Kerry Katona is reported to have become disillusioned with pop stardom...

Outspoken ATOMIC KITTEN singer KERRY KATONA is battling with depression, with friends speculating that she has become disillusioned with her career as a pop musician.

A spokesman for the band commented last night (October 30): “I can confirm that Kerry has been diagnosed with depression. She is having some time off to rest and get her energy levels back up to normal. But we can assure fans that the band will be back performing in the very near future.”

According to a friend of Kerry’s quoted in UK tabloid newspaper The Sun, “Kerry has been feeling down for a while. A lot of it is down to the amount of work the girls have been doing promoting their new album.”

The critically acclaimed album ‘Right Now’ charted this week, but with a position of Number 39 is unlikely to have met the expectations of Kerry or, more worryingly, Atomic Kitten’s label Virgin. “Some people who know Kerry well are also saying she’s become disillusioned with the world of pop,” Kerry’s friend continues. “It seems very exciting for a young girl at the outset with all the glitzy premieres and parties but in reality it’s one of the toughest jobs in the world.”

It seems a turbulent time for Virgin Records, who’ve now seen four of their biggest pop acts suffering from work-related health concerns in recent months. Melanie C admitted two weeks ago that she was taking anti-depressants, while Billie Piper has been suffering from ongoing stress-related kidney problems. And only last week, Martine McCutcheon collapsed from exhaustion during a hectic promotional campaign.