Thursday, 24 September 2009

Keisha Buchanan leaves the Sugababes

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.'

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Happy 4 Months!!

Hey Everyone!
What comes before Part B? Part-AY!! So, welcome to The BAE official 4 month anniversary party! [And yes, I have every intention to celebrate this - ha ha!] Thank you to all the followers, all the comments, and all the amazing support I have received since starting this website. This is primarily responsible for taking up a good chunk of my spare time, so I'm blaming my lack of productiveness over the past couple of months solely on this.... and the internet..... :-) I sincerely hope that you guys have been enjoying what you've been reading, and my constant 'booking/mentioning/twittering about BA hasn't completely put you off reading it! Please keep the comments coming - they're awesome! Hopefully I'll be able to put a video up of me soon to let you know how it's all going and any other news/updates.
I love to read, so even if it's not my book you're reading, which of course, it will be, make sure you pick up something else, and yes, in case you're wondering, the latest issue of Vogue still counts as a book in my eyes - a classic at that! Yay!!
Hope you're having a great weekend, as well as morning/afternoon/evening/night. xoxo C

[6. Love Is What You Mean To Me]

Stacie Anderson, [West Manhattan, New York City, NY]

"Do not seek the because - in Love there is no because, no reason, no explanations, no solutions."
- Anais Nin

I woke up with a start, my eyelids slowly opening, feeling strangely euphoric - and let out a long, deep breath. I was certain I had been dreaming, and even now, as I lay in bed as my eyes wondered lazily around the room, nothing around me felt permanent, almost as if I expected my current surroundings to shift and change, so my reality would end up being somewhere else entirely different.
The reasons I had to believe I had been dreaming were endless, but I could narrow them down to just two. The first - my current mood was one of euphoria - I was happy, actually happy, as opposed to the past 3 months of having that ever prevalent feeling of sadness and emptiness at the back of my thoughts. The second - Daniel was standing in front of me - no words, no explanations, just him. He hadn't changed much in his god-like appearance, but his whole demeanour was different - he seemed to be a changed man in most of his actions - the way he stood, even the way he looked at me.
My body slightly stiffened underneath the mound of duvet in front of me - I struggled to believe he was here - he couldn't be here - not like this, and not in my bedroom - my dream theory gathering more momentum and significance with every passing second.
I was about to ask him a question - I wanted to ask him so many - what was he doing here in my room - in front of me? Why can't you stop appearing in my dreams? Why can't this be a possible reality?
At that moment, I opened my eyelids slowly, my eyes adjusting to the sudden bright light in the room.
My dream bedroom had been exactly the same as this - from the big things, right down to the small things, and as I looked around me I noticed that my door was slightly ajar - the same as in my dream, and the silk pale pink camisole I had noticed draped over my wicker chair in the corner was still prevalent in my actual bedroom, that in fact, everything mirrored my dream bedroom exactly.
I lay in the bed, mounds of white duvet crumpled around me, lying perfectly still and motionless, not wanting to move too much or try to strain my eyes outside my line of vision - not for now. I could do it in a minute or two.
There it was. That voice, and I looked up, raising my head slowly, as if in slow motion, taking my time and making sure my head didn't come up too fast to avoid any confusion over what I was about to see. I didn't even have to look to know who it was, but during the past 3 months, my mind had been here too many times before for me to know for certain that I could trust my own thoughts and feelings, and especially my dreams.
This was the one voice I could - and would respond to, answer to, whether I was asleep or awake, the voice that on occasion, I had reminded myself of the reasons behind surrendering to that voice, over and over again, even when I didn't want to.
I looked up to see Daniel looking back down at me, to find my head lying comfortably against his chest, and I immediately started to panic. Daniel was smiling, and now placed an arm carefully around my shoulder. I studied the length of his body, his face as I looked across and took the rest of my bedroom in, seeming suddenly new and alien to me in the morning light. I noticed my hand was wrapped around Daniel's waist, and as for my own body, the one thing that was different was the impromptu arrival of a beautiful bracelet around my wrist, that I was sure had not been there the night before. Daniel looked down at me and I felt his hands reach over and stroke my stomach gently, a stomach which once had been curved, but had now resumed its original shape - concave and flat. I shifted uncomfortably and awkwardly, but his hand remained in place, before moving upwards towards my fingers, interlocking my own with his.
He pressed his warm, soft lips against my cheek, before kissing the top of my head slowly. And although we didn't look at each other, a huge smile appeared on both of our faces as I lay in his arms, thinking to myself that my dream had, in actual fact, been prophetic enough to turn from a dream into an actual reality.
Darren Anderson, Phoenix Point, West Brooklyn, New York City, NY

"These violent delights have violent ends, and in their triumph die, like fire and powder, which as they kiss, consume."
- 'Romeo and Juliet, Act 2, Scene 6' -William Shakespeare

I was in excruciating pain that surged through every part of me, with nowhere left to run, and nobody else for me to turn to. I was running out of actions, and somewhere, a small part of me felt that there was nothing I could do to help her anymore. The Doctors had been helpful, but vague and inexperienced in their decisions and subsequent diagnosis, wanting this particular type of illness to have a label, just like everything else, so that it could be easily prescribed for, but the truth was it was a lot more complicated than they could have ever imagined. Tasha wouldn't talk to me for hours, sometimes days, always trying to defend her actions by saying she was simply too busy, but however much I knew this was part of her avoidance and self doubt, I liked to believe that a small part of her was still listening to the hometruths that I delivered to her.
It was killing me inside to watch my beautiful, lovely wife show nothing but deep disdain and dislike towards Autumn - our child who was inevitably, a part of both of us, but no matter how I tried, forcing Tasha to do something in general without her consent was never a very good idea. The worst part was all of this was seeing Tasha change her behaviour so quickly and erratically towards Autumn, which made my heart ache.
Autumn was now almost a year old, her face still had the same beautiful features as always, making it impossible to resist her, not only to me but with every single person she came into contact with, be it that they are young or old. Unless Autumn made some kind of significant gesture with her hands, which she was still working out how to use, amazed she could touch things with different textures, being incredibly co-ordinated and bright and alert, then Tasha didn't acknowlege her existence in the room whatsoever. Autumn had been accustomed to this over the few months, and always made sure her hands and feet flayed around playfully for attention, until someone, her mother, started to pay attention. The only problem, when Tasha had been suffering non stop with this disease for so long, nothing really managed to catch her eye and stay there.
On other days, when Tasha was bubbly and excited, on waking in the morning, Tash would walk towards Autumn's bed and play with her once she woke up from her dreams, startled and excited her mother was in front of her, and I was overcome with excitement that for once, Autumn would not be screaming at me outside for her mother and getting absolutely nothing in return.
Autumn would laugh and giggle with happiness as she spent time playing and bonding with Tasha for what seemed like endless hours on end as they lay on top of the sofa, on top of the huge, scarlet cushions, but I knew she would switch again, her mood was change, and the light would switch off again, thrusting our worlds into darkness. I thought about all of this as I could see Autumn laughing, her hands playing around in Tash's own, before both of them collapsed into peals of giggles, Autumn pressing her soft, dimpled palms on Tasha's cheek as Autumn casually played around with the word 'Mama' in her mouth, saying it every now and again and sneaking a look at us for what we're going to say.
But by the end of the day, having promised Autumn a trip to the park that very same day, to see the ducks and fish, to which Autumn's entire face had lightened up with glee, Tasha again, refused to carry out her promise to her one year old, and walked back out of the room, unbothered and unscathed, passing Autumn and her face, filled with salty tears, her bottom lip shaking slightly.