Band members come and go. It’s inevitable that after success in band is achieved, an artist will want to spread their little artistic wings and fly off to a solo career. In some cases, this can lead the artist down a road that defines what sound is their own. Sometimes, this can lead to failure (no names mentioned). With the recent news of Harry Styles’ solo album/tour/era, I thought why not run down the top 10 band members gone solo. Interested? Well here we go!
Kicking off the list is Fergie-Ferg. After joining the Black Eyed Peas, she gained mainstream success from the band’s hits such as ‘Shut Up!’ and ‘Where Is The Love?’. However, it wasn’t untill her solo debut (and up to date, her only) album titled ‘The Duchess’ did she grasp global success.
Songs such as ‘London Bridge, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry’, ‘Clumsy’, and ‘Fergalicious’ all bombarded charts internationally. Fergie later rejoined the Black Eyed Peas to create the masterpiece that was ‘The E.N.D’, housing the hits ‘I Gotta Feeling’ and ‘Boom Boom Pow’.
Yeah Fergie has pretty much smashed it.
9. Camila Cabello
A former member of pop girl group ‘Fifth Harmony’, Camila Cabello hasn’t even released a debut solo single never mind an album, so why is she on the list? Camila, I believe, is set to be the next really big—I mean really big—pop star.
Her collaborations with Shawn Mendes, Pitbull, and Machine Gun Kelly have garnered her international recognition and shown her musical versatility. Working with the likes of Major Lazer, Stargate, and Ryan Tedder for her debut album, Cabello is set to take the world by storm when her first single drops.
(*whispers* Which is meant to be dropping in the coming weeks.)
New mum Cheryl has had quite the impressive solo career. But we cannot forget that she started in the iconic British pop girl group Girls Aloud. Girls Aloud achieved 20 consecutive Top 10 singles in the UK and collected 4 number singles. Quite an impressive feat for a group put together on a reality show!
Cheryl rode the media frenzy surrounding her marriage and subsequent divorce from husband Ashley Cole by creating debut hit single ‘Fight For This Love’, landing at #1 on the UK charts. Cole would follow this with 4 more #1s and subsequently became a national treasure.
I’m ready and waiting for the next album Chezza.
7. Harry Styles
Stop your crying, it’s a sign of the STYLES. Yes, this year has brought about one of the most highly-anticipated solo careers of recent memory. A member of the boy band One Direction, Styles and company achieved worldwide success and fame with songs such as ‘What Makes You Beautiful’ and ‘Midnight Memories’. After his former bandmate Zayn went solo, all other band members later decided on a hiatus to focus on solo projects.
The fourth one to give it a crack, Styles released his debut single ‘Sign of the Times’ a few weeks ago, debuting at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 and solidifying him as the next big male pop star. Working with the likes of Jeff Bhasker (from Rihanna ‘Kiss It Better’ fame), Styles’ self-titled album is due out May 12th.
We’re running a competition to win the deluxe book version of the album. All details are here!
6. Gwen Stefani
After finding incredible success with her group No Doubt, Stefani decided to go solo, releasing her debut album ‘Love. Music. Angel. Baby’ to commerical and critical success.
Going on to create her signature song ‘Hollaback Girl’, Stefani has become a household name through her international musical success, her fashion career, and appearing on the television show ‘The Voice’ in the United States as a mentor.
Zayn’s departure from One Direction was nothing short of dramatic. From pulling out of a concert on a sold-out world tour to eventually leaving the group that very day created a huge media backlash. Following on from the media buzz, Zayn changed his image and put forward the idea that his music was going to be a lot more… sexual.
Then came his debut single ‘Pillowtalk’, featuring a music video with his supermodel girlfriend Gigi Hadid. It debuted at #1 both in the U.K. and stateside. Zayn followed that up with his #1 album ‘Mind of Mine’, which is one of the most underrated albums of the past few years IMO. Zayn has since gone on to collaborate with Chris Brown, Taylor Swift, and Snakehips.
Showcasing his versatility through his music and his ventures into fashion has enabled Zayn to become one of the biggest male pop stars in the world.
4. Robbie Williams
How could I not include Robbie Williams on this list? After finding incredible success with his group Take That, Robbie decided to go solo—and boy, wasn’t that a good decision.
Robbie has since become the best-selling British solo act in the U.K., with seven #1 singles under his belt. Robbie’s hits including ‘Angels’ have since become iconic British pop songs that have made him a staple in pop culture.
3. Justin Timberlake
90’s teen heartthrob Justin Timberlake started off in the boyband *NSYNC, finding huge international commercial success. *NSYNC fast became one of the best-selling boy bands of all time, with future groups such as One Direction modelling their creative direction on them.
After deciding to go solo, Timberlake found a more R&B sound with his frequent collaborator Timbaland, and the rest is history. Spawning singles such as ‘Cry Me A River’ and ‘Sexyback’, Timberlake became one of if not the biggest male pop star in the world.
With an impressive acting career under his belt as well as an iconic music career, Timberlake will easily go down in history has one of the greatest ‘band members gone solo’ stories.
2. Michael Jackson
From the Jackson 5 to MJ. Michael Jackson is arguably the greatest entertainer to ever live. He is the most successfull artist of all time, with aproximate record sales of nearly 750 million worldwide.
Michael Jackson, the youngest of the Jackson 5, captured the heart of the nation when stealing the spotlight on Jackson 5 classics such as ‘ABC’ and ‘I’ll Be There’. After success with his brothers, Jackson decided to go solo, and the rest is history.
Michael Jackson is the pivotal character in the creation of the modern day pop-sphere. His videos, songs, and fashion created a framework where many of today’s huge stars build upon.
I know, i know; shockingly, Michael Jackson isn’t number one on the list, even though he’s the greatest selling artist of all time. However (with admittedly some bias), I’ve decided that Queen B is #1 on the list.
Beyoncé found success in the mega girl group Destiny’s Child, which established both the group and Beyoncé as superstars. With Beyoncé sharing a lot of the writing credits in both her solo career and in Destiny’s Child, she created a signature sound that would promote women and their rights. With over 20+ GRAMMY awards under her belt, Beyoncé’s sound has progressed with every album. With her fourth album (titled ‘4’) kickstarting the rebirth of Beyoncé as an artist, that album went back to her roots and the sounds that influenced her during her time in the group. Now, her latest albums ‘Beyoncé’ and ‘Lemonade’ throw her forward to experiment with sounds, themes, and artists that she may not have if she didn’t experience life.
To me Beyoncé is up there as one of the greatest performers of all time, if not the best. Get in Formation.
Featured Image Source