Claire Richards made sure all eyes were on her Saturday when she performed at Reading Pride’s annual Love Unites Parade & Festival at King’s Meadow.
The Steps singer, 46, headlined the festival and released some of her biggest hits to the public.
She looked nothing short of sensational in a black lace catsuit that clung to her incredible curves and was encrusted with tiny black gems.
Underneath the bold, sheer number, she wore a black bodysuit and added a matching leather belt to secure her slender waist.
Claire added a few extra inches of height to her frame with a pair of sparkly black high-heeled boots.
Looking good: Claire Richards made sure all eyes were on her on Saturday when she performed at Reading Pride’s annual Love Unites Parade & Festival at King’s Meadow
Put on a show! The Steps singer, 46, headlined the festival and released some of her biggest hits to the public
Striking: She looked nothing short of sensational in a black lacy catsuit that clung to her incredible curves and was encrusted with tiny black gems
She completed her eye-catching look by styling her blonde locks in loose waves and hiding her eyes behind black sunglasses.
In an interview with Good Morning Britain on Thursday, she said she feels she has ‘earned her stripes’ now and would ‘tell people where to go’ if someone told her to change her size.
Claire, who released her solo album Euphoria last week, revealed she was very aware that her voice wouldn’t be enough to guarantee her success and she needed to “lose weight” to look good too.
Speaking to the ITV show’s presenters Charlotte Hawkins and Rob Rinder, Claire talked about being a young woman in the industry and how she was told to lose weight despite being a size 10.
She said: ‘I hope it’s not still a problem in the industry and I hope if someone told me that now I would tell them where to go.
“At the time, it existed for female pop stars to look a certain way and there was a prototype that everyone had to conform to.
“I wanted to be in a band so badly that I did whatever it took to get into the group.
Phenomenal: Underneath the bold, sheer number, she wore a black bodysuit and added a matching leather belt to secure her slender waist
Shady lady: She completed her eye-catching look by styling her blonde locks in loose waves and hiding her eyes behind black sunglasses
“It’s been in my head for a long time, but now I feel like I’m in my 40s and I’ve earned my stripes and I feel much stronger now because I’ve been through all that.”
Claire, who auditioned for Steps in 1997, recently confessed that she had agreed to lose half a stone for the chance to play in the band.
Still, the weight loss increased and she reached the point where she became way too skinny.
Speak with The sun On Wednesday she confessed: ‘I wasn’t fat or tall – I was a size ten or twelve – but I got skinny for the band.
“The older I get and the more I think about it, of course it affected me, because it sent me into a spiral for years.”
While discussing the change in popular body styles over the years, Claire believes that her figure back then would have been really trendy today, due to the curvy style popularized by the Kardashians.
She recalled, “I was very short on top, with small breasts, but I had a butt and thighs, a figure that people now pay money for.”
But in the 2000s, everyone had no hips and no breasts, and Claire was pressured to lose weight.
Opening: Her performance comes after Claire claimed she was forced to lose weight while in Steps at the height of the band’s fame, on Thursday’s GMB
Weight loss: She revealed that she was very aware that her voice wouldn’t be enough to guarantee her success and that she needed to “lose weight” to look good (pictured in 2008)
Today, the star believes she would be treated very differently and people wouldn’t talk to her the same way.
Steps achieved success with their hits 5, 6, 7, 8 and Tragedy, and the group, which includes Lee Latchford-Evans, 48, Lisa Scott-Lee, 47, Faye Tozer, 47, and Ian ‘H’ Watkins, 47, are still going strong, scoring four UK No. 1 albums in their 25-year career.
Claire’s weight has fluctuated over the years after she went down to a size 20 in 2001 after the group split and weighed 16.5 kilos.
It led to the release of her 2008 fitness DVD, 5 Step Fat Attack, which saw her lose five stone and drop five dress sizes.
Claire continues her music career with her solo record and says she now has incredible confidence in herself.
But this isn’t the star’s first time opening up about her body issues, having opened up about her back in July heartbreaking fight against anorexia after cruel remarks by record executives in the nineties.
Speaking to Vicky Pattison on her The Secret To podcast, she shared how she developed an eating disorder when she was put on a 900-calorie-a-day diet consisting of fish fingers and peas.
The 1990s saw the emergence of the “Heroin Chic” look, pioneered by Kate Moss, in which frighteningly thin silhouettes were desired under the stars – something Claire revealed was enforced by her record label when she was told to lose pounds.
Standing up for herself: Claire said she was told to lose weight despite being a size 10, adding: “I hope it’s still not a problem and if someone told me that now I would tell them where they had to go’ (pictured in 1999)
The Gang: Claire joined Steps in 1997 when the band was formed alongside Lisa Scott-Lee, Lee Latchford-Evans, Faye Tozer and Ian H Watkins (clockwise from top left)
After starting her struggles in The Scan-Dolls, Claire’s first band, she revealed, “It happened when I was in TSD. They did it to all of us because we were all pretty curvy girls. I was probably (size) 10 or 12 and was not big at all (…)
“But in the music world and at the time, this whole Kate Moss heroin chic thing was a thing and they wanted everyone to be really, really skinny…
“So we were all put on a diet. That diet was interesting because we were encouraged to eat fish fingers, peas and baked beans and to follow a diet of about 900 calories.’