What classic girl band stars did next – arson, cocaine and unspeakable tragedy

The late 80s, 90s and early 00s brought us some of the best pop tunes ever, particularly if you were into the countless all-girl bands around at the time.

Many of the chart-topping female groups had long and successful careers and some of them are still performing today.

Others split up as various members went their separate ways, often launching equally successful solo careers along the way.

But there were also a few personal tragedies and heartaches along the way, from fatal car accidents and serious health problems to alcohol addictions and gastric bypass surgery.

Here’s a round-up of what happened to some of the acts from the golden era of girl bands.

Bananarama

British group Bananarama made their name in the 1980s with smash hits like Venus, Cruel Summer, Robert de Niro’s Waiting and I Heard a Rumour.

Keren Woodward and Sara Dallin continue to perform as Bananarama, whilst fellow founder member Siobhan Fahey returned in 2017 for a sell-out ‘original line-up’ tour.

Fahey had left the band in the late 80s to form Shakespears Sister.

In 1993, she admitted herself into a psychiatric unit for severe depression.

Woodward was in a relationship with former one half of Wham! Andrew Ridgeley from 1990 until the mid-noughties. Last year, she denied claims they'd rekindled their romance, insisting they had split up seven years earlier.

Fahey’s Bananarama replacement, Jacquie O’Sullivan, left the band in 1991 and is now a yoga teacher and massage therapist.

TLC

American girl group TLC shot to fame in the early 90s with a string of Top Ten singles like Waterfalls, Unpretty and No Scrubs.

The trio from Atlanta, Georgia, consisted of Tionne ‘T-Boz’ Watkins, Lisa ‘Left Eye’ Lopes and Rozonda ‘Chilli’ Thomas, and albums such as 1994’s CrazySexyCool turned them into the best-selling American girl group, selling over 65 million records across the globe.

Lopes, who had spoken openly about growing up in an abusive, alcohol-fuelled home, herself had issues with drink as well as an history of self-harming.

In 1994, during an altercation with then boyfriend, NFL star Andre Rison, she set fire to his trainers in a bathtub, starting a blaze that burned down their mansion.

She claimed he had physically assaulted her, adding that she didn't mean to set their entire house on fire.

Lopes was convicted of arson and sentenced to five years' probation and therapy at a halfway house.

Tragically, Lopes was killed at the age of 30 in a car accident in Honduras in 2002, just a year after she left the band to start a solo career.

Two weeks previous, she had been a passenger in a car during an accident which resulted in the death of a 10-year-old boy, again in Honduras.

When a van being driven by Lopes' assistant collided with the boy, the pop star was said to have "cradled the dying boy's bleeding head in her arms".

Watkins, 51, and Thomas, 50, continued to record and perform as a duo throughout the 2000s and released their fifth and final album, TLC, in 2015.

Sadly, Watkins has battled a number of health issues over the years and suffered a near-fatal brain tumour.

All Saints

As All Saints, Shaznay Lewis, Melanie Blatt, Nicole Appleton and Natalie Appleton found instant success with their 1998 single Never Ever.

The English-Canadian group’s debut album, All Saints, went to number two and contained three of their number one singles: Never Ever, Under The Bridge/Lady Marmalade and Bootie Call.

Their second album went to number one and featured the singles Pure Shores and Black Coffee.

The band split in 2001, only to reform in 2006. It only lasted three years before a second split in 2009.

After the split in 2001, Blatt told the Mirror how she abused cocaine before settling down with husband, Jamiroquai bassist Stuart Zender, and their daughter Lily Ella.

She said: "I started doing this drug and I just thought: 'F***ing hell, I am so f***ing cool'.

"I decided I could stay up all weekend and go to Browns and look really cool with my sunglasses on. When I wasn't doing it, I didn't think I was anybody.

"I was such a fool – but I realised it pretty quickly. I'm over that whole thing now. I did the coke thing but I met Stuart and we grew tired of it."

She said the band's problems were to do with money, admitting there were blazing rows.

All Saints reformed in 2014 for live shows and recorded a cover of Message in a Bottle with Sting in 2020. All Saints also had a fifth founder-member.

Simone Rainford left the group before the band became successful and she appeared on the first single. She moved to South Africa in the early '00s and died from kidney cancer at age 38 in 2013.

Nicole Appleton shares a son with ex-husband Liam Gallagher of Oasis. Her sister, Natalie, took part in I'm A Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here in 2015 and is married to Liam Howlett of The Prodigy.

Lewis, the band's chief songwriter, is married dancer Christian "Storm" Horsfall and the couple have two children.

En Vogue

R&B/soul group En Vogue sold more than 20 million records worldwide in the 90s, with hits such as Hold On, Don’t Let Go (Love) and My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It).

The group formed in 1989 and consisted of Terry Ellis, Cindy Herron, Dawn Robinson and Maxine Jones.

They all stayed together until the early 2000s, when Robinson let to go solo.

The other three members have continued to record and perform.

Since 1994, Herron has been married to former Cincinnati Reds outfielder Glenn Braggs and they have four kids.

As well signing, Jones also runs a general goods store with her sisters in Charlottesville, Virginia.

B*Witched

Best known for their hits C'est La Vie and Rollercoaster, B*Witched were an Irish girl group comprising Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou, and Sinéad O’Carroll.

Although they disbanded in 2002 when they were dropped by their record company, the Lynch sisters formed a group called Ms. Lynch and performed B*Witched material at live shows.

B*Witched reunited in 2012 for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion, which followed six groups as they reunited for the first time in a decade and rehearsed ahead of a comeback performance at the Hammersmith Apollo.

It was so successful, the band went back on the road for an arena tour around the UK and they released an EP, entitled Champagne or Guinness.

Earlier this year, Edele admitted things had been so tough during the coronavirus pandemic that she'd had to work in an admin job to pay the bills and make ends meet.

Destiny's Child

The members of American group Destiny’s Child became household names with the 1999 release of their album The Writing’s On The Wall, which included the number one singles Say My Name and Bills, Bills, Bills.

But despite the huge success, internal feuds soon came to the surface as LaTavia Roberson and LeToya Luckett tried to split from their manager, who was accused of favouritism of fellow band members Beyonce Knowles, Kelly Rowland.

Roberson and Luckett were eventually replaced in 2000 by Michelle Williams and Farrah Franklin, although Franklin quit after five months and the rest continued as a trio.

They continued to record as a trio until 2006, when they split, having sold more than 60 million records.

Beyonce, who's married to rapper Jay-Z, went on to become a global superstar and Williams has focussed on musical theatre and gospel music. Roberson and Luckett formed their own group, Anjel, and then recorded solo material.

Franklin appeared in a handful of acting projects but was arrested for disorderly conduct in 2011 and 2014.

Pussycat Dolls

Originally a Los Angeles burlesque troupe, the Pussycat Dolls became a music group in 2003 and enjoyed enormous success with singles such as Don’t Cha, Stickwitu and Buttons.

The five-piece split in 2010 although Kimberly Wyatt, Ashley Roberts, Nicole Scherzinger, Jessica Sutta and Carmit Bachar retuned in 2019 for a reunion tour.

Melody Thornton, who briefly dated Kanye West, went on to perform solo and she competed in the 2019 series of Dancing on Ice, finishing in fifth place.

She also appeared as Cinderella in panto in Wimbledon later that year.

Wyatt has appeared on Celebrity MasterChef in the UK, while Roberts has taken part on Strictly Come Dancing.

Scherzinger – who had a long on-off relationship with F1 champ Lewis Hamilton – was a judge on X Factor and remains a huge star. She's now dating Scottish rugby star Thom Evans.

  • Nicole Scherzinger

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