Pepsi & Shirlie: It's All In Black & White Book Review

Pepsi & Shirlie: It’s All In Black & White Book Review

Pepsi & Shirlie: It’s All In Black & White Book Review

‘A Story of Friendship, Love & Fame’


It’s All In Black and White is the joint biography by Pepsi & Shirlie, best known for being part of 80s pop group Wham!. Pepsi and Shirlie also made their name as a standalone pop duo, releasing hits like ‘Heartache‘ and ‘Goodbye Stranger‘. In this memoir, the two reflect on their journey and successful career ever since they first met in 1982, on their way to a Wham! rehearsal.  

This book tells the story of a 35-year friendship, and the unbreakable bond between Pepsi & Shirlie. Countless memories are shared as the two look back on their life in the spotlight, on and off stage. From humorous anecdotes to more personal accounts, this is an autobiography that is heartfelt and honest. 

Upon meeting for the first time, Pepsi and Shirlie almost instantly bonded over their love for music – and the rest is history. They talk about their first meeting outside Finsbury Park tube station with candidness. Initially quite awkward, the pair soon bonded over a car stereo and from that moment on, a pure friendship was born.

Shirlie, in particular, writes about meeting George Michael for the first time, saying “I knew George as a friend way before Wham!, way before fame.”. Little did the duo know that with George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley, Wham! would become one of the most successful pop groups of the 1980s. Throughout the decade they sold more than 30 million records with singles like ‘Club Tropicana’, ‘Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go’, and the seasonal classic ‘Last Christmas’.

Pepsi and Shirlie dive deep into their childhood, with both growing up in working-class families. Pepsi gives a shocking insight into what her parents experienced in the years following their arrival in the UK, when nothing was done to police racism. Shirlie recalls a traumatic moment in her childhood when she was in immense pain after contracting Meningitis. The pair discuss the highs and lows of their lives throughout this memoir, in an emotional and personal way.

This is certainly a nostalgic read and one that takes you on a rollercoaster journey through the duo’s lives. The memoir deals with so many intriguing subjects from finding fame to going solo, losing George Michael, later life and more. If you read last year’s It’s A Love Story By Shirlie & Martin Kemp, you’ll find it complements this biography well.

Although Shirlie has written a memoir before, this book marks the first time we hear from Pepsi. Both of their writing styles are commendable, it’s beautifully written and structured to keep you hooked. The book really does give you a strong and authentic look into Pepsi and Shirlie’s unique friendship and life story.

Pepsi & Shirlie: It’s All In Black and White is perfect for Wham! lovers and 80s Fanatics, but this is also a book that has general appeal. It acts as a love letter to a truly everlasting friendship. 


Pepsi & Shirlie: It’s All In Black and White is OUT NOW, available in Hardback & eBook.

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