The Sugababes are, aside from Girls Aloud, generally regarded as the UK’s most successful girl group of the 21st century. With dozens of chart-topping hits–from “Overload” to “Freak Like Me” to “About You Now”–five Top 10 albums and dozens of awards to their name, the ‘Babes have consistently slayed for well over a decade–although not all as one defining unit.
Yet as much as the girls have become known for being a legendary powerhouse troupe of soulful divas, they’ve earned themselves just as strong of a reputation for the revolving door status of their members–the kind of constant switcheroo that easily puts the frequent chiding of Destiny’s Child‘s own member swap to shame.
When the group first started, the original Sugababes were Mutya Buena, Keisha Buchanan and Siobhán Donaghy–who left after the release of their debut album citing an interest in pursuing fashion, and only later on revealing during an interview that Keisha was a “bully” that pushed her out of the group. She was replaced by Heidi Range in 2001.
Mutya Buena then took a leave in late 2005 and replaced by Amelle Berrabah, while Keisha Buchanan eventually bowed out (and/or was kicked out by Amelle and Heidi for–you guessed it, allegedly being a bully) in late 2009, leaving Jade Ewen to fill her spot.
But as the group’s original member count has slowly dwindled, so too has their reputation. Now in their fourth incarnation, the Sugababes have no actual Sugababes members remaining, and it’s come to the point now where the group is being heavily mocked in the media for looking like a desperate knock-off of the original brand.
For years, there’s been a steadily growing public outcry for the original ‘Babes to reform (if not just the stuff of Suga fanboy/girl dreams) and now, it seems those dreams are about to come true.
Back in October, UK blog Wot You Got reported that the original trio had reunited and were heading back in the studio to work on a few demos together to test out their sound after over a decade apart.
Earlier this evening, Keisha Buchanan just added fuel to the initial rumors by tweeting the following:
Hanging out in the studio with @professorgreen and two lovely ladies with bags of talent :-p lol
And then came a tweet from Mutya Buena:
@ studio wit professor green in tha building and 2 beautiful ladies
The third and final original member of Sugababes–Siobhán–isn’t on Twitter just yet, but the tweets still all but confirm the same thing: The iconic soulstresses behind hits like “Overload,” “Run For Cover” and “Soul Sound” are back in the studio working together. As of today, they’ve allegedly been involved with popular UK producer Professor Green. And according to some newer Internet rumors, they were even working with Xenomania‘s Brian Higgins and Miranda Cooper just before Christmas. And although there’s still no official confirmation just yet (although my boo over at The Prophet Blog just revealed that he’s known this to be true for a while), it’s pretty safe to say that this one’s a go. (EDIT: It is–as triply confirmed by PopJustice.)
Still, plenty of questions now loom: For one, what’s to come of the current Sugababes? Well, the news certainly doesn’t look promising. By most accounts, the group’s been quietly dropped from Sony/RCA. Ever since the non-release of “Freedom” by the Sugababes 4.0 which stalled only days before its release date last September and ended up being offered as a free download, the ever-withering troupe has fallen silent over the past six months.
Plus, in an interview published yesterday with Heidi Range–who’s now about to appear on Dancing On Ice–the singer openly admitted that the group’s not doing much these days. From Digital Spy:
“We were just in a period where we weren’t busy anyway. We were doing our own thing,” Range told Digital Spy. “We haven’t split up, no.”
Speaking about the group’s future, she added: “We’re not concentrating on it. I’m concentrating on this. We haven’t got anything planned at the moment.”
If the Sugababes 4.0 aren’t splitting just yet, their name remains intact. So what will the original troupe be called? Although it’s true that Mutya won limited rights to the Sugababes name back in August (quite limited, actually–as in paper goods, stationary and gift wrapping), it doesn’t seem as though the girls will be able to reunite under their original name. Any guesses on their new incarnation name?
Only one thing’s for sure: I’m on overload.
With a spunky, girlish charm as infectious as the Spice Girls in their heyday and vocal chops that’d have The Saturdays and Sugababes 4.0 shaking in their stilettos, The Dolly Rockers have remained my favorite new girl group–err, girl group in the works–since Girls Aloud.
Though it’s taken them a long, long, long time to get their show on the road (over the past two years they’ve dropped one member, replaced her, and signed under RedOne‘s record label), there’s something so undeniably irresistible about the tutu wearing, bratty British trio.
Now, as Sophie, Lucie and Daniele put the finishing touches on their long, long, long awaited debut album, they’ve gone ahead and given their ever-patient fans a lovely new treat: Their first ever cover!
Click above to watch the girls take on Demi Lovato‘s devastating ballad, “Skyscraper.” As you can clearly hear within the first few seconds, it’s absolutely fantastic.
Like, almost deceptively amazing. Like, “Oh, okay. Cool. A cover. Wait, but this is–this is fucking BRILLIANT.” And those soulful harmonies? Unbelievable! Their styling, their sound…I just love them so much!
We’ve seen some rather meh UK girl groups launched over the past few years, but I wholeheartedly maintain that the Dollys will be the ones to watch in 2012. Now, who’s ready to get Dolly Rockered?
Oh, the Sugababes.
After months of promo, the UK girl group formally known as the best selling group of the 21st century (and now mostly for its ever-rotating roster) has decided to give away their latest single “Freedom” as a free download on Amazon beginning this week.
From their Facebook:
As a thank you to their fans the Sugababes are offering their new single, ‘Freedom’ as a free download via Amazon. Head to the link below to download your copy of ‘Freedom’ available from September 25th
The free download comes (presumably) after the track failed to pick up any traction whatsoever amongst British audiences (according to Compare My Radio, the track has only been spun once by BBC Radio 1 and once by BBC Radio 2)–not to mention an increasing apathy by listeners and/or fans.
Jade Ewen came to the group’s defense on Twitter hours ago after a surge of Twitter rumors last night claimed her as the latest girl to ditch the group, tweeting:
Wow! So who started this rumour guys?? The only place this Sugababe is going is to the studio with the girls to work on our new album!
Meanwhile, the pre-order link for “Freedom” on iTunes UK no longer works.
Meet Chronz, T-Roy and Martika (I’ll allow a moment to marinate on each those names individually), the members of one of Polydor’s newest girl groups, RD, AKA Ruff Diamondz. Again…marinate on that.
As my shady sister/bottom buddy Prophet Blog pointed out a few weeks ago, these chicks are the spitting image of the original incarnation of the Sugababes. Like…that redhead (Chronz) is literally Siobhan Donaghy. It’s a little unsettling as a Suga fan, but also kind of nice in a nostalgic sort in a way.
But even if they’ve got the Suga look down, the girls of RD are bringing an entirely different sound to the table.
“Got Me Burnin’” is RD’s infectious newest single due out on September 25, a mostly minimal UK garage/drum ‘n’ bass fest that plays like something straight off of Katy B‘s On A Mission. (Makes sense, as the track was produced by Katy B producer Geenius!) “Something like a fever got me burnin’ / It’s concerning, baby,” the girls croon above the song’s quick-tripping beat.
Ahead of their debut, the girls released a 9-track mixtape on their website, a multi-genre collection that includes features from Roll Deep and UK rapper Wretch 32 across R&B slow-jams (“I Know U Want Me”), swagga-riffic brag tracks (“Superstar Shades”) and unusual grime-infused pop hybrids (“Do It Like Me”).
While their songs have a tendency of getting a bit too mucked up in grime-y grittiness, the girls of RD still command a pretty soulful sound beneath those dirrty beats, especially when navigating the slower R&B numbers. Or is that just my Sugababes 1.0 nostalgia shining through once again?
Anyway, it’ll be interesting to see what musical styling RD actually serves up when their debut drops later this year. Let’s just hope the line-up doesn’t switch up by then!
“Got Me Burnin’” will be released on September 25. (iTunes)
It’s the answer to the question everyone’s been asking ever since Keisha Buchanan got the boot/left the group in September of 2009: Can the girl group made up of three girls that were never part of the original line-up really still call themselves the Sugababes? The answer: Sorry, no can do!
Founding member Mutya Buena has just won a lawsuit against the troupe for legal rights to the band’s original name. From the NME article:
The singer then announced she would be pursuing legal action to win the rights to the name Sugababes and announced yesterday that she had succeeded.
She wrote on her Facebook page of the news: “I won the official name of the Sugababes now!!! I deserve this! I’m over the moon!”. She is also listed as the owner of the name Sugababes on the official EU trademark website.
The decision not only means current members Heidi Range, Amelle Berrabah and Jade Ewen will potentially have to tour and record under a new name, but that Buena and original members Keisha Buchanan and Siobahn Donaghy will be able to reunite under the name Sugababes if they wish.
So, um…now what? The ‘Babes have a brand new single due out at the start of September (“Freedom”) and an album launch on the horizon. Coupled with dwindling support from the group’s original fan-base, is this the sound of goodbye?
Will Jade Ewen finally get to realize her dreams as a perfectly good solo artist in her own right? Will Amelle Berrabah start up a bad ass bitch duo with Alesha Dixon? Will Heidi Range launch a high street collection of tea cozies? Only one thing’s for sure: The Sugababes are officially no more.
…That is, unless the original group reforms. SHIVERS.
In all seriousness though, this is incredibly sad news: It’s officially the end of an era (for now). RIP Sugababes!
EDIT: Orrrrr not so fast!
NME has provided a quick update to their original story to clarify that Mutya has only won some rights to the Sugababes name, including “paper, cardboard and goods; namely stationery, paper gift wrap and paper gift wrapping ribbons.”
The Sugas live to fight another day! BUT YOU’LL NEVER WRAP A GIFT IN THIS TOWN AGAIN, AMELLE.