Louise Redknapp shares new inclusive support for LGBTQ+ community after Eternal controversy

Singer Louise Redknapp wearing black dress and gold earrings

Louise Redknapp has shared a subtle message of support for the LGBTQ+ community, following reports she and Eternal bandmate Kéllé Bryan pulled out of a reunion tour because two members of the ’90s girl group refused to play Pride festivals due to differing opinions on supporting trans people.

Redknapp posted the progress Pride flag on her X (formerly Twitter) account with the message ‘always and forever’ (the title of Eternal’s 1993 debut album) and a simple red heart, on the day the girl-group dispute was widely reported in the media.

The progress Pride flag includes specific colours dedicated to the trans and Black community.

The ’90s British R&B group Eternal – made up of Redknapp, Bryan and sisters Easther and Vernie Bennett – were the subject of controversy on Sunday (24 September) after reports that Redknapp and Bryan had dropped out of the 2024 reunion tour.

The tour had reportedly been planned to include performances at queer festival Mighty Hoopla and Pride events, however the Bennett sisters reportedly refused to perform at LGBTQ+ events due to allegedly not supporting the trans community. 

According to The Mirror, Redknapp and Bryan decided to split from the group in June, and were reportedly “stunned” by the Bennett sisters’ views. 

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A source told the publication: “Louise, Kelle, Easther and Vernie had all signed up to perform a huge nationwide tour next year, culminating with a huge show at pop festival Mighty Hoopla which is loved by the gay community.

“Then in June the girls received an email from Easther and Vernie who refused to play any gay festivals or Pride. They said they can’t support the LGBTQ+ community now it has an alliance with the trans community, a stance Vernie in particular has been public about on socials.”

Redknapp and Bryan have been widely praised for their support of the LGBTQ+ community by reportedly dropping out of the tour.

One fan described the move as “proper, real, non-commercial allyship which has made me feel pretty emosh”.

Another user explained: “It would have been very easy for Louise and Kelle to have done the tour and take the big pay cheque that would come with it. 

“They will also both now inevitably be monstered online by anti-trans activists and by parts of the media. They have shown what real allyship is.”

More users claimed Redknapp is “dead nice” in person, with one describing how she would “come to the staff’s children’s Christmas party” when her ex-husband Jamie Redknapp played for Liverpool FC.

“She’d play and dance with all the kids, including my niece and nephew, just because she was dead nice. It’s lovely to see she’s still being sound.”

Their decision has not been without trolling, however, with some users unsurprisingly accusing Redknapp of “virtue signalling” and piling onto her post with homophobia and transphobia

Taking aim at the trolling Redknapp has received, writer Jason Reid shared that “predictably all the people who care sooooooo much about letting women speak, are currently trying to shout down this woman because she doesn’t fall in line.”

Eternal sold 10 million records worldwide and became global idols of the 1990s, with singles including Stay and I Wanna Be The Only One. The group’s debut album Always and Forever sold over a million copies in the UK, becoming the first album by a female band to reach that milestone.

The group split in 2000 and briefly reunited in 2014 for ITV’s The Big Reunion, although Redknapp was absent.

Easther and Vernie Bennett will reportedly continue to perform as Eternal and are said to be touring in 2024 without Redknapp or Bryan.