After all the rumors that plagued UK gossip magazines, an announcement from their official website set the record straight–“The current line-up of the Sugababes has disbanded. Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue to be the Sugababes to be joined by Eurovision’s Jade Ewen. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record for Island Records as a solo artist. The Sugababes will release their new album “Sweet 7″ on November 23.”
For those not familiar with the history of the Sugababes, let me give you a backgrounder.
The Sugababes is an English all-female trio based in the UK. The group was formed in 1998 by founding members Keisha Buchanan, Siobhán Donaghy, and Mutya Buena.
In 2001, Donaghy left the group after she felt ‘bullied’ by Buchanan. Her last appearance as a Sugababe was during a Japanese promotional tour, wherein she excused herself to the toilet, and then immediately left the venue, and never looked back. What a way to say goodbye, yes.
Heidi Range, who was originally an Atomic Kitten along with Liz McClarnon and Kerry Katona, then took Donaghy’s spot after both Buena and Buchanan was impressed with her vocal capabilities. Range enjoyed success with Buchanan and Buena as 9 of their 10 singles during this era became top ten hits.
But in 2005, a second line-up change happened. Buena quit the Sugababes citing personal reasons. Buchanan, the last remaining original Sugababe said that they remain friends with Mutya, and that they miss her dearly, but it was time to bring in someone new who could help push the Sugababes music forward.
Amelle Berrabah joined the group 48 hours after Buena quit the group.
But it doesn’t end there.
The latest line-up change was in September 2009, when it was officially announced that Keisha Buchanan left the group. Buchanan announced in her Twitter account that it wasn’t her choice to leave the group, but she has to move on and grow as an artist. She said indirectly that “communication problems” and “lack of respect” are the causes of the break-up.
Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah joined by Buchanan’s replacement, Jade Ewen , a graduate of Eurovision, now comprise the Sugababes.
The Sugababes today has none of its original members.
So what does this mean for the group and their fans?
Aside from having too many line-up changes which may be too hard for fans like me to take, the biggest problem of the “Sugababes” now is that they seem to be a brand, rather than artists. They had more class than most girl groups–not having to strip to have number ones, relying on their music to gain publicity instead of scandals–but now they just seem so tainted and fans like me think that the group is just a product of music mills instead of artistry that results to their soulful pop music that sometimes borders on R&B. Even if their new album “Sweet 7” is good, I doubt loyal fans will troop to record bars as much as they did to the line-ups before.
Sad how society is to women, really. I mean, the Sugababes only reflect the general conduct of record companies and audiences to girl groups–Atomic Kitten, Girls Aloud and other girl groups can have ‘replacements or substitutes’, and still move on to sell records. But have you ever seen boy bands get replacements?