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Music / Sugababes

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Looking at the pattern, Heidi is due to be replaced by a new white girl
"People are all the same,
And we only get judged by what we do,
Personality reflects name,
And if I'm ugly then so are you,
So are you."

Sugababes are a British three-piece Girl Group, based in London. Just as famous for their constant lineup changes (see the main picture) as their music, the group has managed to achieve multi-platinum accreditation for their albums and singles (courtesy of the British Phonographic Industry) despite (or perhaps because of) their ... chequered history.

Originally formed by Ron Tom in 1998, the group went on to achieve success in the UK and abroad, performing the Theme Song to The Powerpuff Girls Movie and Girls In Love as well as contributing to the soundtracks of The Guru, Love Actually, Wimbledon, Wild Child and St. Trinian's. They have sold eight million records in the UK alone, with six number-one singles, two-number-one albums (with five making the top-ten) and their international hit single "Push the Button" featuring on the soundtrack to the 2012 London Olympic Games.


After years of rumours, it was announced in 2012 that the original lineup was reforming under the name Mutya Keisha Siobhan, and there was much rejoicing. After a quiet period from the current Sugababes lineup after the release of the single "Freedom", Jade Ewen has confirmed that the current Sugababes had quietly split in 2011.

Note: Any tropes for the original lineup (1998 - 2001) must be collected on this page. It makes it easier for users who are more familiar with them as "Sugababes" and it doesn't clutter up the Mutya Keisha Siobhan page.



This girl group provides examples of:

  • A Day In The Lime Light: Three has three solos for each of the group members.
  • Album Title Drop: Most of their albums have one.
    • "One touch of love, that was all it took my dear…"
    • "You don't know where we go, you don't know that we're angels with dirty faces in the morning…"
    • "People made me feel that life was unfair. and I did things that made me ashamed, coz I didn't know my body would change, I grew taller than them in more ways"
    • "…and ain't it crazy how you think you got your whole life planned, just to find out it was never ever in your hands… change "
  • Animated Music Video: The Powerpuff Girls Movie tie-in "Angels With Dirty Faces".
  • Anti-Christmas Song: "New Year", about someone leaving (exactly who or why is left ambiguous) at Christmas ... last year.
  • Anti-Love Song: "Hole in the Head".
  • Break-Up Song: "Now You're Gone", "Little Miss Perfect", "No More You", "Thank You For The Heartbreak", "Unbreakable Heart" and many more.
  • B-Side: There's a compilation album called The Complete Bs, released in 2011, that contains every single b-side and remix that ever existed. It was apparently done to fulfill an album contract, but it does save a lot of Archive Panic for old and new fans of the group.
  • Careful with That Axe: Oh, Jade.
  • Covers Always Lie: The iTunes EP Live From London uses a shot of Heidi, Keisha and Mutya on the cover, but the record is actually just Keisha and Heidi performing (it was recorded during the transitional period between Mutya leaving and Amelle arriving).
  • Cover Version: They've also covered many songs during live sessions, and a rendition of "Santa Baby" was released to iTunes 2009.
    • "Freak Like Me" (originally by Adina Howard)
    • "Killer" (originally by Seal)
    • "I Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor" (originally by The Arctic Monkeys)
    • "Obsession" (originally by Animotion), "Come Together" (originally by The Beatles)
    • "Walk This Way" (originally by Aerosmith, collaboration with Girls Aloud).
    • Inversely, Miranda Cosgrove covered their smash hit "About You Now".
    • Their Translated Cover Version of Patricia Kaas' song "Quand J'ai Peur de Tout" as "Too Lost in You" was an international chart hit.
  • Deliberately Monochrome: The video for "Caught In a Moment".
  • Dramatic Wind: In the video for "Round Round".
  • Eating the Eye Candy: "3 Spoons of Suga".
  • 11th-Hour Ranger: Jade joined the group literally just before their seventh studio album was due to be released. She came so late that the entire album had to be re-recorded with her vocals replacing departed member Keisha's.
  • Era-Specific Personality: From 2000 - 2004, the group was marketed as a cool, unsmiling alternative to the loud, brash nature of groups such as Spice Girls (this was downplayed after Heidi replaced Siobhan, seeing as she was the group's resident Perpetual Smiler). From 2005 - 2008, they were marketed as a more traditional pop group in keeping with the direction of their sound. From 2008 - 2009, they became "soul divas", influenced by the sound of Amy Winehouse, Adele and many other burgeoning acts. Finally, in late 2009 they ramped up the "dance" in both sound and image, as well as being more overtly "clubbable" and stripperiffic.
  • Everyone Loves Blondes: In the lineup spanning from 2002 - 2009, it was Heidi who received most of the press' attention. Now it's Jade.
  • Exhort the Disc Jockey Song: Inverted in "Never Gonna Dance Again":
    I get into the groove but it's giving me pain
    There's nothing you can do for me Mr DJ...
  • Fanservice: The Sweet 7 era ran on this trope, although subtler versions existed in their image previously. (The video for "In the Middle", anyone?)
  • Grief Song: Three has "Maya", about Mutya's deceased sister. Change also has the title track, which heavily implies this trope.
  • Go-Karting with Bowser: They released a cover of Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" in collaboration with Girls Aloud - who were their biggest chart rivals at the time - for charity.
  • Good Bad Girl: Amelle.
  • In Da Club: "Coz I'm too sexy in this club, too sexy in this club, so sexy it hurrrrrts…"
    • "Freak Like Me", Heidi's introductory video, also shows the group dancing in a club atmosphere. "Freedom" is also set in a club.
    • They've also done many songs about clubs, but one notable subversion occurs in "In The Middle", which is about the dark and seedy nature of parties.
  • Intercourse with You: "Virgin Sexy", "Low", "Freak Like Me", "Wear My Kiss", "Someone In My Bed", "Push the Button", "Caught In a Moment", "Easy" and more.
  • Lady in Red: "Red Dress" (in both the subject of the song and the video).
  • Long-Runner Cast Turnover
  • Melismatic Vocals: Though Siobhan and Heidi didn't utilize them as much as the other members did.
  • Murder Ballad: "Every Heart Broken", in what is probably the only girlband version of this trope.
  • Neo Classical Punk Zydeco Rockabilly: Their music was definitely this back in their early days. Their sound melded pop, R&B, Jazz, Soul, UK garage, trip hop, electroclash and nu-disco.
  • New Sound Album: Taller In More Ways broke from their usual R&B/Soul/UK Garage sound, in favor of something Lighter and Softer as well as being more 'poppy'. Many Sugafans though it sounded too similar to a Girls Aloud album, which is somewhat justified since the album does feature a few productions by Xenomania, the brains behind their music. The pop/dance sound stuck around for their next studio album Change, but the urban flavor returned with Catfights & Spotlights when they adopted a sound befitting the Soul Revival. Their latest offering Sweet 7 was basically a combination of Hip-Hop and Eurodance music (with some hefty doses of Auto-Tune and lashings of trend-chasing crunk-n-B), but overall reaction wasn't very positive.
  • Non-Appearing Title: The titles for Three, Catfights & Spotlights and Sweet 7 don't appear in the lyrics to any of their songs.
    • "Ace Reject", "Joy Division" and "Maya" are all song titles which don't appear in the lyrics for their respective songs.
  • Noodle Incident: The group very nearly split for good in 2004. All the fans know about this incident was that it involved an argument over Britney Spears' hit song "Toxic"...
  • Obsession Song: "Obsession", naturally.
  • The Oner: The video for "Overload".
  • Overcrank: Used in many of their videos, most notably in "Too Lost In You".
  • Power Trio
  • Rearrange the Song: Their uptempo pop-rock hit "About You Now" (originally from Change) was redone on the album Catfights and Spotlights as an acoustic ballad, in response to the rise of slower and softer renditions of their songs on YouTube.
  • Revolving Door Band: Which, at this point, would probably be a better band name for them.
    • Jade Ewen has since gone on record that this is the reason that the band split in 2011.
  • Sampling: Quite a bit.
    • "Get Sexy" naturally sampled "I'm Too Sexy".
    • "Shape" interpolates the chorus of "Shape of My Heart" by Sting
    • "Girls" interpolates the chorus of "Here Come The Girls" by Ernie K-Doe
    • "Freak Like Me" sampled "Are 'Friends' Electric?" by Tubeway Army (a.k.a Gary Numan's old group).
    • "Overload" samples "White Rabbit" by Jefferson Airplane.
  • Self-Parody: This skit the current line-up did with English comedian Katy Brand, poking fun at their ever-changing lineup.
  • Singer Namedrop: The band name is dropped in "Sugababes On the Run", "Groove is Going On" and "About a Girl". Individual names are dropped in "Real Thing", "Angels With Dirty Faces", "Gotta Be You" and "You On a Good Day".
  • Singing Voice Dissonance: Heidi's speaking voice (a thick Liverpudlian accent) is a direct and rather surprising contrast to her smooth style of singing.
  • Soprano and Gravel: Mutya provided the Gravel to Keisha, Siobhan (lineup 1.0) and Heidi's Sopranos. (2.0). This spot was taken by Amelle in contrast to Heidi, Keisha (3.0) and Jade (4.0).
  • Spell My Name with an "S": No, it is not spelled "Sugar Babes". It is also not spelled as "Sugbabes", "Sugababez" or "Sugbebs". (The last few actually turned up on Google Searches.)
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Every member replacement in the group has been very familiar in vibe to the girl they replaced. Heidi replaced Siobhan, the soulful white one. Amelle replaced Mutya, the soulful "ethnic" one. And finally, Jade replaced Keisha, the… soulful black one.
  • Tabloid Melodrama: Where do we begin…
  • Three Minutes of Writhing: As a girl group, many of their videos naturally fall under this.
  • Token Trio: Every lineup has been an all-female version of this, with the third member being a non-black minority.
  • True Beauty Is on the Inside: "Ugly" is basically about this.
  • Urban Legends: The group has had many of these during their 13-year tenure, the most famous being Siobhan's alleged method of leaving the group. The story goes that while the girls were on a promo tour in Japan in August 2001, Siobhan excused herself to go to the ladies, climbed out through the bathroom window and caught a plane back to Heathrow all by herself. Siobhan has denied this, saying she she waited for the band to return to England as a unit before throwing in the towel. However, that doesn't stop long-term fans expressing their desire for Mutya Keisha Siobhan to allude to it in a possible music video...
  • A Wild Rapper Appears!: In their earlier songs "Sugababes On the Run" and "Don't Wanna Wait" as well as the 2005 b-side "Future Shokk!"
  • Younger Than They Look: This has been said about Heidi during her time in the group. But looking at photos of her, it's hard to stomach the fact she's only 29.

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