Three months after his passing, the British pop group's Jo O'Meara, Jon Lee, Rachel Stevens, Tina Barrett and Bradley McIntosh reflected on their disbelief after being told the devastating news.
"Our management called," Jo told The Sun in an interview with her bandmates published July 25. "Me and Jon were the first to hear. It was about half past nine on the Thursday night. I think I just went completely silent at first. It was awful."
Jon said it felt "like someone had punched me in the stomach." Tina further recalled having a hard time grasping the news.
"I was at home with my son, we were just watching TV and I picked up the call," she continued. "At first I was just like, 'This isn't real... it can't be real. You've made a mistake.' I still can't believe it's real."
As Jo put it, "It was horrendous. It was just a complete shock."
Paul died at the age of 46 in April. The Dorset Coroner's Office in England confirmed the following month that he passed away from natural causes.
Paul's bandmates noted that, before learning of his death, they tried to reach out as they hadn't heard from him.
"We'd done a Zoom call with him, all of us, on the Monday," Jon added. "Then our management had messaged him a few times and it hadn't shown that it'd been read on WhatsApp. So it was like, 'Is he all right?' But then it was like, 'Yeah it's Paul. You know, sometimes he doesn't answer his phone.' Then the next day I phoned him and messaged him. Everyone was trying to get hold of him…and no one could."
Paul's death came just two months after S Club 7 announced their anniversary tour—their first with all the original members, including Hannah Spearritt—was kicking off in 2024.
And while the group noted in an April Instagram post announcing Paul's death that "there are no words to describe the deep sadness and loss we all feel," they also told the outlet that they're grateful for the time they had together, adding that it had been eight years since they had all been in the same room together before reuniting on BBC's The One Show in February for the tour announcement.
After Paul's death, the singers revealed in a May Instagram video that they were calling it The Good Times Tour as a tribute to his song. However, Jon shared that while Hannah—who had dated Paul for years—would no longer be joining them, she "will always be a part of S Club 7."
As Bradley noted, "No one could ever, ever replace our Paul, but he lives on inside each and every one of us."
And the band said they would honor his legacy during the tour.
"We're just going to keep his memory alive and share it with all of you," Rachel added in the video, "and it's going to make it even more special."
They've continued to do just that, including through their song "These Are the Days" that they released July 26. As they wrote on Instagram, "This one's for you, Paul."