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Rowetta Satchell
Also known as Rowetta
Born 5 January 1966 (1966-01-05) (age 44)
Origin Manchester, UK
Occupations Singer
Years active 1987 – present
Labels Syco

Rowetta Satchell, simply known as Rowetta (born 5 January 1966 in Manchester, England) is an English singer, best known for singing with UK band Happy Mondays and for her appearance on series 1 of The X Factor and was the last female in the competition. Rowetta is also the secret voice behind The Black Eyed Peas hit, Boom Boom Pow


Early years

Rowetta was born to a Jewish mother and a Nigerian father, politician George Idah, who left the family when she was three. Eventually she realised her singing ability after winning a talent competition at the age of ten. She attended Bury Grammar School, and after completing her secondary education worked as a professional club singer. In 1987, Rowetta released two singles with the Vanilla Sound Corp. Prior to this, she had worked as a backing singer on numerous albums, including Simply Red's album Stars. She also lent her voice to Inner City songs.[1] During this time, she released two songs: "Back Where We Belong" and "Passion". In 1988 she collaborated with Dynasty of 2 on the single "Stop This Thing". Rowetta is the voice on the renowned 1989 track "Reach Out" with Sweet Mercy. The track has been sampled by many, including Laidback Luke, Steve Angello and Todd Terry, and was remixed and re-released in 2008.


Happy Mondays

In 1990 Rowetta joined The Happy Mondays as a backing singer. She featured on their single "Step On" which charted at number 5. This was followed by two albums, Pills 'n' Thrills and Bellyaches and Yes Please!, and three world tours. The group split and reformed a few times, but finally called it a day in 2000. After the breakup of The Happy Mondays, she did not return to the music business immediately, although she did play herself in the Michael Winterbottom film 24 Hour Party People, which focused on the band's years of pop glory.[2] Rowetta also provided the vocals for the track "Hey Mr DJ" by Open Arms. Indeed, the sleeve cover shows "Open Arms feat Rowetta".

X Factor

Rowetta re-entered the spotlight in 2004 when she auditioned for a place in the finals of The X Factor. After impressing the judges with her rendition of Lady Marmalade, she was placed in the over-25 category, which was mentored by Simon Cowell, who described her as "barking mad". Fellow judge Louis Walsh was unimpressed, and decided she was "dreadful". Nevertheless, her soulful, powerful voice proved to be a hit with audiences, although she was critizied for competing as a established singer against amateurs. The producers defended her, stating that the show was open to anybody.[2] Rowetta was also known for her outbusts on stage (In the middle of one performance, she shouted to the astonished crowd, "Just tell me I can sing!").[3] Her performances on the show earned her rave reviews, but she was voted out in week eight. The show was eventually won by Steve.

In 2009, Rowetta told The Sun that alcoholism had affected her chances of winning The X Factor, and most of her performances had been drink-fuelled. [4]

Post X Factor

In 2005, Rowetta released an album on Gut Records. In November 2005 and 2006, She appeared on the BBC's Children in Need appeal, singing live with the BBC Orchestra in 2005, and on Celebrity Scissorhands in 2006.

In 2006, Rowetta had a cameo as herself in Footballer's Wives:Extra Time.[5] A year later, she made her musical theatre debut at The Palace Theatre, Manchester in The Best Of Broadway, alongside Suranne Jones, and appeared at the indigO2 with Marti Webb, Stephen Gately and Maria Freidman in Christmas on Broadway. Rowetta also spent August 2007 presenting the show The Terry & Ro Show on Gaydio with Terry Longden [6], and also became the voice behind the jingles on community station Salford City Radio. In addition, she toured Japan, where she has a huge fanbase.[7]

At the start of 2008, Rowetta starred in The Songs Of Sister Act tour with Sheila Ferguson and the London Community Gospel Choir. According to a 2008 BBC 6 Music interview with Peter Hook, Rowetta recorded vocals for a track on the debut album by his new band Freebass.[8] A new version of "Reach Out" featuring Rowetta and mixed by Mobin Master spent Christmas 2008 and the first part of 2009 at number 1 in the Beatport Charts.

Rowetta toured the UK with the London Community Gospel Choir in a new version of The Songs Of Sister Act from April to June 2009.[9]

Rowetta has been revealed as the secret voice on the Black Eyed Peas huge global hit Boom Boom Pow

The Black Eyed Peas sampled Rowetta's vocal from Reach Out feat Rowetta by Sweet Mercy

Personal life

During her time on The X Factor, it was revealed that Rowetta had been a victim of domestic violence in the hands of her ex-husband Noel Satchell, who she had married at the age of eighteen.[10] In an interview with The Sun, Satchell, a former drug dealer, sold his story to the tabloids and claimed he had beaten her with electric cords and hammers, and tried to strangle her.[11][12] Rowetta, who had two children with her ex-husband, fled the marriage in 1987 to hide in a refuge home, and the couple later divorced. In the 1990s, she was in a relationship with Happy Mondays bandmate Shaun Ryder, who also physically abused her. Rowetta has since become a spokesperson for domestic violence, and in 2005 featured in the BBC documentary Battered and Bruised.

In 2008, after admitting that she was an alcoholic, she participated in the reality show Rehab on Living TV.[13]



  • Released: 3 October 2005
  • Peak chart positions:
    • #89 U.K.
  • U.K. sales: 10,000+
  • BPI certification: N/A


External links


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