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Atomic Kitten

Atomic Kitten are 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 8 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."

Biography

The group was formed in 1997 by Andy McCluskey of '80s band Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark and included Heidi Range in the original line-up. However, Heidi left the group and was only featured on the demo recordings. In 2001 Heidi joined the Sugababes. The group was first called "Honeyhead" but later renamed itself to "Automatic Kittens", the name of the label of its designer, and abbreviated to "Atomic Kitten."

The group's first single "Right Now" debuted in December of 1999 and ended up reaching the British top 10. After the initial success Atomic Kitten made an Asian tour during which it scored their first hit with "Cradle". The album, also titled Right Now, was first released in Japan on March 16, 2000 and subsequently released in the United Kingdom on May 21, 2000 with a slightly modified track list. In July 2000 the group released a cover version of The Locomotion for the movie Thomas And The Magic Railroad

Right Now was a modest success upon first release. Initially there were no plans to focus on the global market. The record label was even considering dropping them because of limited success, however they persuaded Innocent Records to record one more single. This one single changed the career of Atomic Kitten because they scored their first number-one hit in the UK in 2001 with "Whole Again". 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. The single was remade when Jenny Frost was added to the line-up as Kerry's replacement. The success was such that it was decided to remaster and rerelease the album, which then went to number one on its second appearance on the chart.

The next single "Eternal Flame", a cover version of the 1989 hit by The Bangles, also became a number-one hit.

Second album and independence

Given the success 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 Andy half way through the recording of the album. Luckily they had the good fortune of getting unexpected support from Kylie Minogue and Susanna Hoffs who both wrote a song for their new album.

The first single of the album was "It's Ok!" and was shot in South Africa. Even though this song performed well in the charts, securing a number three position, it was the next single "The Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)", a remake of the 1965 song by The Paragons (but also made famous by Blondie in 1980), which attained Atomic Kitten its third number-one single.

Natasha announced in April 2002 that she was pregnant, but she had no intention of leaving the group and wanted the scheduled 2002 tour to continue. Natasha also featured in the video "The Tide Is High" and her last duty was the 2002 Party in the Park before finally going on pregnancy leave.

2003 world tour, "Ladies Night"

During January and February of 2003, Atomic Kitten toured around south-east Asia and visited countries like Singapore, Thailand and Korea. Natasha decided to take her newborn baby with her on the tour as well.

The American market had been neglected up to then, therefore on April 2003 an album called Atomic Kitten was released, consisting of tracks from the first two albums. It was promoted by teaming up with Disney for The Lizzie McGuire Movie starring Hilary Duff, however the album only managed to peak at #102 and it was decided to focus on the United Kingdom, Europe and Asia.

A large part of 2003 was spent in the studio recording their third and final studio album Ladies Night. Up to now the girl group mainly relied on songwriters and sometimes co-wrote a song. This time they decided that it was time to be directly involved in the creation of eight of the fifteen songs.

Kool and the Gang asked them to collaborate with them for their Odyssey album because they wanted an updated version of Ladies Night and were looking for a girl group to sing the lyrics. Atomic Kitten liked the idea and inquired whether they could use it for their next album as well which was subsequently named Ladies Night in honour of this collaboration. The album and singles were slightly less successful than the two previous albums.

A scheduled "Ladies Night" tour in November/December 2003 in United Kingdom had to be rescheduled to February/March 2004, and was renamed the "Greatest Hits Tour", as the girls announced they would be splitting shortly before they went on this tour. This made Atomic Kitten the second girl group after the Spice Girls to do an arena tour.

No longer a group, but still recording sometimes

Their career was going well, however on January 23, 2004 Natasha decided that she wanted to spend time out of the group and spend more time with her son Josh. The group released a single "Someone Like Me / Right Now 2004" as a goodbye, but was reunited on Valentine's Day to release the charity single "Cradle 2005", a new version of the original on their album Right Now, which charted at No. 10. The proceeds of the single went to World Vision.

Atomic Kitten was featured on the soundtrack of Disney's Mulan II in 2005 which was their third time as a featured artist.

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 Goleo VI World Cup 2006 album and was released on CD and digitally in Germany, where the World Cup was held, on 16 June 2006. However even though the single was listed by the HMV website for release in the UK many weeks prior to the competition, the single was taken off from schedule and deleted from the catalogue, 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.

The girls reunited for a one-off performance of "Whole Again" and two other songs at a benefit concert for the Michael Shields appeal which will be held at the Liverpool Empire Theatre on December 4, 2006.

They performed as a group in Hong Kong on December, 31st, 2006 for Nokia New Year's Eve.

Solo careers

  • Natasha Hamilton is scheduled to release of the single "The Way You Move".
  • Liz McClarnon made a reasonable performance from the start and her single "Woman in Love / I Get the Sweetest Feeling" entered the chart at no. 5 and debuted higher than the last three singles of Atomic Kitten. Her next single "Happy" is competing to represent the United Kingdom in the Eurovision Song Contest 2007 although no release date has yet been confirmed, her solo debut album is scheduled for 2007.
  • Jenny Frost only reached no. 47 with her debut solo single "Crash Landing" and will release "Bad Girl", a track originally set for - and recorded by - Lisa Scott-Lee.http://www.generationsteps.co.uk/lisascottlee/information/lyrics/bg.php

People

  • Jennifer Frost (born 22 February 1978, in Liverpool, United Kingdom), started her musical career in the girl-band Precious and replaced Kerry Katona in 2001. After the split of Atomic Kitten, Jenny has embarked on a solo career and released her first single "Crash Landing" on 10 October 2005.
  • Heidi India Range (born in Liverpool, United Kingdom left the band and was replaced by Natasha Hamilton, later joined the U.K's biggest girlgroup Sugababes.
  • Natasha Maria Hamilton (born 17 July 1982, in Liverpool, United Kingdom) joined Atomic Kitten after Heidi Range left the group. In January, 2004, she decided to take a break from Atomic Kitten because she wanted to spend more time with her son Josh. She is currently working on her first solo release "Round And Round"
  • Kerry Jayne Elizabeth Katona (born 6 September 1980, in Warrington, United Kingdom), was one of the original members of Atomic Kitten. Kerry was featured on the original Right Now album in 2000, but left in January 2001 because she had become pregnant. Her place in the group was taken by Jenny Frost.
  • Elizabeth Margaret McClarnon (born 10 April 1981, in Liverpool, United Kingdom), was one of the original members of the group. While in the band, she co-wrote many of their songs. Her solo single "Woman in Love" was released on 14 February 2006.
  • Andy McCluskey (born 24 June 1959, in Liverpool, United Kingdom), was the lead singer and primary songwriter for the group OMD. In 1997 he founded Atomic Kitten and wrote and produced many of the early songs. In 2002 the girls terminated the songwriting/production agreement with Andy.

Discography

Main article: Atomic Kitten Discography

Albums

  • 1999: Right Now
  • 2002: Feels So Good
  • 2003: Atomic Kitten (International release)
  • 2003: Ladies Night
  • 2004: The Greatest Hits
  • 2005: The Collection
  • 2005: Access All Areas: Remixed & B-Side

Singles

  • 1999: Right Now
  • 2000: See Ya
  • 2000: I Want Your Love
  • 2000: Follow Me
  • 2001: Whole Again
  • 2001: Eternal Flame
  • 2001: You Are
  • 2002: It's OK!
  • 2002: Tide Is High (Get The Feeling)
  • 2002: The Last Goodbye/Be With You
  • 2003: Love Doesn't Have To Hurt
  • 2003: If You Come To Me
  • 2003: Ladies Night
  • 2004: Someone Like Me/Right Now 2004
  • 2005: Cradle
  • 2006: All Together Now

B-Sides

  • Right Now- Something Spooky
  • Follow Me- Don't Tell Me Now
  • Follow Me CD2- Real Life
  • Whole Again- Holiday
  • Whole Again CD2- Locomotion
  • You Are- True Friends
  • The Tide Is High- Dancing In The Street
  • Love Doesn't Have To Hurt- Use Your Imagination
  • The Last Goodbye/Be With You- For Once In My Life
  • Ladies Night- So Right
  • Ladies Night CD2- Somebody
  • Right Now 2004- Wild

Other Songs

  • "Daydream Believer": Right Now (Japanese Bonus Track)
  • "Good Times": Ladies Night (Japanese Bonus Track)
  • "I Wanna Be Like Other Girls": Mulan 2 soundtrack

Atomic Kitten also recorded a cover of The Loco-Motion, which appeard on the "Whole Again" single and the Access All Areas: Remixed & B-Side album. This recording was also featured in the 2000 film Thomas and the Magic Railroad.

Trivia

The names of Atomic Kitten's first 2 albums, Right Now and Feels So Good, are also names of songs by the rock band Van Halen.