Belinda Carlisle talks self-love, marital love and ‘Big Big Love’ at age 64: ‘With sobriety came the belief that this is really what I’m meant to be in life’

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Belinda Carlisle, then and now. (Illustration: Alex Cochran / Photos: , Nick Spanos)

“I think at this point in my life, at 64, that's what I'm doing. I'm good at what I do and I'm enjoying it.”

Belinda Carlisle, who sang “Mad About You,” “Heaven Is a Place on Earth,” and “I Get Week,” talks with Yahoo Entertainment ahead of her release destiny EP, his first collection of English language studio recordings in 27 years. The record reunites her with superstar songwriter Diane Warren, who wrote “I Get Wake” for Carlisle 35 years ago, and the magic between them is clearly still there: The lead single, “Big Big Love,” just went to number 1 on UK's BBC Radio 2Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus and beyond in songs from 1975.

Carlisle admitted that she hesitated to “open that door”, as she “didn't really feel called to record new music”. “You know, most of the great pop songs go to the ones that are charting — Small Those who are charting. I just thought, no one will give me the song. oh they can sing a song but it won't be a song Great Pop song with what I've recorded. But because “you don't tell Diane,” Carlisle agreed to visit Warren's RealSong headquarters in Hollywood, and she was “completely blown away by what he played me. So I said, ‘Okay. Let's go!' … Obviously, I wasn't meant to be semi-retired.

Interestingly, Carlisle acknowledged that while working destinyHe “had the confidence this time that I didn't have heaven on earth album” – the 1987 breakthrough singles sophomore LP that included “I Get Week” and another Warren composition, “World Without You”. starting out without a “security blanket” and “took a few years to find her way as a solo artist”—that Carlisle built herself up as a glamorous, classic Hollywood talent. (She was signed to a major film studio An Old Hollywood-type acting contract was even offered, until a screen test with director Randa Haines proved disastrous.) But after years of harsh press her appearance, especially her body, Carlisle's Focused on self-esteem. Took a hit.

Carlisle recalls, “It was always mentioned in the early go-go articles how much I actually weighed.” “It was like, ‘She's pretty and plump. She's sweet and chubby. She's backstage hitting the deli tray.' I never really thought about my looks, but the media did at the time. … People kind of accepted that it was okay, and it really was. Not there OK when you're in your early twenties. It was very hurtful to me – I mean, Very Harmful. … And then, when I left the band and I cleaned up my act a little bit, I was becoming a young woman, so all of a sudden He became the focus. It messes with your head. And then of course, MTV put a lot more emphasis on looks than actual music in those early days. It wasn't , but I got used to it. It's something I had to live with until, I don't know, maybe 15 or 20 years ago. My name and my form are always synonymous.

Carlisle, who struggled not only with an eating disorder but also with alcohol and cocaine addiction for most of her adult life, admits that her body issues were “part of the reason that before every show, I always used to get 18 years ago when she finally got sober (“It took a while; I performed well!”), she worried about “Will I be able to handle all the things I've had to go through, like focus on appearance, focus on my voice, will I be able to go on stage again without that kind of crutch. but i found it was the way Easy, I think with patience came the confidence that this is really what I want to do in life.”

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Carlisle recalls a “spiritual rock-bottom” moment of 2005 when, at age 47, he decided to give up alcohol and drugs for good. “I was really, really sick and tired,” she said. “I was getting ready to go out one night; It was the beginning of like a three or four day bender. And I just looked at myself and I just thought, ‘Eve, It was like, there's nobody at home. I knew it was a wakeup call in a way, because I already had some friends in my life who'd lost that light to drugs, and I'd lost that kind of inner light. I was filled with shame and guilt. So, I just said, ‘I'm done. i am doing now Complete, I've done this for a very long time, and now I'm done.' And in fact, once I decided to actually do it — the way you're supposed to do it, the 12-step program — it was easy enough for me. I'm lucky, very lucky.”

Belinda Carlisle and Morgan Mason on a date in 1985.  (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / The Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Belinda Carlisle and Morgan Mason on a date in 1985. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / The Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Carlisle is fortunate that her marriage to political operative and film producer Morgan Mason, now entering its 38th year, survived, as she reveals that at one point before she came clean, “I wanted to spend time with my family.” Was on the verge of losing. Instead, she and Mason (son of actors James and Pamela Mason) have had one of the longest-lasting marriages in show business. “He was on the verge of being eliminated, because there really was and I was a handful. But he stuck around, because he always saw that person,” Carlisle says. “He was still hoping That person will emerge again. He is a grown and he has endured a lot with me. I'm glad we stuck it out, because if I had moved on, I'm not sure he'd be around like he is now. But I was committed to sobriety.

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Carlisle's real-life “Big Big Love” story with Mason began when they met at a Beverly Hills party at the urging of radio DJ Rodney Bingenheimer, who told Carlisle, “Here's the guy you want to meet. He's White.” Works at House and is James Mason's son and has been out with Joan Collins.' And I went, ‘I can't go out with someone who went out with Joan Collins! I probably won't get along with her! It's too much glamor for me!'” When Carlisle reluctantly appeared, she says that Morgan “wasn't very nice to me. … I asked him for a cigarette and he went, ‘Oh, Here

Belinda Carlisle and Morgan Mason in 1993.  (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / The Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Belinda Carlisle and Morgan Mason in 1993. (Photo: Ron Galella, Ltd. / The Ron Galella Collection via Getty Images)

Carlisle admits that “everyone thought it was crazy” when she and Mason “moved in together after the first date – nobody thought it would last because of our backgrounds.” (Mason worked for Ronald Reagan's presidential campaign in 1980, for which Carlisle criticized him at the time.) “He's from Beverly Hills, and I grew up in the valley, lower middle class. But it works. … And it's better than never, by the way, which is really weird.” So, what's the secret to their enduring, opposite-sides union? “We Like To each other!” Carlisle replies. “He makes me laugh. I don't just love her; I Like His. He's really funny. And I think quite the opposite. We're just constantly entertaining each other. But we always talk about how if we had stayed in LA or Hollywood, we might not be together. We left in 1994, when we moved to France. … Most of the people I know — actually, all of them — who stayed in LA, because most people have to, their marriages didn't last. So, I think that's part of it.

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Relocating to the French countryside turned out to be a life-changing and ultimately life-saving decision for the troubled singer. “I threw myself into my French album [2007's Voila], which really kept me calm,” she says, and that's “when I got over my food issues and my weight issues a lot. it's not about the absence [in France], It's about celebration. And I really responded to that, because I was depriving myself in so many ways, really, when I was working on the hamster wheel, as I call it. So, when I got there, it was like, ‘Wow, eating is not a bad thing, and everything is fine in moderation.' It ended up being a really healthy lifestyle where I didn't feel like I had to deprive myself and then I'd binge later. There was nothing that was forbidden. We were there for 24 years, and the French can be difficult, as we all know, but the way they live and the way they celebrate life is certainly something to aspire to.

Diane Warren and Belinda Carlisle at the 'Kismet' record release party, April 2023.  (Photo: Joe Poindexter)

Diane Warren and Belinda Carlisle at the ‘Kismet' record release party, April 2023. (Photo: Joe Poindexter)

Carlisle, who has since lived with Mason in Thailand and Mexico when she's not touring with the reunited Go-Go's, certainly has a life to aspire to, and a life to celebrate. There is a lot to do. with him destiny Return, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted the Go-Go's' long overdue, “-Circle”; Carlisle's all-star collaboration with fellow veterans Dolly Parton, Cyndi Lauper, Gloria Estefan and Debbie Harry on the Warren-penned 80 for Brady soundtrack single “Gonna Be You”; and now a miniseries is being developed based on Carlisle's 2010 autobiography, lips open, (“my first choice [to play me] Maybe Florence Pugh, who I think is amazing. She looks just like I did in my punk days,” says Carlisle.) And now that Carlisle is having a hit again after a nearly three-decade pop hiatus, a destiny Follow-up may be forthcoming soon.

“I'm not going to close the door on that,” Carlisle says of future solo music. “I really had a good time [making Kismet], and it's great to be able to do these projects and not get attached and just have fun with it. And I mean, it's a hit in the UK, and that's gravy. But even if nothing happened, it would still be great.

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