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Atomic Kitten

Atomic Kitten during the concert in Krakow, Poland in 2005
Background information
Origin Liverpool, England
Genres Pop, dance-pop, europop
Years active 1997–2008
Labels EMI/Innocent/Virgin
Website AtomicKitten.co.uk
Former members
Liz McClarnon (1997–2008)
Natasha Hamilton (1999–2008)
Jenny Frost (2001–2008)
Kerry Katona (1997–2001)
Heidi Range (1997–1999)

Atomic Kitten is an English girl group from Liverpool, first established in 1997.

Created by Andy McCluskey, the trio include Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon, and Jenny Frost who replaced Kerry Katona after her leaving in 2001.

Atomic Kitten gained a large fan base across Europe, in particular the United Kingdom and Germany. Atomic Kitten also managed to gain fanbases in Asia, New Zealand and Australia, and to a lesser extent, Canada and South Africa.

Atomic Kitten had three UK number one singles; Whole Again, the fourth best selling single by a girl group of all time; Eternal flame, a song originally recorded by The Bangles, and The Tide Is High, a song originally recorded by The Paragons and later by Blondie.

They also had two UK number one albums, Right Now, a re-issue of their debut album, and Feels So Good, both going double platinum in the UK alone.

Atomic Kitten have sold over 10 million records worldwide.[1] These sales come from 6.2 million singles and 3.8 million albums.

Contents

History

1997–2001: Beginnings and Right Now

Atomic Kitten was first conceived in 1997 by Andy McCluskey of 1980s band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark. McCluskey originally chose Heidi Range (now in the group Sugababes) to be a member along with Liz McClarnon and Kerry Katona, but Range decided to opt out and was replaced by Natasha Hamilton. This line-up was finalised in 1999.

The group's first single, "Right Now", debuted in December 1999 and reached the UK Top 10. After their initial success, Atomic Kitten performed an Asian tour and scored their first number one hit there with "Cradle". The album, also titled Right Now, was first released in Japan on 16 March 2000, and subsequently released in the United Kingdom on 23 October 2000 with a slightly modified track list. In 2000, the group also recorded a cover version of "The Locomotion" for the movie Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

The Right Now album was unsuccessful upon its first release, peaking only at no.39 in the UK album chart. Initially, there were no plans to focus on the global market and Atomic Kitten's record label, Innocent Records, was even considering dropping them because of their limited success. However, the record company were persuaded to allow the group to record one more single.[2] The single, "Whole Again", became their first no. 1 hit in the UK in 2001. The song and video for "Whole Again" originally featured Kerry Katona; however, she left the group several days prior to the number-one position because of her pregnancy.[3] The single was remade when Jenny Frost was added to the line-up as Katona's replacement. This led to a decision to partially re-record and re-release the album, which then went to no. 1 in August 2001.

The next single, "Eternal Flame", a cover version of the 1989 hit by The Bangles, also became a no. 1 hit.

2002–2003: Feels So Good

Following the success of "Whole Again", a new album, Feels So Good, was recorded. The songwriting and production agreement with Andy McCluskey was an increasing source of tension within the group, and the girls decided to terminate the contract with McCluskey halfway through the recording of the album.[citation needed]

The first single off the album was "It's OK!". Even though this song performed well in the charts, securing a No. 3 position, it was the next single "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)", a remake of the 1965 song by The Paragons (also made famous by Blondie in 1980), which attained Atomic Kitten their third number-one single. In April 2002, Hamilton announced that she was pregnant, but rather than leave the group, she opted to continue with the scheduled 2002 tour. Hamilton filmed the music video for "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)", and made an appearance at Party in the Park before finally going on pregnancy leave.[4]

During January and February 2003, Atomic Kitten toured around Southeast Asia, visiting Singapore, Thailand, and Korea. Hamilton, who had given birth to her son, Josh, on 24 August 2002, decided to take her newborn baby with her on the tour as well.[5]

2003–2004: Ladies Night and current hiatus

In April 2003, the group released the album, Atomic Kitten in the United States. Until that time, the group had not focused on the American market, and the album consisted of tracks from their first two albums, Right Now and Feels So Good. Promotion for the album began with the single, The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling), appearing on the soundtrack for the Disney film, The Lizzie McGuire Movie starring Hilary Duff. However, after the album only managed to peak at #102 on the US Billboard chart, it was decided the group would focus solely on the European and Asian markets.[6]

Before recording their third album, Kool and the Gang approached the group about a collaboration for their album of duets, Odyssey. Kool and the Gang wanted to record an updated version of their hit "Ladies Night" and were looking for a girl group to sing the lyrics. Atomic Kitten liked the idea and enquired whether they could use it for their next album which was subsequently named Ladies Night in honour of this collaboration.[7]

Atomic Kitten spent late 2002 and early 2003 in the studio recording their third and final studio album. Up until the recording of Ladies Night, the group mainly relied on songwriters, though they had occasionally co-written songs featured on their albums. While recording Ladies Night, they decided to be directly involved in the creation of eight of the fifteen songs. Ladies Night was released on 10 November 2003, and peaked at no.5 in the UK album chart.

In early 2004, a tour to support the Ladies Night album and the upcoming release of their Greatest Hits album was planned. Shortly before the tour kicked off, the group announced they would be taking an extended break after the completion of the tour.[8]

2005–present occasional and charity work

On 23 January 2004, Natasha Hamilton decided to devote more time to her young son and wanted to take a hiatus from the group. Atomic Kitten released the single "Someone Like Me/Right Now 2004" as a "goodbye" to their fans, but were reunited on Valentine's Day 2005 to release the charity single "Cradle 2005", a new version of the original song from their album Right Now. "Cradle 2005" peaked at No. 10, with proceeds going to World Vision.[9]

In 2005, the group was featured on the soundtrack of Disney's Mulan II with the song "(I Wanna Be) Like Other Girls". In 2005, they also performed together in Krakow, Poland on 28 August at the Coca-Cola SoundWave Festival.

In 2006, Atomic Kitten recorded a one-off single, "All Together Now (Strong Together)", in association with Goleo VI, the official mascot of the FIFA World Cup 2006. The track is taken from The Official FIFA World Cup Album and was released for digital download and in CD form on 6 June 2006, in Germany, where the World Cup was held ten days later. The single was listed by the HMV website for physical release in the UK many weeks prior to the competition, but was later withdrawn due to the amount of competing football records that were being released at that time. The proceeds of the single went to SOS Children's Villages.[10]

On 4 December 2006, the group reunited again for a one-off performance of "Whole Again" and two other songs at a benefit concert for the Michael Shields appeal at the Liverpool Empire Theatre.[11]

On 31 December 2006, Atomic Kitten performed at the Ocean Terminal in Hong Kong at Nokia's New Year's Eve celebration. The marked their second international appearance since their extended break in 2004.[12]

Atomic Kitten released another charity single, Anyone Who Had A Heart on 27 January 2008, a version of Dionne Warwick's 1963 hit as part of the Liverpool Number One Project. The single peaked at no.77 in the UK. On 19 January 2008, Atomic Kitten had returned to the stage for The Number One Project, where they sang "Anyone Who Had a Heart", "Whole Again" and "The Tide is High (Get the Feeling)" live. On 25 January 2008, the group appeared on GMTV, talking about The Number One Project and performed "Anyone Who Had a Heart" in the studio. Later that same day Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton appeared on Radio 1's Scott Mills Show.

Members

Current members

  • Jenny Frost (2001–present) (born 22 February 1978, in Prestwich, United Kingdom), and started her musical career in the girl-group Precious who represented the United Kingdom in the 1999 Eurovision Song Contest. Frost replaced Kerry Katona in 2001. After the split of Atomic Kitten, Frost embarked on a solo career and released her first single "Crash Landing" on 10 October 2005 but has not released any material since after embarking on a presenting career as the host of a BBC Three make-over programme Snog Marry Avoid? which has currently ran for 2 series with a series 3 commissioned.
  • Natasha Hamilton (1999–present) (born 17 July 1982, in Liverpool, United Kingdom). In January, 2004, she decided to take a break from Atomic Kitten because she wanted to spend more time with her sons.
  • Liz McClarnon (1999–present) (born Elizabeth Margaret McClarnon, 10 April 1981, in Liverpool, United Kingdom), was one of the original members of the group. While in Atomic Kitten, she co-wrote many of their songs. Her solo single "Woman in Love" was released on 14 February 2006. In 2007 McClarnon appeared on Eurovision: Making Your Mind Up, a BBC show to select Britain's entry for the Eurovision Song Contest, performing her own song "(Don't It Make You) Happy!" but finished in 5th place (the winner was Scooch). McClarnon had better luck in 2008 when she won Celebrity Masterchef.

Former members

  • Kerry Katona (1999–2001) (born 6 September 1980, in Warrington, United Kingdom), was one of the original members of Atomic Kitten. Katona was featured on the original Right Now album in 2000, though famously commented later that she didn't actually sing. Katona left the group in 2001 after she became pregnant, though she has remained in the public eye ever since (often more due to scandal rather than other notability).

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album Chart positions
UK AUS NZ[13] GER U.S.[14]
2000 Right Now 1 86 12 6
2002 Feels So Good 1 21 3 6
2003 Atomic Kitten 7 102
Ladies Night 5 67 3 12
2004 Greatest Hits 5 8 35

Number-one singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
AUT[15] IRE[16] NZ[17] UK[18] NOR
2001 "Whole Again" 1 1 1 1 Right Now
"Eternal Flame" 3 2 1 1 13
2002 "The Tide Is High (Get the Feeling)" 3 1 1 1 11 Feels So Good

References

  1. ^ Liz McClarnon - Official Website. [1]. "sold 10 million records globally".
  2. ^ BBC News: Atomic Kitten's perfect year (Accessed 29 July 2006)
  3. ^ BBC News: McFadden and Katona tie knot (Accessed 30 July 2006)
  4. ^ Fun Trivia: Atomic Kitten (Accessed 29 July 2006)
  5. ^ Atomic Kitten active - News 9 January 2003 (Accessed 30 July 2006)
  6. ^ The Arkansas Traveler online: Atomic Kitten: what America is missing (Accessed 16 August 16, 2006)
  7. ^ CBBC News: Ladies Night interview (Accessed 29 July 29, 2006)
  8. ^ CBBC News: Atomic Kitten reveal new tour dates (Accessed 30 July 2006)
  9. ^ AtomicKittenz (Accessed 31 December 2005)
  10. ^ Natasha Hamilton's official site - News section (Accessed 29 July 2006)
  11. ^ http://www.liverpoolecho.co.uk/liverpool-news/liverpool-campaigns/michael-shields/2006/12/05/kittens-4-justice-100252-18212216/.jpg liverpoolecho.co.uk
  12. ^ "Nokia New Year's Eve celebrates the start of 2007 in global style". http://www.huliq.com/4251/nokia-new-years-eve-celebrates-the-start-of-2007-in-global-style. Retrieved 2008-02-26. 
  13. ^ New Zealand peak. charts.org. Retrieved 31 May 2007.
  14. ^ The Arkansas Traveler online: Atomic Kitten: what America is missing (Accessed 16 August 2006)
  15. ^ AustrianCharts.at Atomic Kitten page Accessed: 28 October 2006
  16. ^ IrishchartsAccessed: 1 June 2007
  17. ^ Charts.org.nz Atomic Kitten single page Accessed: 29 October 2006
  18. ^ Chart Log UKAccessed: 17 July 2007

External links


Simple English

Atomic Kitten is an English girl group from Liverpool composed of Liz "Lil" McClarnon, Natasha "Tash" Hamilton, and Jenny Frost - who replaced original member Kerry Katona in January 2001. Atomic Kitten has sold over 12 million albums and 8 million singles around the world. Many of their singles and albums entered the Top 40 charts worldwide, such as "Right Now," "Whole Again," "Eternal Flame," "The Tide Is High," and "Ladies Night."








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