In 2001, the UK found themselves gripped to the televised process of putting together the countries next big pop group. It was down to choreographer-turned-TV producer Nigel Lythgoe, Spice Girls publicist Nicki Chapman, and Polydor A&R Paul Adam to whittle down the hopefuls and put together the best line-up.
They finally settled on Kym Marsh, Noel Sullivan, Danny Foster, Suzanne Shaw and Myleene Klass – and in 2001, Hear’Say were born.
Their debut single ‘Pure and Simple’ was a record-breaking smash. Their first album Popstars went platinum in a week. And they sold thousands of tickets for their own arena tour. They even had their own primetime show Hear’Say It’s Saturday.
But as fast as their success came, it disintegrated even quicker. Within a year, Kym Marsh had left and was replaced by Johnny Shentall. But even then, Hear’Say lasted not much longer than 18 months. So what happened to the members after a brief stint as the UK’s original reality pop phenomenon?
After a failed attempt to represent the UK in the Eurovision Song Contest in 2006, Kym became a regular on Coronation Street.
Danny arguably had one of the more distinctive voices in the group, but his post-Hear’Say singing career hasn’t reached that same level again. He had a second shot at the whole singing competition thing in 2013 when he auditioned for The Voice UK, but none of the ‘coaches’ spun their big red chairs for him. He performed a nice soulful version of Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ and everything.
To say Suzanne’s career has been varied since her Hear’Say days would be an understatement. She was named Queen of the Ice after winning ITV’s Dancing On Ice in 2008, appeared in stage adaptations of Snow White and The Rocky Horror Picture Show, and even multiple movies and tv shows..
Noel Sullivan wasted no time in getting his name up in Theatreland lights after Hear’Say disbanded in 2002. He’s been channelling his inner John Travolta for his take on Danny Zuko in Grease.
The 35-year-old returned to the stage, and performed on one of the UK’s most popular shows We Will Rock You. There, he actually got to perform alongside Queen’s Brian May on the opening night. ”
But would Noel be up for a Hear’Say reunion sometime soon? “I would sooner cut my own leg off,” he said in 2014. “I mean, what would we perform? Our greatest hits? I also think there are too many wounded relationships there for it to work.” We’ll take that as a no then.
Classically trained Myleene Klass was Hear’Say’s very own pianist and gave the group a touch of musical credibility after they were slated for being too manufactured. It’s a passion she’s successfully used to carve out a formidable music career after the group split, which includes two albums and numerous Classical Brit Award nominations.
Johnny didn’t really stand a chance when he joined Hear’Say in 2002, replacing original member Kym Marsh. Although he’d already had some minor success as part of 2000s pop group Boom!, he auditioned for the Popstars band in a new reality show and ultimately ‘won’. He’d also had a stint as a Hear’Say backing dancer. Funny, that. However, the band barely lasted the duration of final single ‘Lovin’ Is Easy’ before they called it a day.