Sunday, March 07, 2010

It's Goin' Down: Change

I honestly did not see this one coming. 

(In the image, top left to right: Sugababes 1.0 -- Siobhan, Keisha and Mutya; Sugababes 2.0 -- Heidi, Keisha and Mutya; bottom left to right: Sugababes 3.0 -- Heidi, Keisha and Amelle; Sugababes 4.0 -- Amelle, Heidi and Jade. Confused yet?)

I really thought my love for the Brit "trio" Sugababes was never ending until mid-last year when Keisha was booted from the group, and it was left with all "replacement" members. The blatant feeling of commercialism and branding felt so contrived, it turned me off in a major way, no matter how hot either version of "About A Girl" was. The final nail in the coffin was the fact that the group was going forward with the release of the Sugababes' "seventh" album, nailed Sweet 7, which to me felt a bit like a slap in the face to what was original created with honest intentions.

Apparently, the joke's on Amelle, Heidi and Jade. Holy recently broke the news that the name 'Sugababes' was never formally copyrighted, and now Mutya Buena has filed paperwork to claim the name for herself. Not just that, but she now has apparently gotten fellow Origina-Babes Keisha Buchanan and Siobhan Donaghy co-signing along with her. Your move, Wanna-Babes.

Does this mean the original members are re-teaming up, just as they have in all of our dreams? I couldn't really tell you, as it's all speculation at this point. It does mean that the gauntlet has been thrown, however, and certainly put yet another wrench in the new 'Babes' Sweet 7 album campaign that has already been contaminated thanks to album pushbacks and lukewarm single reception. Not to mention the fact that a lot of effort was put into launching the group internationally (re: in America), thanks to production by RedOne, music videos created in Los Angeles, and label representation backed by Jay-Z.

The way it's looking currently, Team Origina-Babes have a definite advantage in terms of who will end up winning in the courts. It truly blows my mind that in this day and age in the music industry, no one even thought to copyright the name -- not the group, not the manager, not the label, no one -- not after the first member change, or the second, until now. Honestly, having ownership of your name is as basic as it gets, as its the backbone of all future commercialized endeavors, whether its through music sales, merch sales, image branding, etc. etc. etc. If anyone should have control of the name, it should be Mutya and Keisha, who first formed the group back in 1998 upon their recruitment of third member, Siobhan. It feels kind of like sweet victory -- and a reunion that is very, very much welcomed to my iTunes library. Even if it's just one track, just one to remind the fanbase where this started, I will be a very happy, mollified Sugababes fan.

Which leaves us with one final question after a sea of many -- if (or rather when) Team Origina-Babes win back their name, what in the hell are Amelle, Heidi and Jade gonna go by? A part of me does feel geniunely bad for Heidi, as she also has had a very long history with the group -- joining in 2001. But a more cynical part that wished the group properly disbanded or took the higher road by re-naming themselves upon Keisha's "exit" last year feels that all three of the "new" girls are getting their just desserts with this fair fight. 

Poor Jade -- you should have stayed with that solo career. 

Below is Team Origina-Babes, performing debut single "Overload" in 2000. 


Myfizzypop said...

I think I will copyright my name. I just looked it up there are 74 of me in the UK! I need to stop these 73 imposters!!

MSB said...

Nice article, but it was Mutya and Siobhan who came together first [they had solo deals with the same manager] and then Keisha was added when she visited Mutya in the studio.

Yuяi said...

I think the Mutya move is genius and will bring (if successful) the whole Suga v12.0 to a screeching halt. Original 'Babes lineup FTW!

Aaron said...

Interesting - Slightly strangely, this post pushed me into MEGA-Excitment over the album release - Go figure!

Anyway, I wonder if this will affect the album release in any way - I hope not!

Adem With An E said...

Seeya girls, don't let the door hit you on the way out.

Linus said...

I've actually come to terms with the latest lineup change. Sure I miss Keisha's voice in the bunch, but after countless confessions from Siobhán, Heidi and Amelle all talking about how Keisha single handedly made life a living hell for all of them, I can't side with her. Siobhán has even stated she will never be able to forgive Keisha for what she did. Mutya's probably doing this for money and publicity, I don't even think she cares about Sugababes anymore. I look forward to the new album and the upcoming third album from Siobhán.

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