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Girls Aloud

Girls Aloud are a British girl group created by ITV1 talent show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002. The group, consisting of Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Nadine Coyle, Nicola Roberts and Sarah Harding, has become one of the most successful British pop groups of the decade, with a record-breaking 19 consecutive Top 10 singles (including four number ones) and six albums (including two number ones). They are Smash Hits poll winners, have won a TMF Award and have been nominated for two BRIT Awards.

Girls Aloud hold the record for the shortest time between formation and reaching number one in the UK Charts (with their platinum-selling début single "Sound of the Underground"), and have since become one of the few reality television groups to achieve continued success. Guinness World Records lists them as "Most Successful Reality TV Group" in the 2007 edition, and they also hold the record for "Most Consecutive Top Ten Entries in the UK by a Female Group" in the 2008 edition, with 15 consecutive top tens from "Sound of the Underground" in 2002 through to "Walk This Way" in 2007. Girls Aloud have since extended this record to 19 consecutive Top 10s from debut — the most recent being "The Promise" which reached #1 in October 2008.

Girls Aloud - The Loving Kind

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Girls Aloud have a number of diverse fans including the Jonas Brothers,[1] Matt Helders,[2] Chris Martin,[3] Duff McKagan,[4] and Neil Tennant.[5] They have had their music covered by artists as varied as Arctic Monkeys,[6] Billy Corgan,[7] Coldplay,[8] and Mark Morriss.[9] The Observer has referred to "Biology" as the single of the decade.

Subsequent career

2002–2004: Sound of the Underground

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After the success of their first single "Sound of the Underground", the newly formed group took several months to record their début album. Also entitled Sound of the Underground, this was released on 26 May 2003. It entered the charts at number two, behind Justin Timberlake's album Justified. One of the tracks, "Girls Allowed", was written for the girls by ex-Westlife star Bryan McFadden while "Some Kind of Miracle" was co-written by former B*Witched member Edele Lynch. The girls' second single, the number two hit "No Good Advice", was also released in May 2003, and the third single, "Life Got Cold", charted at number three in August 2003.

In November 2003, the girls released "Jump"—a cover of the Pointer Sisters classic 80's dance smash. The song featured on the soundtrack to the 2003 film Love Actually. It entered the chart at number two, behind Westlife's single "Mandy". The album went platinum after a re-issue was released on 1 December 2003. The new version of Sound of the Underground featured a new album cover and the replacement of three original songs with "Jump" (which wasn't included on the original version), "You Freak Me Out" (which appeared on the soundtrack of Freaky Friday) and "Girls on Film" (a cover of a Duran Duran song originally a B-Side to "Life Got Cold"). "You Freak Me Out" found its way onto release schedules and was performed on CD:UK in early 2004, with presenter Cat Deeley stating that it would be their next single. However the plans for this release were scrapped as work began on a second album. Due to a sharp cut in price, and the group's increased popularity after the release of their Greatest Hits collection, Sound of The Underground re-entered the Top 75 in December 2006. The album stayed on the Top 75 chart for 20 non-consecutive weeks, over a period of more than three years.

2004–2005: What Will the Neighbours Say?

After a brief break, the girls returned in June 2004 to promote their new single "The Show" - the first release from their second album. It had an unusual structure for a pop song, consisting of a number of interchanged sections rather than the more typical verse-chorus form. This single showed off a new look for the girls and was backed by a pre-release promotional campaign featuring five empty chairs bearing the girls' names. This built up excitement over the new look, and the image later featured on the single cover with the girls in their seats. When released, the single entered the charts at number two. The follow-up release "Love Machine" also peaked at number two in September 2004. "Love Machine" was nominated for ITV's The Record of the Year and finished in sixth place. "Love Machine" went on to be used in a television advert for Homebase. Their seventh single, a cover of The Pretenders' hit "I'll Stand by You", reached the number one position on the UK singles chart in November 2004, and stayed there for two weeks. This was 2004's single for the Children in Need appeal with its proceeds going towards the charity.

"What Will the Neighbours Say?" was released on 29 November 2004 and entered the album charts at number six. The album featured the production and song writing skills of Xenomania. The album's immediate success led to the girls announcing their first What Will the Neighbours Say? Live tour, which took place in May 2005. What Will the Neighbours Say? received excellent reviews; most critics deemed it an improvement on their début release. The final single to be taken from this album was "Wake Me Up", released in February 2005. It charted at number four - their first to miss the top three, but their eighth top-five single. In early 2005, the girls won Glamour Magazine's "Band of the Year" award, and were also nominated for a BRIT Award for best pop act.

Girls Aloud
Background information
Origin United Kingdom
Genre(s) Pop, electropop, dance
Instrument(s) Singing
Years active 2002–present
Label(s) Polydor, Fascination
Cheryl Cole
Nicola Roberts
Nadine Coyle
Kimberley Walsh
Sarah Harding

2005–2006: Chemistry

After a short break following their first tour, the girls began work on their third studio album, Chemistry. The first single from the album, "Long Hot Summer", was released in August 2005 and charted at number seven, ending their consecutive top five run but continuing their unbroken run of top ten singles. The single that launched their third album was "Biology". Chemistry was released on 5 December 2005. It features "Models", a song first heard being recorded on their ITV2 documentary Girls Aloud: Home Truths and also used as the theme music to their E4 documentary Girls Aloud: Off the Record. It boasts writing credits from JC Chasez of 'N Sync fame, who penned the track Watch Me Go. The album peaked on the charts at number eleven, their lowest so far, despite overwhelming critical acclaim; it has also gone platinum.

Their cover of Dee C. Lee's "See the Day", released in the Christmas week, charted at number nine. "See the Day" became Girls Aloud's biggest hit in terms of radio airplay since "Sound of the Underground", peaking at number six due to its success on stations such as BBC Radio 2. Girls Aloud released their début DVD Girls on Film in June 2005, featuring their first eight music videos and television performances. It peaked at number five on the DVD Music chart. This was followed by the What Will the Neighbours Say? Live DVD in November 2005, which reached number six. The group travelled to Australia and New Zealand in February 2006 to release the single "Biology" and the album Chemistry. Arriving on 23 February, the girls undertook a one-week promotional tour, during which they appeared on many TV shows. "Biology" peaked at number twenty-six in the Australian singles chart failing to break the Australian market.

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"Whole Lotta History" was the fourth and final single to be taken from Chemistry. Released on 13 March 2006, it became the fourth highest download-only entry at number eighty (this was the first time singles had been able to chart on downloads alone). The week after its download release the song reached number six, and as the number-eighty position was outside the top seventy-five, this became the week's highest new entry. The single was accompanied by a video filmed in Paris, their first outside the UK. In May 2006 the girls embarked on their second UK tour (and first arena tour), Chemistry. During the tour, the girls performed at ten large arenas in the UK, playing to over 100,000 people in total. The tour received rave reviews, with the majority of tabloids awarding 4/5 marks. In the same month, Girls Aloud were moved to Fascination Records, a sub-label of Polydor Records; all future Girls Aloud releases will be published by Fascination Records. Girls Aloud also won the Heart Award for the single "See the Day" at the O2 Silver Clef Lunch, with Nicola Roberts and Kimberley Walsh attending the awards presentation ceremony.

2006–2007: The Sound of Girls Aloud

In September 2006, the official Girls Aloud web site confirmed the release of The Sound of Girls Aloud - a compilation that contains Girls Aloud's singles and some new and previously unreleased material. The album was released on 30 October 2006, and on 5 November 2006 it débuted at number one on the UK album chart. The album was also released on a limited edition double CD format containing live tracks such as "I Predict a Riot" and previously unavailable tracks such as "Singapore" and "Hanging On The Telephone", a cover of the Blondie single; this has now become a highly priced collectors' item. In the week beginning 11 August 2007, the album re-entered the top 100 at number 100; the following week it climbed one place to 99, still showing strong sales. As of the week of 24 September 2007, the album is still in the top 200.

The lead single from the album, "Something Kinda Ooooh", was released on 16 October 2006, on downloads, and 23 October 2006, on physical formats. Girls Aloud became the first British act to reach the top five purely on download sales, with the song entering at number five. On its second week of release the single climbed two places to number three on the chart, later bettering the sales and chart run of that week's number one from McFly. The next single, "I Think We're Alone Now", a US number 4 hit in 1967 for Tommy James and The Shondells as well as a 1987 number 1 for Tiffany, was the third time the group have entered the Christmas chart battle. The single charted at number fifty on downloads alone, based on downloads of the album version only. It then climbed to number four, making it Girls Aloud's fourteenth consecutive Top 10 and eleventh top five. The song is the official theme of the film It's a Boy Girl Thing.

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Girls Aloud collaborated with the Sugababes on their fifteenth single, a cover of the song "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith. The track was released on 12 March 2007 as the official single for Comic Relief, as "Sugababes vs. Girls Aloud". It became the group's third British number one, and their fifteenth consecutive top-ten single.[10] Despite a strong start the single dropped quickly down the chart and failed to match the success of other charity records. In May 2007, Girls Aloud went on their third tour, The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour. During the tour, the girls appeared at 15 arenas across the UK and Ireland. The supporting acts for this tour were Misha Williams, Natalia and Rogue Traders.

2007–2008: Tangled Up

In 13 July 2007, it was announced that the song "Sexy! No No No..." would become the first single from Girls Aloud's fourth studio album. The track was played exclusively on The Chris Moyles Show on 20 July at 8:10am.[11] It was performed for the first time at a special gig at Oakwood Theme Park, Wales on 21 July followed by a televised performance as part of T4 on the Beach in Weston-super-Mare on 22 July. It was released to download on 31 August 2007, reaching a position of #64 on the official chart as a result of only two days of downloads before the physical release on 3 September. The following week, it reached #5 on the UK Singles Chart and stayed in the chart for eight further weeks. The Girls' fourth studio album, Tangled Up, was released on 19 November 2007, debuting in the UK Album Charts at #4. Their 17th single "Call the Shots" was released in the UK one week later on 26 November, and having reached #9 on the UK Singles Chart on downloads alone the week before, rose to #3 to give the band their 10th Top 3 single. The single has now spent nineteen weeks in the top fifty.[12]

Girls Aloud received their second BRIT Award nomination in 2008, nominated for the Best British Group award.[13] Tangled Up was also certified Platinum in January.[14] The third and final single from Tangled Up was "Can't Speak French". The single was released on 17 March, with a French version and "Hoxton Heroes", a satirical track aimed towards indie bands, as B-sides. On 23 March, the single entered the official UK charts at #9, continuing their consecutive run of top ten singles.[15] In May and June 2008, Girls Aloud embarked on the Tangled Up Tour - their third arena tour, and fourth overall. They played a total of 34 concerts around the UK, including 24 arenas and 11 open air venues, making this tour their longest yet. They were scheduled to play 13 open air venues, but due to the bad weather, two of the concerts were cancelled.

2008: Out of Control

In May 2008, the group confirmed that they had begun working on their fifth studio album.[16] In August 2008, The Sun newspaper revealed that the first single from the album will be released in October 2008,[17] and Fascination Records confirmed it would be released on 3 November.[18] On 11 September, the title of the new single was announced on the Girls Aloud website - "The Promise".[19] The song first aired on 14 September on BBC Radio One's Switch with Annie Mac and Nick Grimshaw.[20] "The Promise" debuted number one on the UK music charts on October 26th, the group's first time since 2007's "Walk This Way" with the Sugababes and 2004's I'll Stand by You". It is their fourth #1 single overall. "The Promise" sold over 77,000 singles in its first week on the charts and became the fastest selling single of 2008 until "Hero" - a charity by the finalists on the X Factor - sold in excess of 100,000 copies two days after release.[21] The single also returned the group to the top 2 in Ireland[22] for the first time in just under four years.

On 29 September 2008, it was confirmed by the Girls' Official Website that their fifth studio album, and sixth overall, will be named Out of Control. Girls Aloud claim this will be their "most exciting and thrilling album yet"; it was released two weeks after lead single "The Promise".[23]

On Sunday 9th November 2008, the album debuted at number one on the UK Albums Chart, selling over 85,000 copies..[24]

Other musical projects


Girls Aloud also appeared on the 2007 compilation Radio 1: Established 1967, celebrating the 40th anniversary of BBC Radio 1, with a cover of Wheatus' "Teenage Dirtbag", as well as singing backing vocals on Franz Ferdinand's cover of David Bowie's "Sound and Vision".[25] In addition to these appearances, Girls Aloud recorded two tracks for the soundtrack to the new St Trinian's movie ("Theme to St. Trinian's" and "On My Way to Satisfaction"). They also make a cameo appearance in the film as the school band. The soundtrack was released on 10 December 2007,[26] and the video for "Theme to St. Trinian's" premiered in mid December 2007. On 6 January 2008, "Theme to St. Trinian's" became the first Girls Aloud song to enter the UK Singles Chart without any plans of a physical release, peaking at number fifty-one.[27]


In April 2008, Cheryl Cole had a guest role on's song "Heartbreaker". She provided backing vocals and appeared in the song's music video. The song peaked at #4. Sarah Harding will also appear on a song with The Filthy Dukes for the 2008 film Wild Child.[28] She will perform a cover of Iggy Pop's reindition of the Johnny O'Keefe song "Wild Child".[29]


Girls Aloud's backing vocals appear on Norwegian pop singer Annie's second album Don't Stop, on "My Love Is Better".[30] However, their mutual producer Brian Higgins reportedly didn't ask for permission, which upset Girls Aloud.[31] However, Annie herself revealed in an interview that "Brian asked them if they'd like to help out. They were really up for it and came into my studio and it was really fun."[32] The issue was resolved and the song will remain on Annie's album.[33]

Non-musical activities

TV and film

Girls Aloud: Off the Record

Girls Aloud recorded a six-part fly on the wall documentary series for E4 entitled Girls Aloud: Off the Record, which started its run on 11 April 2006. The series was filmed during the "Chemistry" era, and focused on the band's promotional activities, including the shooting of the "Biology" video and the lead-up to and aftermath of the release of "Whole Lotta History". It also showed the band travelling abroad, to places such as Greece, Paris, Shanghai and Australia. A DVD of the series was released on 4 September 2006 after several release date changes. This included an unaired episode and subsequently reached number four on the Music DVD Chart.

Passions of Girls Aloud

The Girls starred in a new television series on ITV2, Passions of Girls Aloud,[34] broadcast from 14 March to 4 April 2008[35] and coinciding with the third single release from Tangled Up. The premise of the show is the girls achieving something that they have always wanted to do.[36] It was reported on the 13 November 2007 that Nadine would not be taking part.[37] This is said to be due to the programme's bosses refusing to let her undertake charity work.[37]

The Girls Aloud Party

Girls Aloud will be appearing in a variety show entitled The Girls Aloud Party. The show will appear on ITV for the Christmas season.[38] According to The Sun, Girls Aloud will "perform hits and unveil their Christmas single", as well as "chat to showbiz pals" and "perform comic skits."[38]

Other appearances

In 2005, Girls Aloud filmed a one-off documentary entitled Girls Aloud: Home Truths. This would later make way for Off the Record. A year later, they appeared in an episode of Ghosthunting with... (without Nadine), in which Yvette Fielding guided them through haunted locations.[39] In April 2007, Girls Aloud filmed a cameo appearance in the new St. Trinian's movie, playing the school band. The film was released in the UK on 21 December 2007, with Girls Aloud providing two songs for the movie (see St. Trinian's: Original Soundtrack). The Girls also make a cameo appearance in the Oasis documentary, Lord Don't Slow Me Down. In addition to their live concerts, Girls Aloud have released two other DVDs – Girls On Film and Style.

Girls Aloud were reportedly looking at film scripts. Kimberley Walsh said "We want it to be a Friends and Sex and the City kind of thing, all morphed into one," while Nicola Roberts added: "We'd really like the chance to do some more acting. We've been given a lot of dodgy scripts — they were all awful."[40] Kimberley and Nicola will make a cameo apperance in the family drama show Britannia High set to air in the UK this autumn.[41]

Cheryl Cole is a judge on the fifth series of The X Factor, replacing Sharon Osborne.[42] Cheryl has said that "whilst we get started on the next album, it will be brilliant to be a judge on The X Factor."[43] Her fellow judge Louis Walsh was a judge on Popstars: The Rivals and formerly managed Girls Aloud.


Girls Aloud's website confirmed on 8 April 2008 that the girls will be co-writing an autobiography, titled Dreams That Glitter – Our Story.[44] The book, named after a lyric in "Call the Shots",was published in October 2008 through the Transworld imprint Bantam Press.[45][46] The book looks at the rise of the band, as well as the girls' individual life stories. In addition to these insights, Dreams That Glitter also includes fashion tips, celebrity gossip and never-before-seen photos of the band.[44] Before the release, OK! magazine bought the rights to preview and serialise the book.[47][48]


The group remain constant tabloid fodder. Tweedy's relationship with footballer Ashley Cole has kept her in the papers, especially during the 2006 World Cup in June and July 2006. A "cheating" scandal received widespread tabloid coverage in February 2008.[49][50] Coyle and Harding have regularly featured in the tabloids because of their Hollywood relationships. Coyle was dating Jesse Metcalfe of Desperate Housewives until January 2008, when Coyle ended it.[51] Harding was rumoured to be seeing Stephen Dorff,[52] and she also dated Daily Star writer Joe Mott, although the couple have since split up.[53]

Stories often suggest an imminent split. More recently, tabloids have reported that Nadine Coyle is quitting the group to go solo. The latest of these emerged in March 2008, when she was absent from Kimberley's sister Amy's 21st birthday party. The press stated that she was absent "again."[54] Coyle has denied that she has any intention of leaving.[55] Nevertheless, her absence from the Brit Awards, parties and TV shows have only added to the claims.[56][57] It was widely reported in April 2008 that Cheryl Cole was working on solo material with T2.[58][59] These accusations were quickly denied, with Cole saying that she "had been in tour rehearsals every day."[60]

Sponsorship deals

Cheryl Cole was signed up to launch Coca Cola Zero in a 2006 campaign aimed at young men in the United Kingdom,[61] while Sarah Harding promoted the beverage in a 2007 campaign for Ireland. Harding also became the new face of Ultimo in 2006,[62] and modelled their lingerie until former Spice Girl Melanie Brown became the new model in 2008.[63]

In 2007, Girls Aloud signed a one-year deal to endorse hair care brand Sunsilk. The endorsement was reportedly worth £1.25m.[64] The girls filmed a television advertisement, and magazine advertisements also ran, with each of the five members being the face of a different shampoo. The same year, Girls Aloud also sealed a deal with the UK division of Samsung. They endorsed mobile phones and MP3 players, made personal appearances and sang at Samsung events, and contributed to competition prizes, among other activities.[65] The Samsung F210 Purple came with a 1GB memory card featuring Girls Aloud content.[66]

In March 2008, the girl group signed a deal to front an ad campaign for a new low-calorie KitKat bar called "Senses". The chocolate bar manufacturer also sponsored Girls Aloud's Tangled Up Tour.[67] The exact worth of the endorsement is unknown, but a figure of £500,000 each has been suggested.[68] Later in 2008, Girls Aloud appeared in television advertisements for Nintendo DS.[69]


[edit] Studio albums

  • 2003 – Sound of the Underground
  • 2004 – What Will the Neighbours Say?
  • 2005 – Chemistry
  • 2007 – Tangled Up
  • 2008 – Out of Control

[edit] Other albums

  • 2006 – The Sound of Girls Aloud
  • 2007 – Mixed Up
  • 2008 – Girls A Live

[edit] DVDs

  • 2005 – Girls on Film
  • 2005 – What Will The Neighbours Say:Live From Hammersmith Apollo
  • 2006 – Girls Aloud: Off The Record
  • 2006 – Chemistry Tour: Live From Wembley Arena 2006
  • 2007 – Style
  • 2008 – Tangled Up: Live From The O2 2008
  • 2008 – Ghost Hunting With Girls Aloud


  • 2005 – Theatre/Arena Tour – What Will the Neighbours Say? Live
  • 2006 – Arena Tour – Chemistry Tour
  • 2007 – Arena Tour – The Sound of Girls Aloud: The Greatest Hits Tour
  • 2008 – Arena Tour – Tangled Up Tour
  • 2009 – Arena Tour – The Out Of Control Tour

References and Notes

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