Lil McClarnon . net
Liz McClarnon
  the fansite customise layout 

Atomic Kitten

Natasha Hamilton, Liz McClarnon, & Jenny Frost... three girls who for five years and more ruled British female pop, racking up three no.1 singles, three no.1 albums, and more than ten other top-20 hits... and that was just in the UK. Taking the top spot with Whole Again in 16 countries, the Kittens are a worldwide force to be reckoned with...

Since they decided to take a break from being unarguably the biggest girl group in Europe, as well as being one of Britain's most successful pop exports it's fair to say the UK pop scene has sorely missed Atomic Kitten. The Kittens achieved massive chart success globally and easily outsold their peers including Sugababes and Girls Aloud across the world.

First though, lets go back to the beginning. Chart toppers Atomic Kitten have a two-part history. AK*2 began in January 2001 when Jenny Frost joined the two original Kittens: Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton after the third part of AK*1, Kerry Katona, left the group to become a mum. The AK*1 story begins over a year earlier.

Atomic Kitten arrived on the scene in late 1999 with their debut single 'Right Now' which jumped straight into the UK Top 10, it eventually spent 7 weeks in the Top 40 at the end of 1999 and defied the critics who thought releasing a debut at such a busy time of year was a big risk.

Their follow-up - the infectious and melody-laden 'See Ya', released in March of 2000 - crash-landed into the charts at number 6. The track perfectly picked up the lyrical theme that courses through every Atomic Kitten song. Having started the ball rolling so emphatically here in the UK, the girls added to their success with barnstorming TV and radio performances abroad. 'See Ya' but the office has been manicwas used to front Fiat's campaigns in France and Italy and was also heard in cinemas worldwide in the movie ‘Bring It On'.

Throughout 2000, AK*1 enjoyed hugely successful visits to Japan where the band recorded a TV ad for a leading brand of chocolate. They were also chosen as the "face of MTV Asia" at the forefront of MTV's new campaign which began in Beijing in June and saw the Kittens reaching an incredible audience of 675 million people with a roof-raising performance on the MTV Asia awards alongside Aqua and Alanis Morissette.

The band's third UK single 'I Want Your Love' saw AK*1 achieve their third consecutive Top Ten hit. An incredible TV campaign and the main support slot on the huge Steps tour helped the single to firmly establish the band as one of the most successful and exciting pop groups of 2000. After the Steps tour at the end of 2000, the girls won the prestigious Best Newcomer Award at both the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party and the Disney Awards.

The beginning of 2001 and Atomic Kitten were about to launch 'Whole Again' when founding member Kerry Katona announced her pregnancy with fiancé Bryan McFadden. Through much discussion, the girls all decided that in order for Kerry to relax and have a stress free pregnancy she would step down from AK*1. During the weeks before Kerry's announcement the girls had been working fast behind the scenes to add another Kitten to the litter. The natural choice was their good friend Jenny Frost, 23, also from Liverpool. Jenny had been a member of the girl band Precious- playing many of the same shows and tours that AK were performing at. Jenny officially joined the band in January 2001 and AK*2 was born.

Atomic Kitten's fans stood by the girls throughout this transformation, and catapulted the new look Atomic Kitten and ‘Whole Again' straight in to Number One. The single stayed at the top of the charts for an amazing four weeks, beating off competition from U2 amongst others, and breaking a Guinness Record in the process. It took Liverpool to the top of the global list for the city with the most number 1s ahead of Detroit while Atomic Kitten became the girl group with the longest stay in the UK top 40 beating The Spice Girls record for Wannabe.

‘Whole Again' remains one of the biggest selling singles of 2001 in the UK as well as being an international smash and Kitten fever spread across Europe, including a fantastic six weeks at number 1 in Germany. The song was a #1 in 19 countries.

Following on from the phenomenal world-wide success of ‘Whole Again', pop's feistiest trio returned for another heavyweight assault on the UK charts with their Bangles cover, ‘Eternal Flame'. Mixing the classic 80's song with the Kittens distinctive identity AK banked yet another number one. August saw the UK re-release of their debut album ‘Right Now'. Featuring brand new songs and classic Kitten hits, ‘Right Now' rocketed to No.1 - staying at the top of the charts for two weeks, keeping David Gray and Prince from that elusive spot.

The Kittens' massive success in 2001 took them to a whole new level. From topping the charts all over the world to pinning their AK slogan across Prince Charles's chest (as guests of HRH at The 2001 Party In The Park), the Kittens also picked up a number of awards along the way. These include the 2001 Disney Awards for Best Pop Act and World's Sexiest Females, a Best Pop Act nomination at the MTV Europe Awards, a Smash Hits Poll Winners Award for Best Single ('Whole again') and the Music Week award for Best Pop act online with In 2002 their hard work continued to shine with BRIT Award nominations in two categories: 'Best Pop Single' for 'Whole Again' and 'Best British Newcomer'.

Following continued European success with the release of "You Are" in October from their million selling debut the band continued to rack up impressive sales in every continent bar the US. This most prized of all markets was to see a high priority launch for Atomic Kitten with Whole Again scheduled for a January 2002 release. The Kittens flew to NYC on September 9th to do their first US press and photo shoots ahead of the planned release and were subsequently caught up in the terrible events of September 11th.

The girls returned to the UK with plans for their US launch scrapped. Despite their experiences the girls carried on flying continuing to work hard in support of their album which had topped the million sales mark in the same month. They finally took a break at the turn of the year when recording started on the follow up to Right Now. A first single from the new album "It's OK!" was recorded.

Having also decided to embark on their first fully live tour and after 6 weeks of intensive rehearsals in February 2002 the girls started the first of 21 sold out dates. This marked another turning point as the critics finally had to accept what their fans had known all along - that Atomic Kitten, backed by their fantastic live band The Phat Cats, were far from manufactured pop. Their hour and a half fully live concerts received rave reviews in every region and nationally long in the tooth hacks hastily changed their opinions. Their Belfast concert was filmed for release later in 2002 and is a wonderful document of the girls' development.

After the Manchester date of the tour and following intense press speculation Natasha announced she was pregnant but left bandmates Liz and Jenny in no doubt that she would be returning to the band as soon as she possibly could and did just that after the birth of her son, Josh. Work continued on developing their 2nd album with the girls now much more heavily involved in the songwriting side of it. New single "It's Ok!" was proving very popular at radio across Europe and on May 20th was released entering the UK charts at a highly impressive number 3 just behind Eminem and way in front of the likes of Westlife. The single sold more that week than previous hits Whole Again and Eternal Flame had in their debut weeks, this proved beyond doubt that Atomic Kitten were now part of the "fabric" of UK and European pop music.

The follow up single, an inspired cover of "The Tide is High" gave the band their 3rd number 1 single and held at number as their 2nd album, Feels So Good hit the number 1 spot. With their DVD also at number 1 this meant the band were the first pop act to hold all 3 main chart number 1s at the same time.

In 5 years Atomic Kitten kicked their way into the national pop psyche and became the biggest girl group in Europe. They have generated more press than any other UK act with their every move photographed and celebrated upon. They also did more charitable work across the board than any other group becoming patrons of Worldvision, Unicef, Save the Children, Breast Cancer research and a myriad of smaller more personal charities.

After they released their 3rd album, Ladies Night which generated a further run of hit singles Natasha decided to have another child and to put the band on hold while she spent a couple of years being a mum. All 3 decided to take a break from being Kittens and to each pursue solo projects until such time as there was a desire or a reason to get back together.

Since Atomic Kitten bowed out with their sold out arena tour in March 04 Liz, Natasha and Jenny have been solidly busy ever since, with singles, TV shows and gigs.

Liz's first single was top 5 in Feb and her album is almost completed. Liz was the face of Lenor on their hugely successful "In the Pink" campaign, she has been busy presenting shows for VH1 and Bump n Grind for Trouble TV while gigging globally, she also played "The Girl With the Golden Hair" in an ITV1 Abba Special.

Jen had a #1 club record 12 months ago and has been on a Europe wide DJ tour for the last 4 months combining this with presenting work for MTV, CDUK, BBC3 and taking part in Sky 1's The Race. Jen was also snapped up by Premier Modelling agency (the home of Naomi Campbell and Christy Turlington) and has done fashion shoots with everyone from Vogue and In Style to Tatler.

Following 18 months as a full time Mum Natasha now has a single due in the first quarter of 2007. Natasha also took part in ITVs' movie music mania, BBC1s' Just The Two of Us and a Children in Need Special of the show. Tash wowed Princes Charles, William and Harry and a global audience with her performance at the Princes Trust 30th birthday party celebrations at the Tower of London. She has also been gigging solidly with her band, the wonderful Joneses.

The girls remain firm friends and had the highest new entry in Germany during the World Cup with "Altogether Now", a charity record released to raise funds for SOS Children's villages.

The Kittens reformed recently for a one off performance in support of jailed fellow Scouser Michael Shields and have now been invited to headline at the Nokia New Years Eve Global party, headlining the show in Hong Kong which will be broadcast to an audience of over 150 million.

Right Now/r/nreleased: 20/02/2001<br />reached: #4