband Robert Sullivan, now 71, married in 1973.
They are set to celebrate their 48th wedding anniversary in July, a month after the star turns 70.
“He is still incredibly handsome – when we met he looked like Warren Beatty,” smiles Bonnie, who met Robert when she was 19 while performing at a nightclub he managed in Swansea. She recalls she was instantly taken with him and still is.
Bonnie Tyler at 69 years young
“There was this instant chemistry between us and it’s lasted all these years,” she says. “He was a former Olympic judo champion and continues to be a successful property developer. We have a dairy farm in New Zealand, five houses in Royal Berkshire and a yard with gallops that we rent out to the Jockey Club. We also have a house in Mumbles, Wales, but in lockdown we’ve been staying in our house in Portugal.”
At 69 Bonnie looks great, but she admits to some surgical assistance.
“I’ve had Botox darling,” she reveals in her lilting Welsh accent.
“That is no secret – I tell everybody – I’m not ashamed. It’s great as it keeps me young.
“I have it twice a year. Last year I only had it once – when things opened up in the summer I did have my forehead done. It’s really been amazing to give me that fresh look.
“I have it above my eyebrows and at the side of my eyes. But you have to be careful and you need to have a proper doctor doing it.”
Bonnie performing with a host of stars at the O2 Arena in 2019
Bonnie says that her biggest fear is getting dementia, which her mum Elsie died with 20 years ago.
“When my mother had Alzheimer’s it was the worst time of my life,” she recalls. “It’s a really terrible disease.
“Your whole system shuts down. You can’t do anything for yourself. It was heartbreaking to watch her decline.
“Mum was always singing and she had an incredible operatic voice but it was terrible because she had Alzheimer’s. My father died a year later. He was 85 and had an aneurysm. It was so sudden, bless him.
“Ever since, I have been terrified about getting Alzheimer’s, but luckily I haven’t shown any signs yet.”
She continues: “It was in the strangest way that I found out.
“A couple of years ago I had a bang to the head when I was on my boat. I was going below deck and the door leading into the cabin came down, wallop, on my head and knocked me out.
The star performing at Reading Festival in 1988
“I was taken to hospital with mild concussion and had to go for a brain scan just to make sure everything was OK… and it was more than OK!
“The consultant sat with me and pointed to a slice of my brain on the screen. He said, ‘This part here is very good news. If there was any white dots on this particular slice there would be signs of Alzheimer’s’. But he said, ‘You have absolutely nothing. You have the brain of a 45-year-old’. I was thrilled to bits. I hope I’ll be going for another 30 years now!”
Bonnie says she is also concerned about losing her voice. She has twice had surgery to remove nodules from her vocal chords.
“I thought my career was over,” she admits. “You are not supposed to talk for six weeks but I’m a bit of a chatterbox so I couldn’t stop.
“One day I screamed out of frustration. When I went back to the specialist he said I had damaged my voice and it would take six months to recover.
“Eventually I did get my voice back. I went into the studio for the first time and started singing and the band said, ‘Oh my god, your voice has changed – but it sounds great’.
“My voice was huskier than before and had more of an edge.
The British pop singer in 1984
“It turned out losing my voice wasn’t such a bad thing because I had my first hit in America with my new Husky voice – It’s A Heartache – and went on to have a huge smash with Total Eclipse Of The Heart, followed by Holding Out For A Hero.
“I have a fabulous voice coach called James Windsor in London that I have been using for years.
“I phone him before every show, from anywhere in the world, even if I’m in Australia. And we do vocal exercises over the phone.”
This year Bonnie – who was discovered by an RCA record executive while doing a regular gig at a nightclub in 1975 – celebrates her 52nd year performing.
She is about to release her new album The Best Is Yet To Come, consisting of 12 new tracks.
It is the follow-up to her successful studio album Between The Earth And The Stars which featured the likes of Rod Stewart, Barry Gibb, Cliff Richard and Francis Rossi.
“I’ve been so anxious to sing for the past 12 long and scary months,” she admits. “I realise many of my fans have suffered with the virus and lost family and friends – my heart aches for them.
Bonnie is about to release her new album
“Music has always been my personal retreat and lifted my spirits. I hope these new songs will do that.
“The moment I can get back on stage and see my fans’ faces will be extra special. The best is yet to come.”
In 2019 she played to 40,000 fans in Portugal, with Cliff Richard joining her on stage. She was even invited to the Vatican that Christmas to sing Total Eclipse Of The Heart for the Pope, an experience she “will never forget”.
Now she admits she cannot wait to perform again.
“The last show I did was in March last year,” she says. “I was at the O2 and Eric Clapton, Van Morrison, Sir Tom Jones and Mike Rutherford were on the show. It was wonderful.
“Then I flew to Portugal, the lockdown happened and I’ve been here ever since. But in that time, I’ve learned to swim and cook, which my husband is pleased about. I really miss my house in Mumbles.
“Once this is all over I’ll never take anything for granted. When I’ve had the vaccination it is going to be wonderful.”