All Saints - Biography

Founded by British lasses Shaznay Lewis and Melanie Blatt in 1993, All Saints originally a three-piece outfit which included Simone Rainford named themselves after the famous street in Notting Hill where they laid down their first demo.

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That single flopped, however, leading to the band being dropped by their record label, and it wasn't until two years later, when Mel teamed up with the Appleton sisters, that things really started to take off. The combination of Nicole and Natalie's vocals, Shaz's songwriting and Mel's idea for All Saints' image she once said she wanted the group to look like they'd just popped out to do the weekly shop gelled successfully, and it wasn't long before the foursome were signed to London Records.

While their first single peaked at number four in the UK charts, the second, Never Ever, went to number one in January 1997. Britain went loco for the four girls in vest tops, combat pants and trainers, and when their debut album was released later that year, it soared into the top spot and stayed there.

For the next 18 months the girls were rarely out of the headlines, and the press had a field day when Mel and boyfriend Stuart Zender announced they were expecting baby Lilyella, who was born in November 1998.

Meanwhile the Appleton sisters were enjoying their own high-profile relationships. After dating Jamie Theakston and Jonny Lee Miller, Natalie married Prodigy musician Liam Howlett in June 2002. Two years later the couple celebrated the arrival of son Ace, a sibling for Natalie's daughter Rachel from an earlier relationship.

Nicole meanwhile stepped out with Robbie Williams, Gavin Rossdale and Leonardo DiCaprio, before settling down with Oasis singer Liam Gallagher, with whom she has a son, Gene.

While their personal lives were coming together, rumours began to emerge of tension within the band's ranks. Shaznay and Mel reportedly disapproved of the Appletons' socialising, while Mel was often quoted as saying that being a member of the group interfered with bringing up her daughter. In early 2001 the band announced they were "on ice", and soon after disbanded. Natalie and Nicole went on to form Appleton together, while Mel also launched a moderately successful individual career. But it was Shaznay who was to reap the most rewards from going it alone, picking up an Ivor Novello gong for songwriting.

In 2004 Natalie appeared on hit jungle challenge show I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here - but left after one week.

Soon after, it seemed life as solo artists had lost its appeal for the girls. After an extended period out of the spotlight they announced in January 2006 they were reuniting. They debuted comeback single Rock Steady on hit show Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in October of that year, and when it was released in early November it shot to number three in the UK charts. However, their new album Studio 1 failed to make such an impact. The girls abandoned their plans to embark on a comeback tour and parted ways once more.

The disappointing sales didn't mark the end of their music making, though. when Nicole and Natalie appeared on Big Brother: Celebrity Hijack in 2008, they revealed they were working on new material. It emerged they'd signed a deal with a new record label and were set to release a new album before the end of the year.

On Valentine's Day 2008 Nicole made her relationship with Oasis frontman Liam official, when the pair tied the knot in a low-key ceremony in London. She became the third member of All Saints to walk down the aisle - as Shaznay had wed dancer Christian "Storm" Horsfall in the summer of 2004. Their first son, named Tyler Xaine, was born two years later.
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