Michelle Christine Heaton began her singing career in the band Sirens with other girls from the northeast of England. She auditioned and made the final ten for girl band Girl Thing and then took part in the ITV reality television show Popstars. Heaton reached the final ten but was not selected for the five member band Hear'Say.
Soon after, she and the other four unsuccessful applicants formed Liberty X which consisted of herself, Tony Lundon, Kevin Simm, Kelli Young, and Jessica Taylor, signing a record deal with Virgin Records.
Liberty X debut album, Thinking It Over, reached Number 3 in June 2002. The group had seven Top 10 singles from 2001 to 2005. Their biggest hit, "Just a Little," reached Number 1 in May 2002. "Thinking It Over," "Got To Have Your Love," "Song 4 Lovers," and "Holding on for You" all reached the top 5 in the UK Singles Chart.
Liberty X released another 2 albums, Being Somebody and X, which reached Numbers 12 and 27, respectively. They won two Brit Awards: for Best British Single and Best British Breakthrough Artist.
From 2004 until 2007, Heaton contributed a regular column to the Hotstars section of OK! magazine. In 2004, she appeared in the fitness DVD Liberty X-Toned.
Heaton appeared in the single "Da Ya Think I'm Sexy" along with Jessica Taylor and Kelli Young of Liberty X with the FHM Hot 100. In October 2007, shortly after Liberty X's split and final performance, Heaton signed a two album solo deal with 19 Records; however, she left the label two months later.
In 2005, Heaton was featured in the MTV UK and Ireland reality television production, Totally Scott-Lee, based around the musical career of Lisa Scott-Lee. In December 2006, Heaton was a contestant on a celebrity couples edition of Weakest Link. She has also appeared in the three part documentary series Michelle & Andy's Big Day on ITV2 and as a reporter in Australia for GMTV. Heaton was one of the judges on You're A Star, an Irish talent show run on RTE in 2008.
On 2 January 2008, she appeared in a documentary The Truth about Binge Drinking, broadcast on ITV1, where she aimed to drink more than the recommended amount of alcohol for thirty days, to show the price that binge drinkers pay for their habits. She consumed a total of 349 units of alcohol over the space of 21 days. Her body fat index increased from 25% to 29%, and her liver dysfunction increased from 16% to 86%. She ended the binge early after suffering heart palpitations and prolonged pins and needles. Her weight was given as 60 kg (130 lb).
In 2008, she appeared on the reality television show Fáilte Towers on RTÉ One in Ireland.Then Heaton appeared in the sixth series of Celebrity Big Brother. She was the ninth person to enter the house. In week 3, Heaton was voted out of the house. She was the third housemate to be evicted.
In 2009, following her appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, Michelle appeared on Snog Marry Avoid? on BBC Three. Michelle also appeared as an elf on Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in March 2009.
Michelle appeared on ITV2's I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here Now alongside Janice Dickinson in Australia in November 2009. She appears regularly on the ITV2 reality shows of Katie Price.
Michelle was recently involved in Aladdin at the Southport Theatre where she played the role of Princess Jasmine. Michelle toured the UK as Gabby in the comedy play, The Naked Truth in 2010 and early 2011.
Michelle is now married to Irish businessman Hugh Hanley. In July 2011 it was announced that Michelle was expecting the couple's first child.