Honey G, Unmasked by Anna Gilford is a gripping and unabridged journey through the life of both the person and the stage persona. Anna has previously been particularly guarded about her life and how the reality of her upbringing and experiences links to the reality of being Honey G as a performer. Now Anna is unmasking the truth behind the music, the performances, and the act itself taking the reader on a journey spanning 40 years.
The ongoing mystery has always been centred around two key questions, Who is Honey G? and Is she actually real?
Whether you loved her or you loathed her, you certainly couldn’t avoid her. Her unconventional music style had large parts of the world questioning her talent as well as her credentials. Whilst many fiercely defended her vibrant performances and unique upbeat approach, there were also many that publicly denounced her as a novelty act. Honey G divided opinions across the world in a way that no other act had done so before, or indeed has done subsequently.
Anna’s autobiography starts with her heading north to Manchester where she begins university and becomes a talented DJ. Here, we learn how she got given her stage name, Honey G, and where her famous strap line chant was first inspired. As her popularity grows, she experiences her first sexual connections with women and realises that she is, in fact, gay. A serious sexual assault changes everything for Anna and, with her life on hold, we stay with her through an emotional rollercoaster including recovery and severe PTSD. Anna returns to producing music when her attacker is jailed, and she also tries her hand at other career paths including sound engineering and recruitment. It was the death of her Grandmother that sparked a huge change and a return to performing. Anna ramps up her song writing and producing from her small rented flat in ‘North Weezy.’ The stage name remains, and by the time her first X Factor audition comes around, she feels she has nothing to lose.
As Honey G progresses through the competition, we learn the truth behind the image and explore the facts behind the much-publicised fiction as Honey G develops both musically and personally through the process. We learn how the act evolves over time, and how Anna loses herself more and more to Honey G as she opens up about managing the attention, the media, the love, and the hate. We are taken into the heart of the person and the performer, welcomed into a world of extreme highs and massive lows, we learn about the true value of fame, what a star like her gets rewarded financially, and the real cost of being a major controversial public figure. For the first time, Honey G will answer her most scathing of critics and respond to many of the key questions people have had about her act at the time. We hear about the tears and the tantrums, and managing all the pressure with an ongoing mental illness. She talks about who helped her along the way, and those who held her back. We get first-hand insight into the world of The X Factor.
Anna is truthful about how difficult it gets to manage two personalities, about the excitement of her first song secured with Simon Cowell’s record label, SYCO, but we also find out about what happened after The X Factor tour had ended, about who and where she is now, and the struggles and the impact on her life of being in the public eye, and how she feels about Honey G now five years after she exploded onto our screens.
Throughout this tell all account, Anna is open about her sexuality and how the relationships she has had have shaped her. She talks about how difficult it was to know whether women like her for Anna, or whether it was Honey G they were interested in. She opens up about a long struggle with her weight, being diagnosed with diabetes, and shares with us the secrets behind her incredible weight loss during lockdown, as well as her ways of managing her ongoing mental health condition. She talks about her current new image and thoughts for the future as well as being very open about her current favourite subject: love.
One thing we will learn, is that Honey G very much existed both separately and as a part of Anna Gilford. The reader will be left in no doubt about both the joys and the struggles of being two people; one coming alive onstage and the other quietly reading a book in the corner. There is one inevitable truth that runs through this book, and that is that both Anna and Honey G, in very different ways were and still are both the realest chicks in the game.