Line-Up Changes: Part 3

PROBLEM:  A well-known girl group is riding high on the success of their current album and recent hit singles. As they prepare to release their next sure-fire smash, one (or more!) of their members suddenly departs the group. While replacements are quickly found, the group has to figure out the best way to acknowledge this potentially career-damaging situation as they shoot their next video.

(Destiny’s Child was covered in Part 1 and the Sugababes in Part 2)

CASE STUDY: Atomic Kitten

Atomic Kitten Right Now single cover

Even though they charged on the scene in 1999 with 3 back-to-back UK Top Ten singles, Atomic Kitten’s debut album Right Now barely made it inside the Top 40. In danger of being dropped by their label, the Kittens pinned their hopes on the album’s final single (“Whole Again”) to turn their fates around. Meanwhile, dissatisfied member Kerry Katona had just found out she was pregnant and was overjoyed…because now she had a perfect excuse to jump ship and leave bandmates Natasha Hamilton and Liz McClarnon in the lurch. With mere days to go before the release of “Whole Again”, new member Jenny Frost was quickly recruited and ushered into the group.

SOLUTION: Makeover the whole band

As a group, Atomic Kitten’s youthful energy was evident in their bouncy singles and was visually anchored by the buxom and bubbly Katona. However, the addition of the sleek and sexy Frost combined with the down-tempo melodies of “Whole Again” helped give  the band a new level of mature sophistication, and once Hamilton and McClarnon upped their game style-wise, Atomic Kitten 2.0 was off and running .

It's OK! (Atomic Kitten song)

RESULT: A purr-fect success (sorry – couldn’t resist). The change in members proved to be just the jump start the band needed. “Whole Again” spent 4 weeks at #1 and the Kittens went on to chart numerous more hits, including their #1 covers of “Eternal Flame” and “The Tide Is High”, never once returning to the high-energy sound with which they initially made their mark.