Rachel Stevens

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Rachel Stevens
Rachel Stevens in Feb 2010 cropped.jpg
Stevens attending London Fashion Week 2010 on 19 February 2010
Background information
Birth name Rachel Lauren Stevens
Born (1978-04-09) 9 April 1978 (age 36)
Southgate, London, England
Genres Pop, dance
Occupations Singer-songwriter, actress, presenter, model, dancer, television personality
Years active 1999–present
Labels Polydor
Associated acts S Club 7, Vincent Simone
Website rachelstevensofficial.com

Rachel Lauren Stevens (born 9 April 1978) is an English singer-songwriter, actress, presenter, dancer, television personality and model. She was a member of the pop group S Club, and launched a solo recording career in 2003, releasing seven singles and two albums in the UK between 2003 and 2005. In 2008, she came second in the sixth series of the BBC One series Strictly Come Dancing with her dance partner Vincent Simone. In 2014 Rachel was awarded FHM's sexiest woman of all time.

Early life[edit]

Born in Southgate, London, she attended Osidge JMI School and Ashmole School in London.[1] Stevens has two brothers, Jason and Leigh. Stevens is Jewish, and has stated that she "observe[s] some of the holidays and I’ll go to the synagogue on special occasions".[2]

In 1993 she first caught attention while beating off 5,000 competitors and winning a modelling contest sponsored by UK teen magazine Just 17. Following her first modelling jobs, she decided to study at the London College of Fashion, where she achieved a diploma in business. During that time she also worked in a film company and later ended up working in public relations, but began to lose interest and decided to pursue a career in singing instead.[3]It was said on MTV Cribs by Murdoc Niccals, member of the virtual British band Gorillaz that 2D also a member and singer, used to go out with Rachel Stevens.[citation needed]

Career[edit]

1999–2003: Career with S Club[edit]

Main article: S Club
S Club members in 1999.

The group rose to fame by starring in their own BBC television series, Miami 7, in 1999 and have been widely referred to as inspiring a new generation of teenage TV musicals including High School Musical and Glee .[citation needed] Over the five years they were together, S Club 7 had four UK No.1 singles, one UK No.1 album, a string of hits throughout Europe, including a top-ten single in the United States, Asia, Latin America and Africa. They recorded a total of four studio albums, released eleven singles and went on to sell over fourteen million albums worldwide.[4] Their first album, S Club, had a strong 1990s pop sound, similar to many artists of their time. However, through the course of their career, their musical approach changed to a more dance and R&B sound which is heard mostly in their final album, Seeing Double.

The concept and brand of the group was created by Simon Fuller, also their manager through 19 Entertainment; they were signed to Polydor Records. Their television series went on to last four series, seeing the group travel across the United States and eventually ending up in Barcelona, Spain. It became popular in 100 different countries where the show was watched by over 90 million viewers.[5] The show, which was a children's sitcom, often mirrored real life events which had occurred in S Club, including the relationship of Hannah Spearritt and Paul Cattermole, as well as the eventual departure from the group of the latter. As well as the popularity of their television series, S Club 7 won two BRIT Awards—in 2000 for British breakthrough act and in 2002, for best British single. In 2001, the group earned the Record of the Year award. Their song "Reach" was used in the arcade dance game EZ2Dancer in "EZ 2 Dancer UK Move". Group member Paul Cattermole departed the group in 2002, and the group changed its name from S Club 7 to simply S Club. Their second to last single reached number-five in the UK charts, and their final studio album failed to make the top ten. However, on 21 April 2003, during a live onstage performance, S Club announced that they were to disband.[6]

2003–04: Solo career beginnings and Funky Dory[edit]

Main article: Funky Dory

After S Club were disbanded Stevens signed a £1.5 million solo four-album deal with Polydor Records and re-signed with Fuller.[7] Stevens said that breaking out on her own after success with S Club was difficult: "I think we [S Club] ended up conforming to what people's perceptions were. This one was the ditzy one, this one was the singer, this one was the dancer. And to come out of that and be a whole person has been a real challenge for me. I didn't have my say, really, in the group. None of us did."

Stevens performing in 2004.

Her first solo single, written by Cathy Dennis and produced by Bloodshy & Avant, "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex", was released in September 2003.[8] Taking inspiration from R&B and adult-style pop music, Stevens's debut solo album, Funky Dory, was released later that month. The album was a minor hit, reaching number 9 on the UK albums chart.[9] Although it was not a huge commercial success, it gained praise from pop critics; Jamie Gill, in a review for Yahoo! Launch, said that Stevens "eschews the cheap and cheerful approach of her old band for a slinky adult confidence and musical eclecticism."[10] That December the album's title track "Funky Dory", featuring a sample of the David Bowie song "Andy Warhol" from his album Hunky Dory, was released as its second single and failed to match the success of "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex", peaking at number twenty-four.[11] MusicOMH called it "musically better than "Sweet Dreams My LA Ex" with a hybrid of pop, Latin and even a hint of jazz infusion" but not a good single choice as a single as it lacked anything special and different.[1]

Stevens performing in 2004

In July 2004 Stevens released the BBC Sport Relief charity single, "Some Girls", which was produced by Richard X. It became a hit across Europe, and reached number two in the UK. HMV.co.uk called the song Stevens's "finest song to date",[2] and Yahoo! Launch commented that "she came to save her career. She ended up saving pop."[3] Stevens then signed a lucrative deal with Matalan reportedly worth £1 million and had her hit song "More More More" as the title song for Matalan's advertising campaign. Following the success of "Some Girls", Funky Dory was re-released to include "Some Girls" and another new track, a cover of Andrea True Connection's "More More More". "More More More" was issued as a single and peaked at number 3 in the UK, giving Stevens her third top ten solo single in the UK.[12] At this point, Stevens and her management stepped up promotion, earning her a Guinness World Record for "Most Public Appearances by a Pop Star in 24 Hours in Different Cities" (seven on 8–9 September 2004).[13]

2005–10: Come and Get It, films and television[edit]

In 2004, Stevens briefly appeared in Suzie Gold and began working on her second solo album, Come and Get It, with producers and songwriters Richard X, Alexis Strum and Xenomania.[14] The following March, its first single, "Negotiate with Love", was a top ten hit in the UK.[15] "So Good" was released in July 2005 and also peaked at number 10,[16] being hailed as "tastily produced and sassily delivered."[17] In mid-2005, Channel 4 broadcast a documentary which followed Stevens through the summer as she promoted "So Good". Stevens released Come and Get It in October 2005. The album was less successful than her debut, peaking at number 28 in the UK.[16] Its third and final single was "I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)", which peaked at number 12 in the UK[16] and was commended by HMV.co.uk for its "astonishingly flawless vocal performance" and as Stevens's "most commercially accessible and quirky single since "Some Girls"."[4] It has the song "Je m'appelle Rachel" on it, which was originally written by Shelly Poole as "Je m'appelle Michelle".

In 2005, Stevens appeared in the film Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and played a character called "Jane-Mary" in a Spider-Man charity spoof called Spider-Plant Man for the BBC appearing opposite Rowan Atkinson. In December 2007 it was announced that Stevens would be transformed into a 9-inch-high (230 mm) plasticine character for Glendogie Bogey, a new animated comedy for BBC Scotland.[18] Later in 2005, Stevens also played a minor role in Dominic Veall's ITV television drama Flawless playing Lucy Carlts, the sister of Rodger Carlts. In 2007 The Guardian included Come and Get It in their "1,000 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die" list.[19]

In August 2008 it was announced that Stevens would take part in the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing, which started on 20 September. She was partnered with professional dancer Vincent Simone, and together they hold the record for the most perfect 10s ever achieved in any series of Strictly Come Dancing, thus beating out other contestants including 2007 winner Alesha Dixon and 2008 winner Tom Chambers. They also hold the record for the Foxtrot, Tango and Rumba and even though Stevens is perhaps the most successful contestant in Strictly history, she finished in second place.[20][21] Stevens and Vincent Simone took part in the 2008 Strictly Come Dancing Christmas Special and 2009 Christmas Special.[22] Also in 2008 Stevens voiced Patrica Ravelston in the animated short Glendogie Bogey.

2011–present: X Factor New Zealand and music return[edit]

In early 2010 Stevens announced that she would be returning to the recording studio to begin work on her third album. She is believed to be working with one half of Jewels & Stone who wrote and produced her last single "I Said Never Again (But Here We Are)". In July 2011 a demo track entitled "Nothing in Common", which was recorded for Come and Get It, was uploaded online.[23] In October 2011 Stevens promoted Seven Seas Health Oils, and did live interviews for various radio stations

In November 2011 Stevens's official website posted a message that they have to close the site and forum, there will be a new website and forum soon. It has also been said Stevens is to release an album for toddlers titled Tasty Tunes in a project with toddlers food company Ella's Kitchen. "Rachel Stevens has a new album out - "Tasty Tunes – a unique collection of songs aimed at encouraging toddlers to try new healthy foods". On 15 November 2011 Stevens made a guest appearance on ITV1 Lorraine to chat to Lorraine Kelly about being a mother and recording an album for toddlers. You can download the free album through Ella's Kitchen's official website. Stevens has also revealed in various interviews recently that she is currently back in the studio recording her third studio album.

In March 2013, she revealed that she and the other members were in talks of a possible reunion with S Club.[24] On May 2013, Stevens appeared as a guest mentor on the New Zealand version of the The X-Factor to assist former All Saints member Melanie Blatt with the Groups category.[25]

Personal life[edit]

In her earlier years in S Club, Stevens dated property developer Daniel Cohen for about two years. Following the split, Cohen stated he met Stevens socially a few times after their break-up, adding "she's an absolute darling, someone I haven't a bad word to say about".[26] On Valentine's Day in 2002 Stevens became engaged to actor Jeremy Edwards.[27] The couple broke up in early 2004.[28] After the breakup she dated Gavin Dein, son of former Arsenal vice-chairman David Dein.[29] The relationship did not last long, with the couple splitting up in August 2005.[30] In September and October 2006 Stevens was linked to actor Stephen Dorff[31] and American-based British singer Oliver Trevena, known professionally as Oli T.[32]

In June 2008 Stevens became engaged to boyfriend Alex Bourne in Italy (who had changed his surname from Leigh) after 18 months of dating.[33] The couple were planning to get married in the autumn of 2008 but decided to postpone their wedding until August 2009 due to Stevens's busy autumn schedule training and performing on Strictly Come Dancing.[34] Stevens married Bourne on 2 August 2009.[35] On 19 May 2010 the couple announced that Stevens was expecting their first child.[36] On 16 November 2010, she gave birth to a baby girl, Amelie.[37] In September 2013, Stevens announced she was pregnant with her second child. She gave birth to a second daughter, Minnie Blossom on 1 April 2014 weighing 7lb 7oz.[38][39]

Other ventures[edit]

Awareness campaigns[edit]

In 2005 Stevens fronted the Everyman Testicular Cancer Awareness campaign. Stevens's role was notable as she was the first woman to represent this campaign. Her television commercial raised eyebrows with its suggestive content that included her telling men to "put one hand down their trousers and give their testicles a good feel". On the commercial, Stevens commented, "Sometimes men need a little encouragement to think about their health. This is a funny way of raising awareness about a serious subject."[5] In 2005 Stevens also took part in the Make Poverty History campaign, which aims to eliminate poverty in developing countries by cancelling old debts, improving the way aid is given and removing barriers, so these countries can trade more effectively with the rest of the world. Stevens donated an undisclosed amount of money to the campaign, and also starred in television and magazine advertisements supporting the cause. Her official website also displayed the campaign's official online banner.[6]

On 15 November 2011 it was reported that Stevens had recorded a collection of songs about fruit and vegetables as a way of helping to encourage children to eat five portions of fruit and veg per day. The songs were for an album titled Tasty Tunes and were made available as free downloads from the website of children's food firm Ella's Kitchen. Stevens launched the songs with a one-off performance at a nursery in Streatham, South London. The songs include food-themed versions of "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star" and "The Hokey-Cokey", and Stevens said of the project; "As a new mum, I'm always looking for exciting ways to encourage my daughter to try new foods, especially greens. I hope tasty tunes help lots of parents sing about fruit and vegetables as part of their little one's everyday playtime."[40][41]

Stevens is also an ambassador to WaterAid, an organisation that promotes clean water in developing countries all over the world. During a 2012 trip to Ethiopia, Stevens remarked, "It was such a great feeling to see the women laughing and chatting while they were washing their clothes and drinking clean water. Everyone looked healthier and a lot happier and the village felt full of life." [42]

Endorsement deals[edit]

Whilst in S Club 7 Stevens fronted the World Wide Fund for Nature. More recently, she has been the front woman for Pretty Polly,[43] Sky Sports, Marks & Spencer,[44] and Focus Dailies.[45] In 2009, Stevens became the new ambassador for Schwarzkopf Herod Gliss hair products.[46]

In October 2011 Stevens fronted the launch of Seven Seas Health Oils.[47]

Filmography[edit]

Television
Year Title Role Notes
1999 Miami 7 Rachel Co-lead role; Children's BBC Original Series
2000 L.A. 7 Rachel Co-lead role; Children's BBC Original Series
2000 S Club 7 Go Wild! Rachel Reality TV series
2001 Hollywood 7 Rachel Co-lead role; Children's BBC Original Series
2001 S Club Search Mentor/Herself/Judge
2002 Viva S Club Rachel Co-lead role; Children's BBC Original Series
2005 Spider-Plant Man Jane-Mary Watson Main role
2006 Happy Hour Herself "Thanksgiving" (Season 1; Episode 6)
2008 Strictly Come Dancing Herself/Competitor 2008 Series plus 2009 and 2012 Christmas specials.
2009 The Sunday Night Project Herself/Various role/Co-presenter "Rachel Stevens and Joe Swash" (Season 8; Episode 4)
2010 Britain's Got More Talent Co-presenter
2013 The X Factor New Zealand Mentor/Herself/Judge Mentor assistant of Melanie Blatt
Films
Year Title Role Notes
1999 The Greatest Store in the World Herself Supporting role; TV film
1999 Back to the '50s Rachel Co-lead role; TV film
1999 Boyfriends & Birthdays Rachel Co-lead role; TV film
2003 Seeing Double Rachel Co-lead role
2004 Suzie Gold Pop Star
2005 Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo Louisa, the Dirty Girl Main role
2008 Glendogie Bogey Patricia Ravelston Voice; TV film

Discography[edit]

Awards[edit]

Year Award Result Category
2003 Smash Hits Poll Winners Party Won Best Dressed Star
2004 Best Dressed Star
Most Fanciable Female
2005 Most Fanciable Female
2003 National Music Awards Favourite UK Female Singer
2004 Celebrity Awards Sexiest Female Celebrity
2004 NME Awards Best Female Artist
2004 Disney Channel Kid's Choice Awards Best Female Artist
2004 52nd Annual Showbusiness Awards Recording Artist of the Year
2005 Glamour Awards Woman of the Year
2006 Jammy Awards Outstanding Female Singer
2009 Digital Spy Reality Awards Sexiest Female
2009 Rear Of The Year 2009 Winner

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Jamie Gill. Rachel Stevens 3. Rachel Stevens Online - originally from Yahoo! Launch. Oct. 7, 2003. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2006.
  2. ^ Azeem Ahmad. Rachel Stevens 5. MusicOMH. Dec. 8, 2003. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2006.
  3. ^ Rachel Stevens 6. Rachel Stevens Online - originally from HMV.co.uk. June 2004. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2006.
  4. ^ Rachel Stevens 7. Rachel Stevens Online - originally from Yahoo! Launch. July 2004. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2006.
  5. ^ Rachel Stevens 8. Rachel Stevens Online - originally from London News Review. Sept. 23, 2004. Retrieved Feb. 5, 2006.
  6. ^ Rachel Stevens 9. Virgin.net. 2005. Retrieved Feb. 6, 2006.
  7. ^ Rachel Stevens 10. HMV.co.uk. Aug. 2005. Retrieved Feb. 6, 2006.
  8. ^ Rachel Stevens 12. Rachel Stevens Online. 2006. Retrieved Jan. 29, 2006.
  9. Rachel Stevens 16. The Daily Record. 2006. Retrieved May 1, 2006.
  10. ^ Rachel Stevens 17. Everyman. 2005. Retrieved Jan. 29, 2006.
  11. ^ Rachel Stevens 18. RSO: Make Poverty History. 2005. Retrieved Jan. 29, 2006.
  12. ^ [7]. The Daily Mirror. 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006.
  13. ^ [8]. The Daily Mirror. 2006. Retrieved November 11, 2006.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Sherwin, Adam (2008-12-08). "Rachel Stevens the favourite to win Strictly Come Dancing". London: entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-12-23. 
  2. ^ "Jewish Showbiz News". www.somethingjewish.co.uk. Retrieved 2012-04-26. 
  3. ^ Rachel Stevens. "Rachel Stevens biography". Askmen.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  4. ^ "She's movin' on up". Times Online. Times Newspapers Ltd. 13 February 2005. Retrieved 21 October 2008. 
  5. ^ "S Club reach for the top". BBC News (BBC). 18 June 2000. Retrieved 4 September 2007. 
  6. ^ "S Club to split up". BBC News (BBC). 21 April 2003. Retrieved 25 August 2007. 
  7. ^ "S Club's Rachel signs £1m deal". BBC News. 2003-06-26. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  8. ^ "Rachel Stevens: Biography". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  9. ^ Sexton, Paul (2004-10-06). "Peas, Dido Top U.K. Charts". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  10. ^ Gill, Jamie (2003-10-07). "Rachel Stevens - 'Funkydory'". uk.launch.yahoo.com. 
  11. ^ "Rachel Stevens - Music Charts". acharts.us. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  12. ^ Sexton, Paul (2004-10-11). "Robbie, R.E.M. Overtake U.K. Charts". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  13. ^ Freeman, Hadley (2005-06-10). "Club class". London: arts.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  14. ^ Petridis, Alexis (2005-10-15). "Rachel Stevens, Come And Get It". London: arts.guardian.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  15. ^ Sexton, Paul (2005-04-04). "Christie Rules U.K. Charts Again". billboard.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  16. ^ a b c "Rachel Stevens - Music Chart". acharts.us. Retrieved 2007-07-27. 
  17. ^ "Rachel Stevens - So Good". virginmedia.com. 
  18. ^ "Trio of talent get animated in Glendogie Bogey". BBC. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  19. ^ "1,000 Albums To Hear Before You Die: Artists beginning with S (part 2)". London: guardian.co.uk. 2007-11-22. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  20. ^ Irvine, Chris (2008-08-29). "Rachel Stevens: Strictly Come Dancing is 'scary'". London: telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  21. ^ Doyle, Damien (2008-08-28). "Rachel Stevens For Strictly Come Dancing". mtv.co.uk. Retrieved 2008-08-31. 
  22. ^ "Ali Bastian wins 'Strictly' Christmas special | News | Strictly Come Dancing 2009 | Reality TV". Whats on TV. 2009-12-26. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  23. ^ 0.00 (2011-07-07). "Nothing In Common (Demo) by muumuse on SoundCloud - Create, record and share your sounds for free". Soundcloud.com. Retrieved 2011-11-16. 
  24. ^ "Former S Club 7 member Rachel Stevens has confirmed that the group has discussed a reunion.". 24 March 2013. Metro. Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  25. ^ Fitzmaurice, Sarah (2013-05-12). "'I got quite nostalgic seeing the young bands': Rachel Stevens remembers her S Club 7 days as she mentors wannabes on X Factor New Zealand". 12 May 2013 (London: Daily Mail). Retrieved 13 May 2013. 
  26. ^ "Rachel Stevens Seeing Ex After Split". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  27. ^ "S Club's Rachel to wed Holby City star". BBC News. 2002-02-18. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  28. ^ "Rachel Stevens splits with fiance". BBC News. 2004-01-10. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  29. ^ Stoneman, Justin. "Rachel Stevens Interview". Virginmedia.com. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  30. ^ "Sun, Sea and Man For Rachel". Digital Spy. 2006-05-01. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  31. ^ "Heartbreaker Rachel Stevens can't keep her hands off her new man, Themailonsunday.co.uk". Mailonsunday.co.uk. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  32. ^ Kilkelly, Daniel (2006-10-01). "Rachel Stevens dates Van Outen's ex". Digital Spy. Retrieved 2008-02-03. 
  33. ^ "Rachel Stevens & Alex Bourne". New Magazine. 2008-06-25. Retrieved 2008-08-30. 
  34. ^ "Rachel Stevens puts Strictly before wedding". Tellyzone. 2008-09-16. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  35. ^ "Rachel Stevens Marries In Lavish Ceremony". News.sky.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  36. ^ "Rachel Stevens - Stevens Pregnant - Contactmusic Ne". Contactmusic.com. Retrieved 2010-08-07. 
  37. ^ Johnson, Chris (2010-11-16). "'Delighted' Rachel Stevens gives birth to baby girl, Amelie". Daily Mail (London). 
  38. ^ Leyfield, James (2013-04-01). "'We're so happy': Rachel Stevens and husband Alex Bourne welcome baby daughter". Daily Mail (London). 
  39. ^ Daily Mail (London) http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-2599609/Rachel-Stevens-announces-second-baby.html |url= missing title (help). 
  40. ^ "Rachel Stevens in fruit medley". The Press Association. 15 November 2011. Retrieved 16 November 2011. 
  41. ^ "Rachel Stevens visits Streatham nursery to promote healthy eating". Streatham Guardian. 17 November 2011. Retrieved 17 November 2011. 
  42. ^ Rachel Stevens emotional over Africa visit. Contactmusic.com November 26, 2012.
  43. ^ "Why the bottom has fallen out of stocking sales". thisislondon.co.uk. 2018-07-07. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  44. ^ Julia, Pearlman (2005-10-11). "Marks & Spencer's sales increase fuelled by Twiggy ad campaign". brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  45. ^ Clark, Nicola (2007-08-29). "Media: Focus Dailies in ITV dating shows deal". brandrepublic.com. Retrieved 2008-05-19. 
  46. ^ [dead link]
  47. ^ posted by Ishbel Macleod (12 October 2011). "Seven Seas launches new range of Health Oils with TBWA\Manchester". The Drum. Retrieved 22 December 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Matt Di Angelo and Flavia Cacace
Strictly Come Dancing runner up
(with partner Vincent Simone)

Series 6 (2008)
Succeeded by
Ricky Whittle and Natalie Lowe