X Factor's Honey G now - coming out, career moves and unrecognisable new look (2024)

X Factor star Honey G burst onto our screens in 2016 with her massive sunglasses and an eye-catching metallic tracksuit, but the rapper has come a long way since then

X Factor's Honey G now - coming out, career moves and unrecognisable new look (1)

When you think of Honey G, you likely think of her giant shades, baseball cap, and shiny tracksuit, along with Simon Cowell 's bemused expression when she auditioned for the X Factor. The rapper, now 42, gave a legendary rendition of Missy Elliot's Work It back in 2016 and had Nicole Scherzinger and Sharon Osbourne on their feet.

She garnered legions of fans and some doubters along the way, with the latter branding her a 'novelty act' and even launching a petition to get her kicked off the ITV talent show. But it was Honey G, whose real name is Anna Gilford, who had the last laugh. The rapper came in fifth place after being mentored by Sharon and even signed a deal with Simon Cowell's record label Syco for the release of her debut single, The Honey G Show.

But it seems the world wasn't quite ready for her music and her debut track only reached 149 in the UK singles chart. She was dropped by Syco, but not ready to give up on her dream, she decided to launch her own label, Ho to the O Music, and released songs Hit You With the Honey G and Riding Hot with the Babes in 2017.

Later that year, the star came out as gay, sharing that she was on the lookout for the right woman to settle down and start a family with. She told The Sun that she hadn't previously felt 'ready' to share her sexuality with the world while on the X Factor. "At my very first audition, Simon asked me if I had a boyfriend. I said no and that I was single," she said. "Being new to the music industry, and being on The X Factor, I think I was just a bit shy and a bit guarded. I was a bit worried about what people would think as well. I was just a bit worried about people maybe being hom*ophobic. I wasn't ready to come out to the public at that point."

In 2018, she told how she felt she'd lost her identity in becoming Honey G and had begun to see herself more as the rapper than as Anna. So she took part in an episode of Celebrity 100 Per Cent Hotter to see if she could find herself again and left viewers flabbergasted with her sensational makeover. She got rid of her sunglasses and cap once and for all. Gone was her straight hair, and in its place were wavy extensions. She wore a smokey eye and a classy black dress on instead of her usual tracksuits.

Her next single Jerk IT was released in September 2019 and she went on to hold ticket-only YouTube concerts in lockdown. She also recorded the song Waiting for Your Love, and a sizzling hot video to go with it. She's since gone on to also appear in Celebrity Coach Trip in 2022 and continues her work as Honey G, recently doing a DJ set to celebrate Pride month.

Earlier this year she also shared a snap to Instagram of her filming a "secret" project with Dermot O'Leary which turned out to be a Comic Relief skit featuring other X Factor legends. In addition to this, she's also been on a major health and fitness journey, which she's discussed openly. The star signed up to do triathlons and 10km runs, gave up takeaways in favour of fibre-packed goodness, and dropped three dress sizes as a result.

She lost two stone and dropped from a size 16/18 to a size 12 thanks to a combination of yoga, running, and spinning, and first got a taste for fitness when a friend invited her her open water swimming. "I loved the buzz exercise gave me, so I signed up to do a triathlon. It felt like an absolute thrill to be pushing my body so hard. I do hefty cardio like running, spinning, and cycling, and it's completely changed my body shape," Honey told Closer magazine.

She continued: "In the past, I was harming my body by eating too much and consuming a lot of sugar. I was having too many takeaways and big portions and not realising the damage that was doing. I now stay clear of white bread and rice, and instead, I'll have healthy carbs like multigrain or rye bread. I don't drink alcohol at home, or buy biscuits or chocolates. If I fancy something sweet, I'll have a protein bar, which might have a touch of chocolate. I get my fix that way."

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X Factor's Honey G now - coming out, career moves and unrecognisable new look (2024)


What happened to Honey G after X Factor? ›

Post-X Factor career

Since parting company with Syco Music in 2017, Honey G has self-published music videos on her own Vevo page, and worked as an estate agent.

How far did Honey G make it in X Factor? ›

The rapper came in fifth place after being mentored by Sharon and even signed a deal with Simon Cowell's record label Syco for the release of her debut single, The Honey G Show.

What year was Honey G? ›

She was a contestant on the thirteenth series of The X Factor in 2016.

What happened to honey in the song? ›

In the song, the narrator mourns his absent wife, and the song begins with him looking at a tree in their garden, remembering how "it was just a twig" on the day she planted it. Only in the third verse is it finally revealed that "one day...the angels came," and that his wife had died.

Why did Simon Cowell cry on X Factor? ›

Simon Cowell explains the tears after crying during Josh Daniels' X Factor audition - IMDb. Simon Cowell has opened up about the death of mother, Julie, who passed away at the age of 89 in July.

Who is the most successful X Factor band? ›

One Direction have sold more than 65 million records worldwide, making them the most successful act to have ever appeared on any country's version of The X Factor and one of the best-selling boy bands of all time.

Who is the longest serving judge on The X Factor? ›

Louis Walsh, longest-serving judge on The X Factor in all but two series.

What year was honey a hit? ›

"See the tree, how big it's grown / But friend, it hasn't been too long, it wasn't big ..." "Honey" wasn't just a hit -- it was No. 1 for five weeks in April-May 1968, one of the biggest songs of the year.

How far did Carly Rose go on X Factor? ›

In December 2012, she became the runner-up on the second season of The X Factor USA.

How long was Gary Barlow on X Factor? ›

Barlow has also established himself as a talent show judge and television personality. He has judged on The X Factor UK (2011–2013), as well as Let It Shine (2017) and Walk the Line (2021).

How far did Harry Styles get in X Factor? ›

The group eventually reached the final of The X Factor and finished in third place. In January 2011, One Direction signed a recording contract with Cowell's label Syco Records. Their UK number one debut single, "What Makes You Beautiful", and their debut studio album, Up All Night, were released later that year.

How far did Stacey Solomon get in X Factor? ›

Solomon was awarded third place in the competition, behind Joe McElderry and Olly Murs. Solomon went on tour with her fellow X Factor finalists. In December 2010, she returned to the show, where she presented the show from Essex for winner, Matt Cardle.

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