It’s official – 25 years after the iconic noughties band formed and eight years after they last toured, S Club 7 are reuniting and getting back on the road!
And singer Rachel Stevens is said to be taking the opportunity to "reinvent herself" after a turbulent few years in the spotlight.
A source close to the 44-year-old – who called time on her 12-year marriage to Alex Bourne last year and recently made the tough decision to leave their North London family home – told OK! she sees the reunion as opening a "new chapter" in her life.
"She had a tough time following the breakdown of her marriage and has been focusing on being a mum, so she’s excited to be going back to music," they claimed. "This will give her a purpose. She needs something to focus on to keep herself busy.
"She’s missed performing and this is her time to shine. She’s wanted this for a while. She wants to get back, reinvent herself and remember who she is."
Rachel and childhood sweetheart Alex, 45, share daughters Amelie, 12, and Minnie, eight, and she announced their shock split last summer.
They met at a local youth club when they were children and married in 2009 at luxury Mayfair hotel Claridge’s, walking down the aisle to S Club’s hit Never Had A Dream Come True.
"I just wanted to share with you all that after time and consideration the difficult decision has been made for Alex and I to separate," Rachel wrote on Instagram in July last year. "While we are no longer partners in marriage, we will remain partners in parenthood to our beautiful girls and continue with love and respect for each other.
"I feel so grateful for the life we built together and will now continue to be focused on moving forward united as a family."
The London-born singer also revealed earlier this month she had decided to move out of the family home, which she continued to share with Alex after their separation.
She said she felt a "mix of emotions" as she packed up her belongings.
"What a week it’s been," she told her 332,000 Instagram followers earlier this month. "I’ve just moved home today and I’m up to my ears in boxes. I’m so incredibly grateful for the love and support I have around me. Trusting the process and the magic of new beginnings."
Our source believes the S Club reunion tour could not have come at a better time for Rachel.
They said, "She’s determined to get back to what she loves doing and find her identity again. She loves her music and it’s been a long time coming, so she’s really excited about this new start in her life.
"It’s a big year for Rachel and she couldn’t be happier."
The much-loved band – which also features Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara and Hannah Spearritt – will hit the road later this year for the first time since 2015.
They appeared together on The One Show hours after announcing the tour on social media last week and Rachel told hosts Alex Jones and Jermaine Jenas, "We are going back out on tour in October. We’re just so excited to get back out there and sing our hearts out and perform. We’re celebrating 25 years, which is just crazy."
Asked if she agreed to the reunion straight away, Rachel said, "It feels like the right time to get out there and spread a bit of joy and positivity. It feels so great."
S Club had four No1 singles, notched 10 million album sales and won two Brit Awards.
Rachel attended this year’s Brits last week, accompanied by Tina and Jo, and later told BBC Radio 2 DJ Scott Mills it was their former manager Simon Fuller – who also managed the Spice Girls – who suggested getting back together.
"We set up a WhatsApp group and started chatting, and it kind of went from there," she said. "It’s all still very new, very fresh."
Jon added, "I don’t think we’ve changed that much. Though we hadn’t seen each other in so long, we came back into the room and it’s like it was five minutes ago."
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