‘Grief is stopping me from singing’

Written By komlim puldel on Minggu, 07 Desember 2014 | 20.01

Natalie Bassingthwaighte, one of the many Australian singers featured on a new charity recording raising money for two children with Sanfilippo Syndrome. Natalie in Brighton. Picture: Brendan Francis. Source: News Corp Australia

NATALIE Bassingthwaighte has revealed the shock death of her manager has stalled her music career.

For most of the year the popular X Factor judge had been working on her first new songs since 2011 with long-term mentor and manager Mark Byrne at her side.

Byrne suddenly died in September after a heart attack.

"I was due to go into the studio the day he passed," Bassingthwaighte said. "Since he passed I just haven't been able to sing. I just couldn't go there. He was my life."

`He was my life' ... Bassingthwaighte with Byrne. Source: Facebook

Bassingthwaighte was lured back into the studio two weeks ago to sing on charity single This Woman's Work, raising money for Sydney children Isla and Jude, both siblings suffering from the rare and fatal Sanfilippo Syndrome.

"When this came up I said yes and I had a beautiful time recording it, because it's not about me, it's about someone else, it's a gift for someone else," she said. "I had a lot of fun that day, I felt very free. But then after that I felt stuck again, I haven't felt good about it.

SAD LOSS: Nat Bass' tribute to manager and friend Mark Byrne

"It has been a long time since I've released anything, going back to 2011. For ages after I had my kids I didn't want to do anything. Then I got the mojo back at the start of this year, I was getting back into music.

"But then with everything that's happened I'm taking a step back to reassess. It's not like I won't do music again. When you're a singer it's always there, but it has to be the right thing at the right time. I don't want to do a track that's not me."

Bassingthwaighte has recently signed to powerful agents RGM, making her a stable mate with the likes of Cate Blanchett and Rose Byrne.

"It took me a while," she admitted. "At first it was really hard to talk to anyone. But they've been very proactive, especially with acting, so watch this space. There's a few things on the table — music, acting. I'm always thinking of the next thing, you have to always know you're replaceable, you just do a good job and keep moving forward."

Bassingthwaighte politely declined an offer to reprise her role of bad-girl Izzy Hoyland on Neighbours for the show's 30th anniversary next year.

Losing her voice ... Natalie Bassingthwaighte says she's been unable to restart her singing career after the sudden death of her manager Mark Byrne. Picture: Brendan Francis. Source: News Corp Australia

She played the home-wrecking schemer from 2003 to 2006, leaving the show after becoming pregnant to Dr Karl Kennedy.

"My good friends are still on the show, I did want to go back to see them and for nostalgic reasons, but the timing wasn't right. It would have been fun.

"I've done the documentary though. Neighbours was a massive part of my life. I'd done musical theatre before the show but that is what made me known across the country, getting yelled and abused at for Izzy's behaviour!"

Bassingthwaighte said her mate and fellow judge Dannii Minogue helped her continue to work on X Factor during her grief.

"Dannii would mentor me, the way Mark would have had he been there. She'd say 'Come on you can do this' and I needed that. I knew I'd probably fall into a hole if I didn't keep working and I knew that wouldn't be great for my husband or my kids.

"The show never pressured me once and I appreciated that so much. There were days I didn't even know if I could do it, but I did and it was really difficult but I had all the love and support in the world."

Home wrecker ... Stefan Dennis and Natalie Bassingthwaighte as the villainous Izzy in Neighbours Source: News Corp Australia

The star is unsure if she'll be on the Channel 7 show's judging panel next year, with rumours Redfoo and Ronan Keating won't return.

"We don't find out until February or March. We're used to waiting to know if we have a job, but I've got a few things I have to decide on which would potentially mean I couldn't do X Factor.

"But I love the show. At some point you have to say 'OK, that's enough' but I'd definitely be up for it next year, I don't feel like I've run out of steam yet."

Bassingthwaighte still hasn't listened to judge Redfoo's controversial Literally I Can't song, containing unpleasant lyrics which have led to some to call for the American to be sacked from the G-rated TV show.

Future uncertain ... Bassingthwaighte, with her fellow X Factor judges Redfoo, Dannii Minogue and Ronan Keating, isn't sure the show will back next year. Picture: Ian Currie. Source: News Corp Australia

"When he's on stage he's wild, but backstage he's a quiet guy. It's not like we all hung out that much this season.''

The singer also touched on her on-screen screaming, which became a hot Twitter topic this year.

"If people out there thought it was loud imagine being Dannii or Ronan or me. It hurts my ears too. I get too excited. Anyone who knows me knows that's me. I know it's annoying. I annoy myself. Sorry!"


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