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Forward . . .

Marcia Barrett

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Popular music, easy listening, Autobiography: arts & entertainment, Memoirs, Prose: non-fiction

Marcia Barrett's memoir is much more than just a pop star autobiography - it is a charming, candid, laugh-out-loud story of survival, triumph, indomitable spirit and sheer force of will.

Coming to London aged thirteen from desperate poverty in Jamaica; pregnant at fifteen after being abused by a family friend; fifteen years later singing in Boney M, one of the biggest international groups of the late-1970s; a messy group split and millions in unpaid royalties during the 1980s; a 1990s solo career interrupted by six bouts of cancer - ovarian, breast, lymph node (twice), spine and oesophagus - and having to learn to walk again.

Yet throughout Marcia Barrett has remained totally cheerful, relentlessly optimistic and a shining inspiration, looking on every obstacle as a mere inconvenience rather than anything insurmountable. Now, she is ready to tell her fantastic story, which is much more than just a pop star autobiography.

It is a charming, candid, laugh-out-loud story of survival, triumph, indomitable spirit and total upfullness, often driven by sheer force of will. It is also that very rare thing in British publishing, a feelgood story for black women that has real significance among the UK's African-Caribbean population - there are very few middle-aged black women in this country (a keen book-buying demographic) who didn't, as youngsters, have hairbraiding copied from Marcia Barrett. But of course it has a mainstream audience too: the battles against cancer are relevant to all women, as is much of her early personal life and balancing looking after her mother and son with life on the road in Boney M.

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Marcia Barrett

Marcia Barrett, now relocated to Berlin, is still making music and touring both as a solo artist and as Boney M.

Lloyd Bradley is one of the UK's leading experts on modern black music from Great Britain and Jamaica. He has written extensively on health and fitness and is an accomplished speaker, lecturer and broadcaster.