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She's still got the beat. Busy 80s pop princess Belinda Carlisle says it's not all about music anymore. The American singer lives between France and India when she's not touring and keeps herself engaged with other creative pursuits away from music.
"Actually, I work all the time," Carlisle confesses. "For the past three years I have lived out of a suitcase and if I am not at home, I'm usually in the US."
Carlisle, 53, isn't just touring her solo material, but is still touring with the Go-Go's, the new wave-rock band and the first all-female band to have a No. 1 Billboard album on which they wrote and played all the instruments.
The band reunited in 2001, around the same time that the singer posed nude for Playboy.
The Go-Go's are best known for their hits Our Lips are Sealed and We Got the Beat, while as a solo artist, Carlisle boasts a string of hits including Summer Rain, Leave a Light On and Heaven is a Place on Earth. Outside music, the singer is about to launch her debut range of soft furnishings and homewares in New York. The Belindia range includes pillows and throw rugs. The fabrics, styles, wild embroidery and colours have been inspired by her love for India and contemporary designs.
"I guess I'm a bit of a workaholic," Carlisle says. "I'm also a creative person so I am always doing. I've always had lots of interests outside music. I'm a well-rounded person as far as that goes."
She's also a dedicated yoga practitioner, chants daily and has been a Buddhist since 2002.
Carlisle's return to Australia this month, after a tour early last year, sees her reunite with a band of Australian musicians.
"I'll play my hits and some Go-Go's songs, a couple of obscure things and some new material," she says. "The music is very listenable. I think the range of the audience shows that. There are fans of mine and the Go-Go's who are about my age; they bring their kids and sometimes their parents."
Carlisle has a soon-to-be released new digital single called Sun, which was also co-written by Go-Go Jane Wiedlin. She says it's the first song she has heard in a while which was begging to be recorded.
"I don't want to make an album," she says. "There's zero chance of that."
Carlisle's most recent album, Voila, was released in 2007 and features French pop and chanson songs. Discovering these songs and falling for them was the only reason to record them, she says.
After an earthquake in her native California in 1994, Carlisle and her two sons moved to the south of France.
"I'm not chasing anything," she says.
"I'm aware of my strengths and weaknesses and I'm not interested in competing with a 23-year-old. In all ways I am much happier now than I was at the peak of things and had all that pressure." <div class="endnote">