From a foster home to finding fame as a member of pop group Atomic Kitten, Kerry Katona feels her journey in life has been amazing. The English singer contends that girls have to work harder to be successful, and says things would have been a bit easier if she "had a penis".
"From being a child from a foster home and then all this fame hitting you, it was amazing. The build-up, or the climb up the ladder, was really good. But believe it or not, the fame... I didn't enjoy it at all. I just wanted a moment, so I left (but then) got married to somebody else who was really famous. The fame just kind of followed me," Katona told IANS in an India exclusive video interview.
She seemed to be referring to her marriage to Brian McFadden of boy band Westlife.
From Spice Girls to Destiny's Child and The Pussycat Dolls, there was a time when all-female bands struck the right chord and were caught in the spiral of fame. But not many girl bands are seen of late.
To this, Katona said: "If I had a penis, if I was a man, it would have been completely different. First time, with Kittens, it was so much harder to reach the height of fame and be liked -- because we weren't males. If we were males, then it wouldn't have been a problem.
"All we had to do is stand up with a chest," she said, pumping up her chest.
"That was with Westlife. I remember watching them. It is a completely different world ... It is different for boys and girls. Girls have to work harder."
Katona, who hails from Warrington, took her first step towards attaining global popularity by joining girl group Atomic Kitten in the late 1990s. Their debut single "Right now", which came out in 1999, was big a success, and they followed it up with "See ya" in 2000. Other popular singles are "Cradle", "I want your love" and "Follow me".
She left the band in 2001 and went on to win reality TV show "I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out of Here" in 2004, and then rejoined the group in 2012.
Katona performed in India for the first time in October at Dublin Square, Phoenix Marketcity, in Mumbai and at a venue in Bengaluru, with Liberty X's Michelle Heaton and Zoe Birkett.
Apart from her professional life, Katona is also known to grab headlines for her financial woes and personal outbursts.
Katona says one has to be "thick-skinned" to handle everything that comes with being famous.
"Take it all as long as my kids know me... That is all that matters," said the mother of five.
Katona was excited about her first trip to India, and is open for an Indian collaboration.
"I would love to wear all the Indian clothes and show some moves," she added while showing off some "desi" hand and shoulder steps.
Talking about her India trip, she said: "They told me not to drink the water and don't eat meat (in India). But I had loads of meat and loads of water and I am all right."
(Sugandha Rawal can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
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