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Ladyhawke’s wedding date

The pop star reveals her romantic side

When Kiwi singer Ladyhawke married actress Madeleine Sami in January 2015, the couple made a conscious decision to have a small and very private shindig.

But that doesn’t mean the 37-year-old, whose real name is Pip Brown, doesn’t love a good wedding. In fact, when some close friends in her adopted hometown of Los Angeles asked her to marry them, the singer immediately set about becoming a celebrant.

“I said, ‘What do I need to do?’” she recalls. “My mate went online and did all the paperwork, so now I’m an official ordained minister. I married him and his wife in front of a crowd of about 200 at the rose gardens in downtown LA. I really enjoyed it!”

Together for seven years and counting, Pip and actress, musician and comedienne Madeleine, 36 – were introduced at the 2009 New Zealand Music Awards by mutual pal Lucy Lawless. The couple are currently enjoying some downtime in Masterton – where Pip was born – after a low-key New Year’s Eve in the City of Sails.

“I wouldn’t really say we celebrated,” she laughs. “I’d been doing some festivals in Australia, then I landed back in Auckland on New Year’s Eve and I was so tired – completely zonked. We watched Finding Dory and that was pretty much it. At midnight, Madeleine got a pot and a wooden spoon from the kitchen and just banged them – and that was how we saw in the New Year!”

Ladyhawke and Madeleine Sami

Of 2016, Pip reflects, “It was a hard year. For me personally, for loads of people in my family, for friends … and for famous people.” She’s referring especially to one of her idols, Carrie Fisher, aka Princess Leia, who Pip described on Twitter recently as “the only princess I ever wanted to be like”.

She continues, “I really felt drained by last year – rinsed, like a cloth that’s been completely wrung out. Like I wanted to just lie on the floor, which is pretty much what I’m doing right now!”

Nonetheless, 2016 also marked a great comeback for Pip, with the long-awaited release of her album Wild Things. With upbeat tunes like the joyous single “A Love Song”, it’s very much an homage to her wife and their life spent shuttling back and forth between LA and NZ.

“I only had one friend when I first moved there,” says Pip. “Me and Mads had each other, but then she had to go away for work and I was there on my own for a couple of months. I remember thinking, ‘What have I done? I don’t know anyone here.’ But then it really grew on me! I just love it. There’s something weirdly enchanting about LA.”

Sober since 2014, Pip admits that her life has been a lot less social without alcohol in it. These days, the booze-fuelled late nights and partying – which helped mask her crippling shyness for years – have been replaced by going for long walks around Hollywood and hanging out with the tight-knit group of Kiwi transplants that call LA home.

Every day, she hikes the iconic, celeb-filled Runyon Canyon, a minute’s stroll from her home. “It’s my sanctuary,” Pip says. “I live really close to Hollywood Boulevard, which a lot of tourists think is going to be all glitz and glamour, so they’re really disappointed when they go there and they see how gross it is.

“There are a lot of homeless people and it’s pretty dirty, but there are all sorts of characters around and I love that. It’s pretty inspiring just wandering around the place.”

But Pip insists her love for NZ, especially the Wairarapa, remains resolute and the self-declared tomboy was thrilled that for the first time ever in her career, she got to perform in her hometown of Masterton, playing a show with her three band members at the small town’s Memorial Park on February 3.

“I’ve always wanted to play in Masterton – I just love it!” she enthuses. “It’s so special to me because I grew up there and I have a lot of good memories.”

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