Leeds singer Dene aims to show real Voice

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Leeds singer Dene Michael can push pineapples and shake trees with the best of them after spending two decades with legendary party band Black Lace.

Tomorrow, however, TV viewers can see if he has another string to his bow when he makes an appearance on BBC One’s The Voice.

Dene, who says he was “brought up” on soul music, bids to impress the programme’s coaches with a rendition of George Benson track Never Give Up on a Good Thing.

And he is desperate to prove he can do more than bang out novelty Black Lace tunes like Agadoo, Superman and Do The Conga.

Dene, who dresses for the occasion in an eye-catching Hawaiian shirt, said: “The Voice is my chance to show I’m not just a man that sings Agadoo.

“This is my opportunity to show the world I can actually sing.

“I’m known for Black Lace but originally I was a soul singer.”

Fans wanting to find out how Dene fares on the programme will have to tune in tomorrow evening.

But, whatever the result, he can take comfort in knowing he has a slightly surprising devotee in the shape of Ricky Wilson, frontman with Leeds indie rockers Kaiser Chiefs and one of the coaches on The Voice.

Ricky revealed: “Sometimes when we are warming up to go on stage we listen to Agadoo. A party wasn’t a party without Black Lace.”

Dene, who was born in Leeds and still lives in the city, joined Black Lace during their chart glory years of the mid-1980s.

He made headlines in 2012 when he tied the knot with Karen Andrew in an Agadoo-themed ceremony at Leeds Register Office.

Guests even welcomed the happy couple into the wedding room with a rendition of the madcap dance song, which reached number two in the charts in 1984 and spent 30 weeks in the top 75.

Sadly it was also named the worst song of all time in a poll for music magazine Q in 2003.

Its lyrics include lines about pushing pineapples, shaking trees and singing with a hula melody.

The track was used in 1998 in a TV advert for Peugeot cars that showed cannibals fleeing in terror when they hear it on the radio.

Another staple Black Lace track, Do The Conga, was reworked in 2011 for inclusion in an ad for Trainline.

The Voice goes out on BBC One at 7pm tomorrow.

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