This lady has come through a lot over the years
The singer – who caused controversy when she couldn’t perform again due to injury, meaning the result was based on the public vote and she was allowed to stay in the competition – has faced a heartbreaking succession of events over the years, from relationship troubles to gruelling health battles.
Here is the sad story of what Anastacia, 48, has been through…
Her father leaving
Anastacia was just three when her dad Robert Newkirk left her mother, leaving her alone to raise the singer and her siblings Shawn and Brian. The sad experience led Anastacia to write powerful tune Left Outside Alone, and she admits that she had little contact with Robert before he passed away.
’He was a manic depressive,’ the singer told The Scotsman in 2008. ‘The last time I contacted him I was in my early teens. I had all these unanswered questions in my heart.
‘In a way, once I got cancer and you wonder about whether you are going to be living or not living, I wrote that song.
‘I had a hard time singing it on tour knowing that the questions were never going to be answered, but in a way, when he passed, although I felt saddened, I felt enlightened. I could love him again. I can talk about him.’
As well as the sadness of her dad leaving, Anastacia experienced further difficulties when growing up. The star began suffering from Crohn’s disease as a teenager, which left her bloated and on drugs to treat it.
She even had her small intestine taken out at 13, something that left her wheelchair-bound.
‘They had cut right through my stomach muscles and I was in a wheelchair for a while because I had no core muscles to support my weight,’ she revealed to The Mail On Sunday in 2009. ‘I was very angry about that scar for a very long time.
‘I thought my life was over. No guy would ever look at me and see me as pretty, or want to touch me or love me.’
Eventually the American star learned to love her scar and happily started wearing midriff-bearing tops in her 20s.
In 2007 Anastacia married her bodyguard Wayne Newton but sadly their wedded bliss didn’t last long as they divorced in 2010. Like the trauma of her dad leaving, this experience led the singer to write a song about her heartache.
Speaking about the tune Pendulum in 2014, she explained: ‘It’s totally about the loss of my marriage, but it’s a beautiful song. I think I lost a bit of myself for a while. My career got so busy I’d be thinking: “Who the hell I am?”
‘I used to believe in happy-ever-afters. Now, I have a bit more of a realistic approach… If I still believed in happy-ever-after the way I used to, I wouldn’t have been able to write this album.’
Further health problems hit Anastacia in 2008 when she learned she had supraventricular tachycardia, a heart condition which causes varied and rapid heartbeats. Rather than treat this with an operation, the star has chosen to use medication.
‘The doctors say it’s a weakness triggered by stress,’ she told Hello! in 2008. ‘I’ll be sitting chatting and suddenly my heart will beat like I’m running a marathon. I’ve fainted backstage because I can’t get rid of the palpitations.
‘They can fix it by putting two electrodes into my heart and shocking it, but I don’t want more surgery right now, so I’m on medication. The side effect is fatigue.’
Anastacia faced a battle with breast cancer when she was still in her early 30s. The disease was discovered in 2003 when she had gone into hospital to have a breast reduction and she then had a lumpectomy and radiotherapy to successfully treat it.
Sadly the singer faced a second battle with breast cancer when she was diagnosed again in 2013. This time she elected to have a double mastectomy and admits this was incredibly tough both physically and mentally.
‘That was a difficult time, not least because it felt like I was losing part of my femininity,’ she tells the Daily Mail. ‘But hardships are what shape a person and I was determined to remain as strong as I could.
‘The operation involved taking a muscle from my back to use as part of the breast reconstruction. It took a year to recover and even now there are certain moves I can’t make when I’m dancing on Strictly because of the impact it has on my back – as anyone who’s watched me will know!’
Anastacia announced when she joined the Strictly line-up that she’d be donating her fee to Cancer Research UK and aims to raise as much money as possible for the cause.
Throughout all of this heartbreak, the singer has understandably been praised for her strength and courage. Yet she admitted to the Metro in 2014 that she struggles just like anyone else would.
‘I’m just as fragile and broken as anyone else at times,’ she said. ‘We all have to get through our stuff as best we can.
‘Some of us have strong armour, some of us don’t. Sometimes my armour has been very strong and sometimes it’s been very fragile.’