Louise Redknapp has decided to withdraw from an upcoming reunion tour with her former bandmates from Eternal due to allegations surrounding two members’ refusal to perform at LGBTQ+ festivals and Pride events.
The iconic girl group, known for their 1990s hits “Stay” and “Just A Step From Heaven,” had plans to reunite next year. However, sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett reportedly declined to participate in certain tour dates, citing objections related to transgender issues.
Both Louise Redknapp and the fourth band member, Kéllé Bryan, made the difficult decision to step away from the reunion as a result of this controversy.
Simon Jones, Redknapp’s publicist, confirmed this development with a statement provided to the BBC. He explained, “A message was sent to the team organizing the Eternal reunion, stating that if it were to proceed, Vernie and Easther would not perform at Pride shows or LGBTQ+ festivals. Their stance was rooted in concerns that the transgender community was overshadowing the gay community, a view that Louise and Kéllé could not support. Consequently, the four-member reunion will not proceed.”
Jones also emphasized that the team responsible for planning the reunion, including management, PR, and tour promoters, is composed of LGBTQ+ individuals who cannot collaborate with artists holding such views about the transgender community.
The BBC reached out to Easther and Vernie Bennett for their response to these allegations.
Reports of this disagreement first surfaced in the Mirror on a Saturday. Shortly thereafter, Louise Redknapp shared an image of the Progress Pride flag on her social media platforms, accompanied by the caption “Always and Forever,” a nod to Eternal’s first album.
The quartet originally formed in 1992 and achieved instant success with their debut single, “Stay,” a year later. “Always and Forever” became the first album by a girl group to surpass one million copies in sales in the UK. The band subsequently earned 14 top 15 UK hits and released four top 10 albums.
Louise Redknapp left the group in 1995 to pursue a solo career. Had the reunion taken place in 2024, it would have marked the first time the original lineup had performed together since her departure.
As recently as last week, the 48-year-old singer expressed her support for her former bandmates on social media. Celebrating the 30th anniversary of “Stay,” she shared an early photograph of the quartet and reminisced about their journey, concluding with gratitude for their dedicated fans who have supported them over the past three decades.