Gary Barlow has spoken out about the heartbreaking stillbirth of his daughter Poppy.
The Take That singer, 47, described how she was stillborn at full term days before he had to perform at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympics.
His upcoming autobiography ‘A Better Me’, set for release on Thursday, lays bare the devastating impact of her death on him and his wife.
Tragic period: Gary Barlow has discussed the heartbreaking stillbirth of his late daughter Poppy in his upcoming memoir, A Better Me: The Official Autobiography, set for release on October 4 (pictured with wife Dawn Andrews in January 2012)
Gary has three children with his 48-year-old wife Dawn Andrews: Daniel, 18, Emily, 16, and Daisy, nine.
He explained that he felt like he was ‘dreaming’ after discovering the heart-wrenching news about Poppy, who was stillborn on August 4.
The pair were given an hour to spend time with their baby girl, who he hailed a ‘light’ in his life.
He said: ‘When she was born it was like a light came into the room.
‘It was lovely, it was gorgeous, we both took turns cuddling her, and we took pictures.
‘It was one of the best hours of my life I’ve ever experienced in the midst of the hardest time of my life. It was very powerful, that hour was.
‘Poppy looked perfect and for an hour she was alive to us. She’s in your arms, this beautiful little daughter of ours, a sister to our three other children.
Ordeal: The Take That star, 47, also revealed he struggled with bulimia while trying to cope with his career flopping as his former bandmate Robbie Williams became a pop sensation
‘Then the reality comes rushing into the room and all the air leaves your lungs. It felt like someone had a hand held tight at my throat.
‘The nurses start hovering and they want to take her away. What we experienced and saw over those 24 hours, no-one should have to see or have to go through.’
‘There’s no sadder sight than seeing a mum with her dead baby in her arms, willing it back to life with all her being’, he said.
The devastating loss came just under two weeks before he joined Take That on stage at London’s Olympics closing ceremony.
Gary said he felt like ‘someone had a hand held tight at my throat’ – an experience he said ‘no one should have to go through’.
He also shared that Dawn was diagnosed with post-traumatic Type 1 diabetes shortly after their baby’s tragic death.
The singer admitted he found it extremely hard to include his children in the funeral process, revealing that he and Dawn went through it alone.
‘It’s been the hardest thing to talk about as there is no angle, no way of dressing it up; there’s no glitter you can sprinkle on it, it’s just cold, awful, brutish reality,’ he said.
Heartbreaking: The Stronger hitmaker revealed he and his wife Dawn, 48, were given an hour to spend time with his baby girl, who he branded as a ‘light’ in his life
Doting father: Gary and Dawn are parents to Daniel, 18, Emily, 16, and Daisy, nine
In an extract from his memoir obtained by The Sun, Gary admitted the emotional toll from losing his child was ‘incomprehensible’.
After ‘shutting out the world’ the star confessed music became his ‘escape’ and he shared his grief through his 2013 track Let Me Go.
The hitmaker, who had a breakdown in 2016 over the loss, also revealed he struggled with bulimia while trying to cope with his solo career flop.
The singer, who weighed seventeen stone in the wilderness years after Take That, revealed that he could make himself throw up in just 30 seconds at his lowest point.
He also confessed he would ‘chain-smoke, get stoned and eat huge bowls of cereal’ at home for days at a time after his record label dropped him following his second solo album’s failure.
Sad: He also shared that Dawn, who was full term when she was stillborn on August 4, was diagnosed with post-traumatic Type 1 diabetes shortly after
Flop: The singer confessed he would ‘chain-smoke, get stoned and eat huge bowls of cereal’ at home for days on end after he was dropped by his record label following his second solo album’s failure (seen in 2006)
While Gary fell into a destructive cycle as his solo career plummeted following Take That’s split in 1996, his former bandmate Robbie Williams became a pop sensation.
Gary recalled how Robbie’s hits were playing everywhere he went, including a car service station, where the workers turned up Angels when it came on the radio.
‘People spot me across the road and shout “how’s Robbie” ‘ he said.
He added that he began binging so people wouldn’t recognise him in the street, explaining: ‘I was eating the popstar to death.’
Unrecognisable: Gary also explained his battle with bulimia, as he shared he could make himself throw up in just 30 seconds at his lowest point (pictured in 2005)
Jealousy: He recalled how Robbie’s hits were playing everywhere he went, including a car service station, where the workers turned up Angels when it came on the radio
As Gary ballooned in weight, the press became harsher with their headlines, with things like ‘Take Fat’, ‘Relight My Fryer’, ‘Back For Pud’.
He said he would go to the bathroom at the back of his house, put a towel down, kneel on it and throw up after a big meal.
‘The first time I did it, it took me 15 minutes to get the job done. By now it takes me 30 seconds. Fingers go down my throat and I press down.’
It was only years later that Gary managed to shed the weight, after meeting diet gurus Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley.
He dropped a whopping 18lb after the sisters put him on an ‘easily digested’ food diet.
Gary’s upcoming memoir, A Better Me: The Official Autobiography, is set for release on October 4.
Transformation: It was only years later that Gary managed to shed the weight, after meeting diet gurus Melissa and Jasmine Hemsley. He dropped a whopping 18lb after the sisters put him on an ‘easily digested’ food diet (pictured right: his new book)