Singer Kelli Mitchell of Chilliwack was thrilled when Shannon Tweed asked her to perform at her fairytale wedding to rocker Gene Simmons of KISS a couple of weeks ago.
It wasn’t a stretch.
“Shannon is a very good friend of mine,” Mitchell, 35, told The Progress.
Mitchell was one of the 400 friends and family who attended the Royal Rock Wedding, where Simmons married Tweed, his girlfriend of 28 years.
She had to keep the details under wraps — until now. The special episode finally aired Tuesday on Gene Simmons Family Jewels after weeks of wedding teasers.
The local performer ended up attending the glitzy and romantic nuptials, along with guests like Hugh Hefner and Bill Maher, in a lavishly decorated venue inside the Beverly Hills Hotel on Oct. 1.
“It was all done up in creamy white, silver and black decorations,” she remembered.
But Mitchell didn’t think Tweed was serious at first about her singing at the wedding.
“I didn’t believe it. I texted her back, “Haha. Ok.”
She didn’t really know for sure she’d be doing it until five minutes before she started singing, and found out she would be accompanied by Michael Bublé’s drummer and a six-piece brass band.
Mitchell got up on stage and belted out the bluesy Aretha Franklin tune, I Never Loved A Man, for the newlyweds.
Then when the couple’s son, Nick, got up to sing a few tunes at the wedding party, Mitchell was asked to sing backup vocals along with Gene and their daughter, Sophie.
This is how it all came together.
Mitchell and Tweed first got acquainted on a social media site a couple of years ago, after discovering they shared a mutual appreciation for the Vancouver Canucks.
“We just clicked.”
Because you’re both Canadian?
“No because I’m crazy and so is she,” Mitchell replied. “And we’re both loud, and goofy and we have a good sense of humour.
The Chilliwack singer had seen actress Shannon Tweed’s name pop up as someone to follow on Twitter. Even though she was a neophyte tweeter, she did it anyway and found her thoroughly entertaining.
At that point she wasn’t even a huge fan of the Much Music reality show, Gene Simmons Family Jewels, starring Gene and Shannon and their kids, Nick and Sophie.
But that would soon change.
“Shannon was looking to catch a playoff game, but there was a blackout. So I told her to follow me back on Twitter and I’d send her the link to watch the game online.”
That was basically it. They chilled. They went out for lunch. They enjoyed each other’s company. They grew closer.
Since then they’ve been hanging out periodically — a week in Beverly Hills at the Simmons mansion and Christmas at the place in Whistler last winter. You can see them on Youtube kidding around the pool in California.
“What you see on the TV show is the real deal. Shannon is very, very giving; she’s awesome.”
When Mitchell performed at the PNE in Vancouver the past couple of years, Tweed made a point of being there to support her. You can hear her screams of approval on the Youtube video.
When Mitchell auditioned for Canada’s Got Talent, she received a text from Tweed: “Tell them you’re going to sing a song at my wedding.”
And so she did.
Tweed has always been very supportive, right from the start.
Now Mitchell is back in Chilliwack, still aglow over the celebrity wedding experience.
“I really like it out here,” Mitchell said. “I have a view of the mountains and I can ride my bike to the river.”
She says her focus is going to be on her newly adopted hometown, for a while, and the musical duo she’ll be kicking off with local entertainer Trevor McDonald at Anavets starting on Oct. 27.
But every once in while, she’ll look at the invitation and mementoes she has kept from the wedding extravaganza, and she’ll smile, remembering that she was a part of it.