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The original lineup of Hear'Say in 2001
The original lineup of Hear'Say in 2001
Background information
OriginLondon, United Kingdom
Years active2001–2002
LabelsMCA Music, Polydor
Island Records
Past members

Hear'Say were a British pop group. They were created through the ITV reality TV show Popstars in February 2001, the first UK series of the international Popstars franchise. The group, who were signed to Polydor Records, originally consisted of Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, and Noel Sullivan.

Hear'Say achieved instant fame, breaking chart records with their debut single "Pure and Simple" and the album Popstars. However, their second album failed to match this success.

In January 2002, Marsh left Hear'Say due to conflicts with Klass and Sullivan. She was replaced by former Boom! member Johnny Shentall a month later. During a summer promotional tour, Hear'Say were constantly harassed by members of the public.[1] "Lovin' Is Easy", the group's only single to be released with Shentall, failed to make a commercial impact. Hear'Say announced their split in October 2002, twenty months after their formation, citing "abuse from the public" as the main reason for their demise. After the band's break-up, all members went on to achieve individual success elsewhere in the entertainment industry.


2000–2001: Formation, Popstars and Everybody[edit]

Over the course of six weeks in late 2000, thousands of hopeful singers attended open television auditions for ITV's Popstars talent show. The contestants were judged by Nigel Lythgoe, Paul Adam (director of A&R at Polydor Records, who had rights to the finished group), and Nicki Chapman, who had worked with the Spice Girls. The judges reduced the contestants to a group of ten, before visiting each of them at their homes to reveal whether or not they had been selected for the group. The five chosen singers – Danny Foster, Myleene Klass, Kym Marsh, Suzanne Shaw, and Noel Sullivan – formed Hear'Say.[2] The five unsuccessful finalists went on to form the group Liberty (later renamed Liberty X after a legal dispute). The programme documented Hear'Say recording and promoting their first single with the series ending on the night the single charted in the UK Singles Chart. Popstars became an instant success, taking in audiences of over 10 million viewers.[3]

In March 2001, Hear'Say released their first single, "Pure and Simple", a cover of a little-known album track by Girl Thing. The song went straight to number one on the UK Singles Chart in March 2001, selling just under 550,000 copies.[4] "Pure and Simple" was the fastest-selling debut single at the time, as well as the fastest-selling non-charity single – a record beaten a year later by Pop Idol winner Will Young.[4] The track spent two more weeks at number one.[5] With the release of their debut album Popstars, Hear'Say became the first act in UK chart history to simultaneously top the UK Singles Chart and UK Albums Chart with their debut releases.[5] Popstars sold 306,631 copies in its first week, breaking yet another record for fastest-selling debut album.[5] The album featured cover versions of "Monday Monday" by the Mamas & the Papas and "Bridge over Troubled Water" by Simon & Garfunkel, alongside original tracks purchased for the group.

Hear'Say released their second single, "The Way to Your Love", in June 2001. The song became their second consecutive number-one single.[6][7] The group were invited to perform at the 80th birthday celebrations of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh.[citation needed] Hear'Say went on to present their own ITV show called Hear'Say It's Saturday, which featured performances, comedy sketches and celebrity guests.[8] This followed on from a mini-series named Meet the Popstars which was intended to allow the public to get to know the group and their music away from the talent show format. In August 2001, Hear'Say toured the United Kingdom. They initially announced five dates which quickly sold out, causing the band to schedule thirty more dates.[9] However, the new dates struggled to sell out as hundreds of tickets remained unsold.[9][1] The group also released a live DVD.

Whilst on tour, the group began recording their second studio album, Everybody. In November 2001, just nine months after the release of their debut album, Hear'Say released Everybody. The album was preceded by a single of the same name. The single debuted at number four, while the album crept into the chart at number 24.[1] Everybody went on to sell just one fifth as many copies as Popstars. Despite the second album's lack of success, it did achieve Gold status by the BPI but over a decade after its release[10] and plans were made for an arena tour but these were later cancelled.[1]

2001–2002: Line-up changes, decline and break-up[edit]

Tabloids began reporting that Kym Marsh, who had gained attention due to her relationship with former EastEnders actor Jack Ryder, had left the band following feuds with bandmate Myleene Klass.[1][11] A representative for Hear'Say denied the reports, stating: "Everybody who is involved with Hear'Say will be sitting down this week to discuss the future. Kym Marsh is still with the band."[11] However, in January 2002, Kym Marsh announced that she was leaving Hear'Say, later revealing she often fought with Klass and Noel Sullivan.[12] Auditions were held to find Marsh's replacement.[13]

The audition process was televised in segments of This Morning, an ITV daily morning show, mirroring the procedure during which the original members of Hear'Say were chosen.[14] Johnny Shentall, husband of Steps singer Lisa Scott-Lee, won the auditions, joining the group on 5 February 2002.[15] Controversy erupted when it was found out that Shentall had previously been a member of short-lived pop group Boom! and a back-up dancer for Hear'Say.[1][15] In March 2002, Hear'Say cancelled their planned arena tour to allow Shentall time to "settle in" to the group.[1]

Hear'Say began recording their third album. During the summer of 2002, the group toured the UK radio roadshows circuit, where they were constantly booed and abused by members of the public, with a performance in Brighton being cut short due to the animosity concerned – evidence of the degree of public animosity that had built up. During the tour, the group's vehicle was threatened by an apparently armed man at a motorway service area on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire.[1] The man, later arrested, claimed to have been playing a prank on the group. In August 2002, Hear'Say released their only single with Shentall, entitled "Lovin' Is Easy". The track had a new sophisticated feel in an attempt to regenerate interest in the group's music. The single became Hear'Say's lowest charting single to date when it peaked at number six.[16] Media reports suggested that Polydor Records wanted the single to at least reach the UK Top 5. Following the disappointing sales of the single, it was thought that they would be dropped by the label, though no official word came from Polydor.

Hear'Say split up on 1 October 2002, citing "abuse from the public" as the main reason.[1][17] The group admitted to being a fad that had passed.[17] Hear'Say's popularity had been eclipsed by that of Liberty X, a band composed of the five other finalists of Popstars.[1]



Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
  • Released: 26 March 2001
  • Label: Polydor (#549821)
  • Formats: CS, CD
1 10 4 1 1
  • Released: 3 December 2001
  • Label: Polydor (#589541)
  • Formats: CS, CD
24 23
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.


Year Title Peak chart positions Certifications Album
2001 "Pure and Simple" 1 72 6 83 3 1 1 29 Popstars
"The Way to Your Love" 1 9 10 44 1
"Everybody" 4 21 23 2 Everybody
2002 "Lovin' Is Easy" 6 35 31 7 Non-album single
"—" denotes items that did not chart or were not released in that territory.



  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j "Hear'Say's rollercoaster career". BBC News. 1 October 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  2. ^ Neil Wilkes (4 February 2001). "Popstars winners revealed". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  3. ^ Neil Wilkes (2 February 2001). "Popstars: The Winners". Digital Spy. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  4. ^ a b "Hear'Say hit number one". BBC News. 18 March 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  5. ^ a b c "Hear'Say make chart history". BBC News. 1 April 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  6. ^ "Hear'Say set for number one". BBC News. 26 June 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  7. ^ "Hear'Say top charts again". BBC News. 1 July 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  8. ^ "Hear'Say It's Saturday". TV.com. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  9. ^ a b "Hear'Say tour fails to sell out". BBC News. 6 September 2001. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  10. ^ "Certified Awards". Archived from the original on 24 January 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2014. – Type 'Hearsay' in the search box, to find the certification.
  11. ^ a b "Hear'Say in talks over Kym". BBC News. 14 January 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  12. ^ "Kym: Hear'Say was one big row". London Evening Standard. 28 January 2002. Archived from the original on 21 April 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  13. ^ "Hear'Say search for replacement". The Daily Telegraph. 3 February 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  14. ^ "Hear'Say auditions reject thousands". BBC News. 3 February 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  15. ^ a b Jeffery (5 February 2002). "Hear'Say announce new fifth member". The Guardian. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  16. ^ "Sugababes back on top". Sky News. 18 August 2002. Archived from the original on 4 October 2013. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  17. ^ a b "Abused pop band Hear'Say split up". CNN. 1 October 2002. Retrieved 4 December 2012.
  18. ^ a b UK chart peaks:
  19. ^ European studio albums chart peaks:
  20. ^ a b "Irish chart peaks". irish-charts. com (Hung Medien). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  21. ^ a b "New Zealand chart peaks". charts.nz (Hung Medien). Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  22. ^ Scottish studio albums chart peaks:
  23. ^ a b "UK certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 22 November 2020. Note: User needs to enter Hear'say in the "Search BPI Awards" field and press Enter
  24. ^ "European IFPI Certification - Popstars" (PDF). IFPI Europe. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  25. ^ "New Zealand Certification - Popstars". RMNZ. Retrieved 22 November 2020.
  26. ^ a b "UK certified Awards Search". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved on 22 November 2020. Note: User needs to enter Hearsay in the "Search BPI Awards" field and press Enter
  27. ^ Ryan, Gavin (2011). Australia's Music Charts 1988–2010. Mt. Martha, VIC, Australia: Moonlight Publishing.
  28. ^ European singles chart peaks:
  29. ^ German singles chart peaks:
  30. ^ Scottish singles chart peaks:
  31. ^ "Swiss chart peaks". swisscharts.com. Retrieved 23 November 2020.
  32. ^ "New Zealand Certification - Pure and Simple". RMNZ. Retrieved 23 November 2020.