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A totally Manufactured Pop Group in every way possible.

Spawned from the almost Big Brother type reality TV show Popstars, Hear'Say (a name apparently chosen by themesleves occording to the show) have quickly risen to become some of the best known faces in the UK today (March 19).

Their debut single, "Pure and Simple", broke all records in the UK, selling over 540,000 copies in the first week. It was also the third fastest selling single in the history of British music, only being beaten by Band Aid and that "Candle in The Wind" for Princess Diana.

Shown over the course of several weeks on ITV, Popstars quickly became cult television as the country would stay in to watch Nigel Lythgoe and two other judges go through the thousands wanting fame, and eventually coming down to the last 50, then the last 10, and then the last 5.

Those finally selected were:

Danny Foster (21)
Myleen Klass (22)
Kymberley Marsh (24)
Suzanne Shaw (19)
Noel Sullivan (20)

There was some controversy when it was revieled in the media that one of the judges was the voice coach for one of the final five, and various other little inconsistencies that made us suspect that everything wasn't quite as it seemed.

Update: 6.10.2002
Thanks to AnBolb for pointing out that they broke up on 1.10.2002. I'm sure the music world will mourn their passing like the death of a young child.
Yeh, but you just can't help likin' 'em can ya?

Last week I defied every last pop/rock sensibility bone I had in my music snob body and


joined the other 549,999 purchasers of Hear'Say's sugar coated poptastic offering "Pure & Simple".

Yep, they are as manufactured as the Hear'Say dolls that hit the shelves this week but they're so damn nice!!

The reality TV show has shown them as real people rather than silent faceless icons and as such you feel genuinely as happy for them as they felt for themselves as they were seen live on TV as the UK charts were being announced on BBC Radio 1 revealing their oh-so inevitable number 1 hit single.

I sat there with a satisfied smile on my face and a lump in my throat (thankfully away from the cynical glare of anyone reading the NME) and wishing the 'popstars' well for the future.

Excuse me while I don my hairshirt and pray to the God of credibility for forgiveness. At this rate, purchasing the back catalogue of Backstreet Boys, Westlife, S Club 7 and Steps cannot be far away!!!

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