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 profiled in Part 1 and now for Part 2 we’re taking a little hop across the pond.
CASE STUDY: Sugababes
In 2005, UK girl group Sugababes had just notched their third #1 single (“Push The Button”) when member Mutya Buena announced she would be departing the group to spend more with her newborn daughter (aka: she wanted to launch a solo career). In addition to finding a replacement, the ‘Babes were faced with another dilemma. This would be their third line-up since bursting on the scene in 2000, and the first one to happen mid-campaign for a current album. They prospered after the first change, but would the Suga still be sweet after another shake up?
SOLUTION: Own it
Not only did the Sugababes camp not try to hide the fact that a search was on for a replacement for Buena – they trumpeted her arrival once she was chosen. Amelle Berrabah found herself front-and-centre in her first outing as a Sugababe – the video for the single “Red Dress”. The clip, which opens with a close-up of Berrabah singing the opening hook and later shows her confidently strutting down a hallway flanked by veteran members Keisha Buchanan and Heidi Range, placed her directly in the spotlight and let everyone know there was a new girl in town.
RESULT: Sugary-sweet success. “Red Dress” hit #4 on the UK charts and fan response was so positive that the Sugababes re-released their current album (the #1-peaking Taller In More Ways) with Berrabah appearing on 3 redone tracks as well as another all-new track. Sugababes 3.0 went on to notch up 2 more #1 singles and another chart-topping album.