The original line-up is back together!!!
Considering how Siobhan left the Sugababes because Keisha was the first bully of her life and drove the poor girl into a depression, this is kind of amazing. They can’t use the Sugababes name because those other three non-important girls are still using it, so they’ve registered themselves as Mutya Keisha Siobhan, but whatever. We know who this is.
I hadn’t done an Obsessed in forever, but this felt like the perfect time. Let’s have a video retrospective.
Back in 1998, Siobhan and Mutya were just 13 years old and signed as solo artists with All Saints manager Ron Tom. The girls met at a performance and liked each other so much, they wanted to work together. Mutya brought in her best friend Keisha and Sugababes was born.
Their first single was released in 2000. It’s not my favorite song by the girls, but it’s pretty good for three 15 year olds making their first album together.
Their debut album, One Touch, was released later that year with three more Top 40 hits. ”Run For Cover” was one of the standouts.
“Run for Cover”
London Records dropped the girls after the album’s sales didn’t live up to expectations. Around the same time, Siobhan left the group because she couldn’t get along with Keisha. While she battled her depression, Sugababes brought in Atomic Kitten’s Heidi Range and started working on their second album.
Island signed them and they released a cover of Adina Howard’s “Freak Like Me.” I didn’t like it at all. But I did like the second single from Angels With Dirty Faces.
Another single from the album ended up on The Powerpuff Girls Movie soundtrack.
“Angels With Dirty Faces”
But my favorite single from the album was the ballad “Stronger.”
Around this time, Siobhan managed to score a solo record deal for herself. Revolution in Me was pretty boring. But her single from the album was a little less boring than the rest.
Siobhan Donaghy “Twist of Fate”
Sugababes went back to the studio to record their third album (creatively named Three) and notched their first charting US single with “Hole In The Head.”
“Hole In The Head”
“Too Lost In You” was another great ballad for the Sugababes, maybe their best.
“Ugly” was a medium-ish single, but notable because it’s the last single with founding member Mutya Buena.
Mutya left during the promotion for “Ugly” saying she wanted to refocus her life after just having a kid. The record label quickly replaced her with Amelle Berrabah in time for the video for “Red Dress.”
Sugababes had a lot to prove now. With only one original member remaining, could they be a cohesive unit and make a good pop record? They answered with the best single of their career.
“About You Now”
“About You Now” became the first song to top the charts in the UK based on downloads alone. It has since been covered by artists around the globe. Change was a great album that suffered from lack of promotion and odd choices for singles. The best songs never got videos, but medium songs did get pretty good art direction for their clips.
Mutya got restless at home with her kid and released Real Girl during this time. She was nominated for a couple of MOBOs, did collaborations with George Michael and Amy Winehouse, and released this song based on an old Lenny Kravitz hit.
Mutya Buena “Real Girl”
Siobhan was also keeping busy, releasing yet another really boring album. I just don’t think she’s meant to be a songwriter.
Siobhan Donaghy “So You Say”
Meanwhile, back in Sugababes land, Catfights & Spotlights was released with a retro-vibe and the most cohesive set of songs the girls ever put on record.
“No Can Do”
Things didn’t stabilize for long. Keisha, apparently never growing out of the bullying mode that made Siobhan leave, was increasingly difficult to work with. Amelle and Heidi went to the label wanting to quit the group. In a strange twist, the label opted to kick Keisha out of the group instead and continue on with the Sugababes replacements, and replace the last founding member with Eurovision contestant Jade Ewan.
Jade Ewan “My Man”
Keisha & Co were informed of the replacement only a few days before the scheduled video shoot for “About A Girl.”
The video was shot and the vocals for Sweet 7 were re-recorded with Jade.
“About A Girl”
Even without Keisha, it ranks as one of my favorite Sugababes singles. The whole album is disposable pop done especially well. The second single was no exception.
“Wear My Kiss”
The sales of Sweet 7 didn’t reach the bar set by the previous albums. They left Island Records and Sony signed the latest line-up to a 3-album deal. ”Freedom” was soon released as a promotional single.
Then, surprise of all surprises, the three original members—Mutya, Keisha & Siobhan—reformed and signed a record deal with Polydor.
Sony is probably kicking themselves for signing a group whose original members are now back on the scene under a new name, but there’s enough room in the world for both sets of Sugababes, right? At any rate, both trios are in the studio working on new material so we could see a battle around this time next year.
And if you’re unfamiliar with the Sugababes, picture this:
What if Kelly, Beyonce & Michelle got back together, but couldn’t use the name Destiny’s Child because someone else owned it? So they put out music as KBM, while LeToya, LaTavia, and Farrah (LOL!) put out music as Destiny’s Child. That’s what I’m dealing with. Except, I’m torn because Heidi and Amelle are just as much Sugababes as Siobhan and Mutya in my head.
I’ll just reserve judgement until I get some new music. Or until—fingers crossed—all six of them record an album together.
I would die on the spot.