A1 (group)

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A1 performing at the Mall of Asia Arena, Philippines on 09 November 2019
A1 performing at the Mall of Asia Arena, Philippines on 09 November 2019
Background information
OriginLondon, United Kingdom
Oslo, Norway
GenresPop, pop rock, dance-pop
Years active1998–2002
LabelsUniversal Norway, BMG, Epic, Columbia
Associated actsSteps, Bryan White
MembersBen Adams
Paul Marazzi
Christian Ingebrigtsen
Mark Read

A1 (stylised as a1) are a British-Norwegian boy band that formed in 1998. The original line-up consists of Paul Marazzi, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Mark Read and Ben Adams. Ingebrigtsen is originally from Oslo, Norway, but the other members originate from London.

Their debut single, "Be the First to Believe", entered the UK Singles Chart at number six in mid-1999. They achieved chart success in the UK and other parts of the world in the late 1990s and early 2000s, particularly Southeast Asia. In the UK, they scored two number ones and six other top 10 hits, seven of which were written by the band. Adding to this, they also won a BRIT Award for "British Breakthrough Act" in 2001. They were managed by band manager Tim Byrne, who also formed Steps.

Marazzi left the band in 2002, citing personal reasons. The three remaining members subsequently decided to split due to exhaustion from being on the road for the best part of four years straight.

In December 2009, Ingebrigtsen, Read and Adams reformed a1, without Marazzi, in Norway for a series of concerts at the Christiania Theatre in Oslo.[1] Since their comeback, they have released new singles as well as their fourth and fifth studio albums, Waiting for Daylight, in 2010, and Rediscovered, in 2012.

In 2014, a1 appeared on the itv2 documentary The Big Reunion along with other bands such as Eternal, Damage, Girl Thing, 3T and a new band called 5th Story, made up of Dane Bowers (from Another Level), Gareth Gates, Kenzie (from Blazin' Squad), Kavana and Adam Rickitt.

In 2017, Marazzi met his former bandmates in Newcastle after his 15-year absence, and he will appear on their 20th anniversary tour.


1998: Formation[edit]

Paul Marazzi, who had missed the cut for Steps, met Tim Byrne in 1998 to talk about forming a second group. Auditions were held where Christian Ingebrigtsen, Mark Read, and Ben Adams were recruited and the band was formed by the management team of Byrne and Vicky Blood.[2]

1999: Here We Come[edit]

A1 signed with Columbia Records in February 1999 and released "Be the First to Believe" in Summer 1999.[3] In November they released Here We Come, which reached number 4 in Norway and had four top ten singles in the UK.

2000–2001: The A List[edit]

In 2000, they achieved two number ones with "Take On Me" and "Same Old Brand New You". The video for their seventh single, "No More", was filmed in Singapore while they were on tour there. In 2001, the band began a massive arena tour of Asia, where they were very well received. During a mall signing in Indonesia, four teenage girls were killed in a stampede.[2] In 2001, Sony Music launched a paid subscription service for a1 called 'Access All Areas', the first for an artist signed to the company. This was an early version of a social network allowing fans to meet and chat online.

2002: Make It Good, Marazzi's departure and split[edit]

Their third album, Make It Good saw a change in direction but was to be their last studio project. On 8 October 2002, Marazzi left the group, citing personal reasons,[4] and a1 subsequently decided to split.[5]

2002–09: Post A1 and solo careers[edit]

In January 2004 a Best of A1 album was released in Asia; a compilation featuring all of their singles, two previously unreleased concert recordings, and three exclusive B-Sides. In 2009, following Adams' appearance on Celebrity Big Brother, the band released its Greatest Hits in the UK.[6]

In 2005, Adams went on to release his first solo single, "Sorry", which peaked at number 18 on the UK Singles Chart. Adams was also due to record an album but parted with his record label. In 2009, he appeared as a contestant on Celebrity Big Brother, becoming one of the remaining five housemates.[7] He attracted much attention later that same year when he posed naked for the cover of Attitude.[8]

In 2003, Ingebrigtsen also began a solo career, with his first solo single, "In Love With an Angel", being released in 2004. The single stayed in the Top 10 of the Norway Singles Chart for nearly three months. The song was swiftly followed by "Things Are Gonna Change", which became Ingebrigsten's final solo single before he moved into other areas of showbusiness.

In 2002, Read focused on becoming a songwriter for other artists, after signing a deal with Metrophonic. Read has written for artists such as Charlotte Church, Boyzone, Michael Bolton, Robin Gibb, and The Hollies. Read released his debut solo single, "Greatest Lady in My Life", on 2 March 2009.[9] His debut solo album, Peace at Last was released in June 2009.

Months after he left the band, Marazzi hosted the Andy Cole Children's Foundation (now All Star Kids) on 26 April 2003 together with Jo Good.[10] He turned down the offer to appear in I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2004.[11] In late 2005 he formed a soul/rock band in Sunderland, Northeast England called Snagsby. He left the band in early 2009. Marazzi then went to work in The George Hotel in Whitby as a club DJ.[11]

2009–2010: Reunion as a trio and Waiting for Daylight[edit]

In November 2008, the remaining members of the band formed a MySpace account to keep fans updated of their current situation.[12] In summer 2009, the band made an official announcement, stating that not only were they to reform, but they were to play a series of concerts in Oslo in December of that year. Marazzi posted on his Facebook that he wished them good luck when he found out about his former bandmates' reunion on a TV show in Norway. The announcement also stated that the band's first new single in seven years, "Take You Home", would be released via iTunes in Norway on 2 November. The single entered the Norway Singles Chart at No. 9, based on download sales. It was announced in late 2009 that the band would compete to represent Norway in the 2010 Eurovision Song Contest, with the band's second single since their reformation, "Don't Wanna Lose You Again".[13] The song peaked at No. 4 on the Norwegian Singles Chart. The band reached the national final of the contest and finished in second place.[citation needed] The band made their official UK comeback on New Year's Eve by performing at the Heaven New Year's Eve Party in London. In March 2010, the band embarked on a worldwide tour that began in Norway, with performances in Oslo, Stavanger, Kristiansand, Bergen, Trondheim and Haugesund. The tour extended to Europe and ROTW in autumn 2010. The band's first new studio album since 2002 was released on 11 October 2010, and includes the singles "Take You Home", "Don't Wanna Lose You Again", "In Love and I Hate It" and "Waiting for Daylight".

2011–12: Rediscovered[edit]

In October 2011, the group appeared on Channel 5's OK TV to promote their British comeback gig at the O2 Academy Islington on 31 October 2011.[14] The gig received positive reviews from sites such as This Must Be Pop[15] and Time Out.[16] On 18 November 2011, the band released a new single, "Another Year Gone". On 28 February 2012, the group performed at the Singapore Indoor Stadium with Blue and Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees. The concert was entitled "The Greatest Hits Tour: Blue, Jeff Timmons of 98 Degrees and a1 – Live in Singapore."[17] They also visited Jakarta, Indonesia and Manila, Philippines as part of the concert tour.[18][19] On 8 May 2012, the band announced the release of a new single, "Just Three Words", a duet with Annie Khalid.

2013–14: The Big Reunion[edit]

In December 2013 it was announced that A1 will be appearing, again without Marazzi, on the itv2 documentary The Big Reunion. In October 2014, A1 with other bands from the TV show Blue, Five, Damage, 3T, 911 and a new band called 5th Story toured together in October 2014, the tour was called The Big Reunion Boy band Tour 2014.[20]

On 3 October 2014 A1 performed on the Norwegian show called "The Hit", they chose to perform the song Critical Love written by Mathilde Johnson and became their newest single after winning.

Their latest albums Waiting for Daylight and Rediscovered were released in UK on 12 June 2015.[21]

2016–17: Comeback Concert[edit]

A1 gave a concert on 22 October 2016 in Singapore[22] and in Manila and Cebu on 23 and 25 October, respectively.

2017–present : Marazzi's return and 20th-anniversary tour[edit]

On 22 July 2017 Paul Marazzi met with his past band-mates in Newcastle. On Instagram post of the band, the group posted a picture with original members Ben Adams, Christian Ingebrigtsen, Mark Read and Paul Marazzi. A follow up post on the band's Facebook page suggested that they may reform for "One last song.. or 2 or 3". The photo was posted on 17 September 2017, a day after Ben Adams posted a photo of him and Paul at the backstage for Flashdance The Musical Tour in Sunderland. There is no confirmation yet that Paul had indeed reunited with a1.[23]

On 7 May 2018 Ben Adams called BBC Radio 2 host Matt Lucas, announcing a1 will go on a 20th anniversary tour the next year. He said they probably had to do something slightly special for their 20-year reunion, and they had invited original member Paul Marazzi back. The tour will start in Asia after Ben finishes his Flashdance show in November, and they will also do some tours in UK and release new music as well.[24]

On 23 May 2018, it was announced that they will be doing a set of concerts in Southeast Asia with Marazzi on board. It was announced via their Twitter and Facebook page.[25]

On 12 October 2018, they released their first single with all members since the departure of Marazzi, and the disbandment of the group, 16 years previously. The song is called "Armour".[26]

2019: The Reunion Show[edit]

On 27 February 2019 the group announced their first UK comeback, first live show with original line up in 15 years. The show will be held at O2 Academy Islington, London on 1 November 2019.[27][28]


Jakarta mall incident[edit]

On 18 March 2001, during a mall signing in Jakarta, Indonesia, four teenage girls were killed in a stampede and two others were reported critical.[2] A spokesman for the group said: "They are devastated and are immediately planning to return to Great Britain. They have cancelled the rest of the tour and their thoughts are with the families and friends of those killed and injured."



  1. ^ "Boyband A1 confirm comeback shows". Digitalspy.co.uk. 14 August 2009.
  2. ^ a b c "A1 'devastated' after stampede deaths". BBC News. 19 March 2001.
  3. ^ "A1 - NME". NME.
  4. ^ "Paul Marazzi Quits A1, Bandmates 'Heartbroken' - popdirt.com". Popdirt.com.
  5. ^ "A1 split, but say they'll be back". News.bbc.co.uk. 30 October 2002.
  6. ^ "HMV - Music, Films, & Games". Hmv.com.
  7. ^ "Celebrity Big Brother: Ben finishes fifth!". What's on TV. 23 January 2009. Archived from the original on 5 May 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  8. ^ 2009. "Attitude Goes Naked With Ben Adams". Ethan Says. Attitude Magazines. Archived from the original on 7 June 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  9. ^ "Mark Read: Digital Music". Amazon.co.uk. 20 April 2020. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 12 January 2011. Retrieved 7 January 2011.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link) From Eva Cassidy Tributes article Charlotte gethin live
  11. ^ a b "A1 singer's relief as Ben escapes Big Brother boot - Local". Whitby Gazette. 7 January 2009. Archived from the original on 23 May 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  12. ^ MySpace Archived 7 February 2009 at the Wayback Machine
  13. ^ "Disse stiller med låter i Melodi Grand Prix". VG (in Norwegian). Archived from the original on 30 November 2009. Retrieved 29 November 2009.
  14. ^ [1][permanent dead link]
  15. ^ Jessica (1 November 2011). "A1: Still First In The A-Z Of Pop!". This Must Be Pop. Archived from the original on 30 March 2012. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  16. ^ "A1 + Reachback at Islington Academy - Rock, pop & dance - Time Out London". Timeout.com. 31 October 2011. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  17. ^ "The Ultimate Boyband Concert: Blue, a1 and Jeff Timmons from 98 Degrees". Feveravenue.com. 25 January 2012. Archived from the original on 21 October 2013. Retrieved 26 March 2012.
  18. ^ A1 Visits Manila Norway News Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  19. ^ 98 Degrees, Blue and A1 perform in Manila Manila Bulletin Retrieved 5 March 2012.
  20. ^ "a1". Facebook.com.
  21. ^ "Waiting for Daylight - A1 - Releases - AllMusic". AllMusic.
  22. ^ "a1". Facebook.com.
  23. ^ "a1". Facebook.com.
  24. ^ "Ben Adams confirms they will invite Paul back for a1 20th anniversary!!!!!". YouTube. 7 May 2018. Retrieved 8 May 2018.
  25. ^ "a1 on Twitter". Twitter.com.
  26. ^ "a1 - Our brand new single 'Armour', the first in a very..." Facebook.com. 11 October 2018. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  27. ^ a1. "a1 (@A1Official)". Twitter.com. Retrieved 25 April 2020.
  28. ^ "Search | O2 Academy Islington". Academymusicgroup.com. Retrieved 25 April 2020.

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