Máire Siobhan Deirdre Fahey is an Irish musician and a founding member of the 1980s British girl group Bananarama. She later formed the BRIT Award and Ivor Novello award winning musical act Shakespears Sister. Her vocal range is a light contralto.
Fahey was born the eldest of three daughters. Her siblings are Máire and Niamh. Her parents Helen and Joseph Fahey both came from County Tipperary, Ireland. Fahey lived in Dublin for about two years, before her family moved to Yorkshire, England, where her father Joseph was posted as a soldier in the British Army. Her family subsequently moved to Germany, then returned to the United Kingdom, where Siobhan was sent to a convent school in Edinburgh, Scotland and attended schools in Stroud, Gloucester and Kent in southern England. When she was fourteen, she and her family moved to Harpenden, and two years later, she left home for London and became involved in the punk scene of the late 1970s.
While in London, Fahey took a course in fashion journalism where she met Sara Dallin and Keren Woodward and joined their fledgling group, Bananarama. With the help of Sex Pistol Paul Cook, the trio recorded their first demo. Bananarama then worked with the male vocal trio Fun Boy Three, releasing two Top Five singles with them in early 1982, before having their own Top Five hit with "Shy Boy" later that year. Fahey, along with Dallin and Woodward, co-wrote many of the group's hits, including "Cruel Summer", "Robert De Niro's Waiting...", "I Heard a Rumour", and "Love in the First Degree".
Shakespears Sister (1988-1996):
In 1988, frustrated with the direction she felt Bananarama were heading, Fahey left the group and formed Shakespears Sister. Initially, Fahey effectively was Shakespears Sister, though American singer/songwriter Marcella Detroit later became an official member making the outfit a duo. The band was nominated for numerous awards and showed a darker, more sophisticated side to Fahey, who often appeared in the band's music videos and on-stage as a vampish glam figure. After two successful albums, tensions began to rise between Fahey and Detroit and they split up in 1993. That year, Fahey admitted herself into a psychiatric unit with severe depression.
In 1996, Fahey continued as Shakespears Sister by herself and released the single "I Can Drive". Intended as the first single from Shakespears Sister's third album, and her first record since her split with Marcella Detroit, the single performed disappointingly (UK number 30) which prompted London Records not to release the album. Following this, Fahey left the label and after a lengthy battle, she finally obtained the rights to release the album (entitled #3) independently through her own website in 2005.
Recent years (since 1997):
In 1997, Fahey appeared opposite Martin Dunne in the Irish short film Pinned. She also briefly re-joined Bananarama in 1998 to record "Waterloo" for the Channel 4 Eurovision special A Song for Eurotrash. Fahey reteamed with Bananarama again in 2002 for a "last ever" reunion at the band's 20th anniversary concert at G-A-Y in London. The trio performed "Venus" and "Waterloo".
Fahey continued to make music into the new millennium. She had an active website from 2002 until July 2007. In 2005, Fahey independently released The MGA Sessions, an album recorded with frequent collaborator Sophie Muller in the mid-1990s. The music was recorded for a film which ultimately was never made. Only 1000 copies of this release were pressed. Fahey's most recent single (under her own name), "Bad Blood", was released on 17 October 2005. In 2006, Fahey's website stated that she had been writing for other people; these include (former Sugababe) Siobhán Donaghy and Kylie Minogue, though neither of these endeavours made it to the final cut.
Fahey's track "Bitter Pill" was partially covered by pop band The Pussycat Dolls in their 2005 debut album PCD. The verses (which were slightly altered) and the overall sound of the song are from "Bitter Pill", but added in was the chorus of Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff". The song was renamed "Hot Stuff (I Want You Back)" and a remix was included as a b-side to their hit single "Beep".
On 13 November 2008, Fahey performed at the Pirate Provocateur Extravaganza launch party for the new Agent Provocateur winter collection, and for the release of Dirty Stop Out's new album Cuntro Classics at KOKO in London.
In 2008, Fahey appeared in the Chris Ward-written and directed short film What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor (based on the life of artist/model Nina Hamnett, self-styled "Queen of Bohemia"), with Fahey playing the role of Hamnett opposite actor Clive Arrindel, Donny Tourette (frontman with punk band Towers of London) and Honey Bane (former vocalist of the punk band Fatal Microbes).
In 2009, Fahey decided to resurrect the Shakespears Sister name and released a new album. Entitled Songs from the Red Room, it was released on her own record label, SF Records and included various singles she'd released under her own name in recent years. Fahey performed her first live show in almost 15 years as Shakespears Sister in Hoxton, London on 20 November 2009.
Fahey married Dave Stewart of Eurythmics in 1987 but divorced in 1996. The couple have two sons, Sam (born 1987) and Django James (born 1991). The two brothers formed a musical band called Nightmare & The Cat. As an infant, Sam Stewart appeared in early Shakespears Sister videos for "Heroine" and "You're History". Django Stewart is also an actor.
Prior to her marriage to Stewart, Fahey was romantically involved with Jim Reilly, the drummer for the Northern Irish punk rock band Stiff Little Fingers and Scottish singer Bobby Bluebell of The Bluebells, with whom she co-wrote the UK #1 pop song "Young At Heart".