S Club 7 are a British pop group from the late-nineties / early noughties – that were put together and managed by former Spice Girls manager, Simon Fuller. After being founded in 1998, but officially breaking into the charts in 1999, S Club 7 went on to become one of the biggest UK pop acts. During their five years together, they released 4 albums, had 4 UK number one singles, sold over 10 million albums worldwide and starred in their very own TV series (Miami 7, LA 7, Hollywood 7 and Viva S Club) as well as their own movie, Seeing Double. In April 2003, S Club announced that they were splitting and going their separate ways. Fast forward eleven years later, and S Club 7 announced that they were reuniting in November 2014 for a performance for BBC’s Children in Need where they performed a medley of their Greatest Hits. Shortly after their performance, they announced their Bring it all Back UK arena tour for May 2015.
Jo O’Meara (lead vocalist) , Bradley Mcintosh, Rachel Stevens, Hannah Spearritt, Paul Cattermole, Tina Barrett, and Jon Lee
1997-1998 : Formation of S Club 7
S Club 7 were put together by Simon Fuller – the former manager of the Spice Girls. Simon made comments that he came up with the concept behind S Club 7, in the days following on after he was famously fired by the Spice Girls. He selected the members of S Club by auditioning 10,000 hopefuls (auditions were advertised in “The Stage” – a newspaper dedicated to the entertainment industry and theatre). Rachel Stevens was the only member of S Club 7 who did not audition for the band – instead, she was spotted and approached by a member of Simon’s management company, 19 Management who asked her to record a demo tape for Simon. Jo O’Meara and Paul Cattermole were also spotted by producers and asked to audition – Jo was working in a Restaurant at the time, when a producer from 19 Management heard her sing on karaoke.. she would later go on to become the lead-singer of S Club 7. Bradley, Jon, Hannah and Tina all auditioned, and after final adjustments including the removal of 3 original members (who were never named) – Simon settled on his final 7 members. After the band was put together, they were flown to Italy to meet each other for the first time. There are many questions and theories surrounding what the “S” in S Club 7 stands for… – with many believing it stands for “S” for Simon, or “S” for Seven, or also the fact that the letter “S” is the 19th letter of the alphabet (referring to the name of Simon’s Management company) – however the true meaning was never confirmed. There were also rumours that S Club 7 were almost called “Sugar Club” before agreeing on S Club 7.
1999-2000 : Debut Album & TV Series
S Club 7 first gained public attention back in 1999. They flew out to Miami where they filmed their first ever TV series, Miami 7 which aired later that year and attracted worldwide viewing, with 90 million views in over 100 countries. They released their first single, “Bring it all Back” on June 9th 1999 which was also the title intro music for Miami 7 and the song went to number one on the UK singles chart, selling more than 600,000 copies. Their second single, “S Club Party” reached number two in the UK, but went to number one in New Zealand. They went on to release their third single, which was a double A-side featuring two tracks : Two in a Million and You’re my number one, which went to number two in the UK. In October that year, S Club dropped their debut self-titled album “S Club” which entered the UK charts at number two and became certified double platinum – songs from the album, were featured and performed in Miami 7.
2000-2001 : 2nd Album, TV Series and Children in Need
S Club returned with the second series of their hit TV show – LA7, which was set in Los Angeles, California and followed the band on their journey from Miami to LA. They went on to release their second album, titled “7” which went to number one in the UK and was certified triple platinum. Two singles were released from this album – “Reach” – which went on to become one of S Club’s all time biggest hits and a much loved anthem, despite only charting at number two in the UK – and also “Natural” which charted at number three. S Club also won their first BRIT Award for “British Breakthrough Act” at the 2000 BRIT Awards. S Club teamed up with the WWF charity to help raise awareness for endangered species, and filmed their documentary series “S Club 7 Go Wild” which followed the band on their journey to various different countries, in the search of a specific animal. Later that year, it was announced that S Club 7’s new single, “Never Had a Dream Come True” would be the official charity single for Children in Need – which charted at number one. The “7” album was later re-released to include this single, and a cover of Stevie Wonders hit, “Lately”
2001-2002 : Touring, 3rd Album & TV Series
Following the success of Never Had a Dream Come True, S Club released their next single, Don’t Stop Movin – which went straight to number one, and was awarded with the Record of the Week. By spring, S Club were finally ready to hit the road for their first ever arena tour, S Club Party Live 2001 – playing at arenas around the UK and Ireland. After the tour ended, S Club headed back to America to film their third TV series, Hollywood 7 which featured songs and performances from their third album, Sunshine – which was released later that year, debuting at number three in the UK single charts. The album was later certified 2x Platinum after selling over 600,000 copies. Their second single from the album was Have You Ever, which was released as the bands second charity single for Children in Need, and charted at number one. The third and final single from the album, You – reached number two in the UK charts.
A new TV show was launched on CBBC, called S Club Search – which invited children to audition to become members of a new S Club younger-generation band, to extend the S Club name and brand. The youngsters who auditioned, performed in front of S Club and their management to gain a place in the band, and 8 members were then chosen to become part of S Club Juniors. By the end of 2001, S Club had announced their plans for their second UK arena tour, which would take place in early 2002. The S Club Carnival 2002 Tour visited cities around the UK and Ireland and even had it’s own documentary TV series, Don’t Stop Movin – which followed S Club on the road, for a behind-the-scenes look at the tour. During this tour, S Club were awarded with their second BRIT Award for “Best British Single” for Don’t Stop Movin‘.
Paul's Departure : S Club 7 become S Club
After the S Club Carnival Tour came to an end in early 2002, Paul made the announcement that he would be leaving S Club 7 to focus on rock music, and solo endeavours. Paul stayed with the band until June of that year, and is featured in the first 3 episodes of the bands final TV series, Viva S Club. The storyline of the tv series was also written to include Paul’s departure from the band. Paul’s final performance with S Club was at Party at the Palace – an event organised as part of the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations. Paul went on to release music with his new heavy metal/rock band, Skua – while S Club continued as a 6-piece under the name “S Club” knocking the 7 from their title.
2002-2003 : 4th Album & TV Series, Movie Debut
After Paul’s departure from the band, S Club looked to the future as a 6-piece. They filmed their fourth and final TV series, Viva S Club in Barcelona, Spain – with Paul being featured in the first 4 episodes of the show, so that the storyline for the series could include Paul’s departure. They headed back into the studio to record their fourth album, Seeing Double – which was released in November 2002 and featured a more mature sound for the band. However the album didn’t do as well as planned and charted at number 17 in the UK. The first single from the album, Alive – charted at number 5 in the UK, and during the time that the band were promoting the single, Jo suffered a serious injury to her back which forced her to take some time off work. The other 5 members had to promote the single and album together with-out her, and they had to re-record a promotional version of the single with Rachel covering Jo’s lead vocals while she was absent. When Jo finally returned, she was left unable to take part in any dance routines due to her injury, and would stand on a box at the back of the stage during performances. S Club began filming their first feature film, Seeing Double – which had the same title as their album, and was filmed in Barcelona and Los Angeles. S Club later announced their plans to go on tour in 2003 with the S Club Juniors, on their joint-tour titled S Club United.
April 2003 was a busy month for the band – with their movie Seeing Double finally hitting cinemas in the UK and a premiere was held at Leicester Square in London. During this time, many rumours began circulating that the band were ready to split, however they denied the reports. They were also busy touring around the UK on their S Club United Tour with the S Club Juniors. Little did fans know at the time, that a very sad announcement was looming…
S Club : The Split
On 21st April 2003, during their show in London on the S Club United Tour, S Club announced that they would be splitting and going their separate ways very soon. Shortly after the announcement, they unveiled their new single, Say Goodbye and performed it live for the first time that evening, leaving fans in the crowd heartbroken. Once S Club completed their tour, they began their final promotional rounds, to promote Say Goodbye, which was being released as their final single on a double A-side single, alongside Love Ain’t Gonna Wait For You, and reached number 2 in the UK singles chart. They also released a Greatest Hits album, BeSt : The Greatest Hits of S Club 7. S Club’s final performance together was on The Saturday Show, as they hosted a very special final tribute episode to the band, before they finally went their separate ways on May 26th 2003.
After S Club’s split, they all went on to focus on their own individual solo projects, and were even photographed together every now and again over the years, meeting up to support each other.. they were photographed at the opening night of Jon’s show in Les Misérables in London on 28th July 2003, at the premiere of Hannah’s movie, Agent Cody Banks 2 in London on 24th March 2004 and at Jon’s performance in the Jersey Boys in London in March 2011, and faced many reunion rumours over the years.
2014-2015 : S Club 7 Reunite, Children in Need and Arena Tour
In August 2014, rumours began circulating that an S Club 7 reunion was in the works, however this was only speculation until 22nd October, when it was finally confirmed that this was indeed true, and that all seven members of S Club 7 would be reuniting for a performance on Children in Need later that year. On 14th November, S Club 7 performed a medley of their Greatest Hits on the show which proved to be a massive success, and just three days later they held a press conference in London where they announced that they would be doing an Arena Tour the following year, with tickets due to go on sale later that week. On 4th May 2015, a re-release of their Greatest Hits album “BeSt : The Greatest Hits of S Club 7” was released before they went on to kick-off their “Bring it all Back” Arena tour three days later. The tour proved to be a massive success, and once it came to an end, they told fans they would be enjoying a nice rest following the tour, and had plans to meet up in 3 months time to discuss what was next for the band. However nothing further has came from their reunion, and all seven members have gone back to working on their own individual projects, with Jo, Bradley and Tina still performing S Club shows under the name “S Club 3 / S Club Party“.