Hi My Lovelies!
I couldn't believe the news officially announcing that Keisha Buchanan had left the Sugababes. As the last remaining original member of the most successful girl group in the UK starting back in 1998, the band had been plagued with constant rumours of bitching and bullying over the years, during their two replacements of both Siobhan Donaghy and Mutya Buena since the band started 11 years ago, in 1998. They have had a consecutive string of top ten hits and albums, but as of late the band has been repeatedly worn down with these rumours, and although the girls tried to make light of this and poke fun, calling their last album 'Catfights & Spotlights' it would seem this has done little to ease the tension.
Keisha was said to be solely responsible for the first departure in 1999, following the departure of fellow bandmember Siobhan Donaghy, 25, who has gone on to land a solo career, but has demonstrated vocally that she was subject to constant bullying from Keisha, and suffered a bout of depression from this. Mutya and Keisha were subsequently dropped from their label London Records, despite their debut album 'One Touch being a critical success, with many saying the trio had created an album which was 'mature beyond their years.' The girls replaced Siobhan with Heidi Range, 26, who was a founding member of Atomic Kitten before walking out. The girls signed with a new label Island Records, re-invented their sound, and released their sophomore effort 'Angels with Dirty Faces' in 2003, where the singles 'Freak Like Me' and Round Round' went straight to No.1, the album going platinum, and winning the girls a string of accolades, including a Q Award, an Elle Style Award, a Glamour Award, and a Brit Award for 'Best British Dance Act.' The following albums 'Three' and 'Taller In More Ways' were also commercial successes, bringing the singles 'Hole In The Head', 'In The Middle', 'Too Lost In You', and 'Push The Button'. Shortly after this, Mutya Buena made her own departure from the band citing that she wanted to spend more time with her newborn baby daughter, Tahlia Maya. Mark Hargreaves, Sugababes' Management, quickly found Mutya's replacement with Amelle Berrabah, 25, who he had seen perform at a showcase with her sister, Zakiya, calling themselves 'Boo 2.' Amelle joined Keisha and Heidi to replace Mutya on the 'babes third single and video 'Red Dress' from the 2005 album 'Taller In More Ways.' Amelle re-recorded Mutya's vocals, and one extra song 'Now You're Gone' was also added to the track listing. After this, the trio went on to release two more albums, 'Change' and 'Catfights and Spotlights' which were critically acclaimed and initially well recieved in the charts.
It has always been said that as the sole original member, Keisha was the driving force behind the group, and it seems this has come to a head. Since joining, Amelle has been in and out of the news for her turbulent love life, and has enjoyed success with her No.1 solo collaboration with Tinchy Stryder for his single 'Never Leave You' - Tinchy stated before he wanted to work with the sugababes, but this time around he had requested for Amelle specifically. Following the success of this, Amelle has been noticed by Chris Brown and Justin Timberlake, especially since the girls recently signed a new record deal with Jay-Z's own record label in the US.
The Official Statement from the Sugababes is as follows:
The current lineup of the Sugababes has disbanded. Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue as the Sugababes and will be joined by new member Jade Ewen. They release their album 'Sweet 7' on November 23rd through Island Records. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record for Island Records as a solo artist. As no doubt you've heard, Keisha has left the Sugababes. She's had an absolutely incredible time over the past 11 years and has been constantly amazed and uplifted by the support you've all shown her. She'd like to pass on her huge thanks for helping the band have such a fantastic career and looks forward to you hearing her solo material, to be released by Island Records. Amelle and Heidi will be joined by Jade Ewen in the new Sugababes lineup. Jade has been a massive fan of the band for many years and is really excited to be a part of it. Keisha, Amelle and Heidi realise the news has come as a big shock and that some of you are upset. Along with Jade, they hope that you can join them in looking forward to the next chapter of the Sugababes.
Following rumours of band bitching and bullying between Amelle and Keisha, leading to an rumoured physical fight about rivalry and jealousy, Heidi was said to have struck a secret deal with Amelle to deal with the situation once and for all, leading to another change and the band to embrace their fourth line up.
Keisha has tweeted the following about her shock departure from the group:
"Dear friends, I'm sad to say that I am no longer a part of the Sugababes. I've had a great time and achieved more than I ever thought I would. Although it was not my choice to leave, its time to enter a new chapter in my life. I have nothing but positive things to say about the girls and I wish them the best of luck. I would like to state that there were no arguments, bullying or anything of the sort that lead to this. Sometimes a break down in communication and lack of trust can result in many different things. I would also like to point out that I have always supported the girls and they have also supported me. Remember my drunk pictures out with Amelle, supporting her on her success with Tinchy Stryder... oh the shame...but what a fun night we had. Now I'm going to take some time to focus on me. I've been in this band for 11 years and I have achieved so much. I have a great family and friends who are behind me 100% and at the age of 24, I'm now going out into this world on my own...Although I'm nervous, I'm still very excited on what lies ahead :-) I want to thank the Sugababes fans and my fans for all your support and all who have never judged me but accepted me for who I am... the feisty, funny, professional, fearless motormouth...LOL this is not the end, but the beginning. Thank you always...Keisha xx
Earlier this month, Keisha had departed for Los Angeles a lot earlier than Heidi and Amelle in preparation for their video shoot of their second single 'About A Girl.' During this time, news was rife with allegations about Amelle being 'kidnapped' and Keisha's bullying being unbearable. Keisha also addressed this prior, saying:
"Why the fuck have I just woken up in LA to 25 phone calls of people telling me that I'm in the paper today for a completely made up story... about me bullying Amelle, not being supportive blah, blah, blah. I've let the papers tell lies about me when it comes to stories like that. In the past I've let members talk crap about me and tried to laugh it off because I know the truth, my friends, family, and MOST of all GOD. But not anymore. I may come across as a hard nut sometimes but I'm actually really sensitive and it destroys me to think that people today are going to read that and believe it. I feel like no-one EVER bothers to look deep into the Sugababes story. They see me as the longest standing member and assume that I'm the bitch who causes people to walk, and its totally untrue and unfair. All I've ever done is work my ass off, trying to keep the dream alive, because I love my fans and I love my job. I don't give a shit about being famous, we're all on the same level. I've always put this band before me and never thought that I was bigger than it...its a great team effort. TRUTH: I'm going to say that its fair to ay that in the 1st line up that there were arguments, certain parents were involved then, calling the shots. Which caused a lot of shit. And with the current line up, I can honestly say that we all get along! I'm sure we bug each other at times but I love them girls. And there has NEVER been bullying in Sugababes ever! I don't know what to do anymore, I'll take a lie detector test to prove everything if I have to. I'm sick of this, I'm so crushed guys, but I know God is under control so I'll be down today but I'm a strong girl and will get back up. All I ask i for you not to judge me, but get to know my heart, give me a chance and don't believe what you have heard/read about me. I understand that some people are not going to like me and they might believe it, and that's fine because I know God is my judge and I don't hate you for it. But to those of you that are supporting me thank you so so much, I promise you that I am telling the truth and I won't let you down. Wow...history repeats itself...this hurts. Thanks again. Love Kay."
Heidi Range recently spoke up about Keisha's departure, saying: "We couldn't work together anymore. It suddenly came to a head last week, me and Amelle knew we couldn't move forward the way it was, we couldn't work together anymore. But we did not want to throw away what we had achieved and split up. None of us was happy. We had to make a decision. Things have not been good for a few months. I'm not going to say anything bad about Keisha. I'm not going to start telling tales because I have too much respect."
So, the last remaining Sugababe has officially left, and the band are on the verge of morphing into something entirely new. I've been a firm fan of their music for 11 years now, and are still the only band I will spend money on as opposed to downloads. While their last album failed to impress me as much as their previous efforts, they still had a distinct sound and tried to build an eclectic sound bringing together both pop and R'N'B rather than just sticking to bubblegum pop. My favourite line-up was Sugababes 3.0, as when Amelle joined the band in late 2005 she brought a much needed rebirth to the group and still retained the same husky undertones that we had gotten used to with Mutya's voice.
Their new material is amazing, and I can't stop dancing to their first two singles 'Get Sexy' and 'About A Girl', but with yet another member being introduced halfway through another album, this may impact on their chart position, but I hope not! I will keep you posted on whether Sugababes 4.0 are my favourite band! What do you think? Are you sad to see Keisha go and the end of the original Sugababes? Are you excited for Jade's arrival and the start of a brand new chapter?
In an recent interview with GMTV's Lorraine Kelly on LK Today, Mutya sat down and said it would be an amazing idea to try and reform the original band, as she is still in contact with both Keisha and Siobhan. We have yet to hear from Keisha about this, as she seems keen to promote a solo career, but Siobhan has been vocal in saying that she would never join the Sugababes again because of her troubles with Keisha, and the band have sold out to become 'too commercial.' But, you never know, it could happen!
Heidi and Amelle are now in Los Angeles along with Eurovision reality TV winner Jade, in the California Desert, shooting the video for their upcoming single 'About A Girl' taken off the album 'Sweet 7.'