Reflections On Mike: Una Gibney

By Declan White

R.E.M. save sexy Una from rock bottom

Sultry Irish singer Una Gibney has revealed how R.E.M. bassist Mike Mills stopped her quitting the music business in the depths of despair.

Gorgeous Una, who shot to fame two years ago when her debut record Crawl reached No 4 in the Irish charts, was at rock bottom after her last single bombed.

A bright career had beckoned for the girl from Finglas, Dublin, who got her break when only 16 in Dublin’s famous Baggot Inn – where U2 also began.

With loads of attitude she won the battle of the bands with her funky group Split Decision.

Una was snapped up for studio work and became a model.

She loves showing off the latest sexy clothes on the catwalk.

Her first single was released to critical acclaim and commercial success.

She toured Ireland with Boyzone with the hugely successful “Beat On The Street.”

But her career dropped with the launch of her second single.

Downhearted Una was fighting depression when she met R.E.M. bass player Mike Mills.

He boosted her flagging confidence and pushed her back into showbusiness.

Una told The Biz: “Modelling helped to build up my confidence on the ramps.

“But I felt I was losing direction with my music. It wasn’t what I really wanted to do.

“I was disillusioned then I met Mike. He was very good to me.

“Mike really built me up. He gave me tons of advice about what I should do.

“When I might have lost heart Mike introduced me to the chairman of the Warner Group saying, ‘This girl is going to be a star. You’ve got to do everything for her’.”

Una says of her new-found friends: “Mike and R.E.M. are just great for me.

“It’s nice knowing there is a hand of friendship when I really need it.”

Now Una is back after launching a new single “You Might Need Somebody” – a revamp of the Randy Crawford hit.

She also has 26 original songs to pick from for her album to be released in the New Year.

Originally published on 3 November 1996 by Sunday Mirror
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