Ananova: Steps tired of being treated as a joke
Just in case you had no idea what happened yesterday, here is the news from Worldpop.
Steps have split after five successful years together. The chart topping group said in a statement today that they were going out on top and wanted to move on to new challenges. Faye, Lisa, Claire, Lee and H sold 12m records during their career and had 12 Top 5 singles – a record that was bettered only by The Beatles. In a statement released today the group said: ‘We have always said that when the time came, we would leave as good friends and go out while we were on top and although we are very sad, that’s what we have done. We are looking forward to making our next plans but for now we just want to send our heartfelt thanks and love to all the people who have supported us – you truly are the best fans in the world.’ Steps had two No 1 singles during their five year career – Heartbeat/Tragedy which claimed the top spot in January 1999 and Stomp which went to No 1 in October last year. They released four albums – Step One, Steptacular, Buzz and the recent greatest hits compilation Gold, which has so far sold more than 1.4 million copies.
And then there’s this from Ananova:
Steps are reported to have split because they were fed up with being regarded as a joke. The band were frequently snubbed by music awards despite selling 12 million records. The five-piece have called it a day to get more respect from the music industry, reports The Sun. Pete Waterman, who helped create the band, paid tribute to Lee, Lisa, Claire, Faye and H. “Steps are the hardest-working band I’ve known. They were great entertainers,” he said. “Everybody knocked it – but sooner or later copied it. At the end of the day, they were great at what they did.”
US Billboard Magazine:
Steps To Split
Multi-platinum U.K. pop quintet Steps has split. Rumors about group members’ eventual plans to go solo were commonplace in the British pop world, but the announcement yesterday (Dec. 26) that they had amicably decided to pursue individual careers was nonetheless unexpected.
Steps enjoyed four years of unbroken success with global album sales of 12 million, according to its label, Jive, amassing 13 consecutive U.K. top-5 singles, more than any other group apart from the Beatles. The group, formed by the five successful applicants to an advertisement in trade publication The Stage, first charted in November 1997 with the line dancing-themed single “5,6,7,8.” Steps went on to score two British No. 1s, first with the double-sided “Heartbeat” and a cover of the Bee Gees’ “Tragedy” in November 1998 (a single that sold 1.2 million copies in the U.K. alone) and then with “Stomp” in October 2000.
“We have always said that when the time came, we would leave as good friends and go out while we were on top,” Faye, Claire, Lisa, H, and Lee said in a joint statement posted on Steps’ official Web site, “and although we are very sad, that’s what we have done.” Steps also became one of the most successful live acts in recent British pop history, selling out 120 arena shows. The group last performed on Dec. 22 in Manchester, England. The show was broadcast throughout the U.K. on the U.K.’s Sky Box Office pay-per-view.
Steps picked up three prizes at the recent British Smash Hits Awards, including best live act and a prestigious Hall of Fame trophy. The group’s current compilation “Gold — The Greatest Hits” is certified quadruple platinum domestically for shipments of 1.2 million units.
I’ve had e-mails from people in Belgium saying that Steps are on the TV almost all the time about this spilt story. The case is the same in Ireland with major TV coverage and newspaper coverage.
From the Glasgow Herald:
TRAGEDY AS STEPS GO SEPARATE WAYS
Steps, the pop group, have split up, it was announced yesterday.
The five member group, who have sold more than 12 million records, announced the decision to go their separate ways in a statement.
Faye, Claire, Lisa, H and Lee said : “After five incredible years, we have decided its time to move on to new challenges. We have always said that when the time came, we would leave as good friends and go out while we were on top, and although we are very sad, that is what we have done. We are looking forward to making our next plans, but for now we just want to send out hearfelt thanks and love to all the people who have supported us – you truly are the best fans in the world.
The band, who sold out 120 UK arenas, were recently presented with a commemorative disc by Sir Time Rice to celebrate their entry into the top 100 acts of all time.
The group came to fame as a line-dancing, novelty act, but their bubbly image, Abba -esque melodies and the skills of producer Pete Waterman – whose previous finds include Kylie Minogue, Jason Donovan and Rick Astley – helped to establish them as one of the UK’s most successful pop bands.
Their hits included Tragedy, Love’s Got a Hold on My Heart, Better Best Forgotten, One for Sorrow, Chain Reaction and Better the Devil You Know.
They also won fame for their easy to copy dance steps.
The Prince of Wales was pictured with them following the dance moves.
The group recently saw Gold, their Greatest Hits album go straight to number one.
Their biggest hit was chart topper Tragedy, which sold 1.2 million copies and went platinum in the UK.
The band also had a run of 12 consecutive singles in the top five – only the Beatles had more success.
Steps picked up three prizes at this month’s Smash Hits awards, including best live act and a Hall of Fame trophy.
Last year they won a Brit award for the best selling live act.
Yesterday’s announcement brings to an end, weeks of speculation over the groups future.
Earlier in the year, they were forced to issue a statement reassuring fans that they had no plans to call it a day.
Steps had two number one singles, Heartbeat/Tragedy which claimed the top spot in January 1999, and Stomp which went to number one in October last year.
They released four albums – Step One, Steptacular, Buzz and the greatest hits compilation Gold, which so far has sold more than 1.4 million copies.
Hear’Say are the favourites to go the same way as Steps in the New Year. Bookmakers William Hill make the Popstars winners 6/4 to split before December 31 next year. Hills took a number of bets on Steps splitting towards the end of this year.
Hear’Say are followed in the “who splits next” betting by Westlife at 5/2, S Club 7 at 6/1, and The Tweenies at 33/1. Hills also offer odds of 20/1 on Robbie Williams retiring from the music industry by the end of next year.
William Hill spokeswoman Serena Momberg said: “Many punters had a gut feeling that this was Steps’ last year and placed a flurry of bets towards the end of this year. Hills offered Steps as the most likely band to announce splitting up before December 31, 2001, at 2/1.
“A lot of our punters felt the Steps split had been on the cards for some time, especially with them releasing their Greatest Hits album, Lee hinting at a new career in acting and the others getting married.”
Hills have also released prices for next year’s Christmas number one, offering Robbie Williams and Westlife as the joint 5/1 favourites; S Club 7 at 7/1; Robbie And Nicole and Blue at 8/1; Bob the Builder at 9/1; Kylie Minogue (solo) at 10/1, and Tweenies at 16/1. Steps’ odds have been lengthened from 10/1 to 33/1.
Pop fans were greated with tragic news on Boxing Day when UK pop phenomenon Steps announced their intention to split.
After squashing rumours of a planned split earlier in the year, the Brit Award winning five piece finally confirmed that they are to call it a day whilst they are all still on good terms.
“After five incredible years, we have all decided that it is time to move on to new challenges,” they said. “We have always said that when the time came we would leave as good friends and go out while we’re on top and that’s what we have done.”
“We are all looking forward to announcing our next plans – but for now we just want to send our heartfelt thanks and love to all the people that have supported us.”
“You are truly the best fans in the world.”
As Steps, Lee Latchford-Evans, Faye Tozier, Lisa Scott-Lee and Claire Richards have sold 12million records and consistently filled stadiums with their populist brand of pop.
It is not known what the various members plan to move on to though all have been involved in television presenting, hosting the Steps To The Stars series and the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party.