Rachel Stevens was one member of S Club 7 who went on to chart success on her own. But that was 20 years ago. What is she upto now?
London born singer Rachel Stevens (b.1978) started her career as a teen model in the mid-1990’s and went on to study fashion. After pursuing a career in PR, Rachel applied, auditioned and was successful for a new British group of young stars for the 21st century. Together with Tina Barrett, Paul Cattermole, Jon Lee, Bradley McIntosh, Jo O’Meara and Hannah Spearritt, Rachel joined the TV singing group S Club 7. They made their debut in 1999 in the children’s TV series Miami 7 and once their popularity had been sown, songs from the show began to be released commercially. S Club 7 kicked off with “Bring It All Back”, which topped the UK singles chart and reached the top ten across Europe and ‘down under’.
S Club 7 achieved 13 chart hits over the next four years with three further number ones at home and a top ten hit in America with “Never Had A Dream Come True” in 2000. The group also released four multi-Platinum albums and a Platinum selling greatest hits before parting ways in 2003 with 20 million records sold to their name. While the other members went on to achieve their own success in varying degrees. Rachel wasted no time at all and was signed to Polydor Records straight away. She released her first single, “Sweet Dreams My LA Ex” (written by Cathy Dennis) the same year S Club split, which became a top ten hit in over a dozen countries including the UK, where it peaked at No.2. Rachel followed this with her debut album, “Funky Dory”, which was a top ten success at home and was Gold Certified.
“Funky Dory” produced three more hits in the shape of the title track, “Some Girls” and Rachel’s cover of the Andrea True Connection classic, “More More More“, which she took to No.3, two places higher than the original achieved. “More More More” was released in October 2004, two months later, Rachel was back in the charts as one of the artists on the 20th anniversary recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?“. The song topped the UK chart for the festive period and was also a number one in a number of other countries. Rachel went back into the studio soon after and in the Spring of 2005, released a brand new tune, “Negotiate With Love”, which produced another top ten hit. Her second album, “Come And Get It”, saw release that October although commercially this was less successful than her first, despite the fact the album saw the single “So Good” make the UK top ten and “I Said Never Again” peaking at No.12.
Ever busy, Rachel found time to make films and appear in TV shows when she wasn’t recording and promoting her records, but production of her third studio album, which had been planned for 2006-07, was halted when Rachel herself decided to put her career on hold. She turned up on the 2008 series of Strictly Come Dancing before briefly returning to the studio to sing the old George Benson song “The Greatest Love Of All” – later a hit for Whitney Houston – as a duet with Blue‘s Duncan James. Rachel dropped out of sight soon after to focus on her private life and gave birth to two children in 2010 and 2014 respectively. In 2015, after twelve years, the seven members of S Club 7 reunited for a series of live shows but despite high hopes, the reunion was only brief and with no new music planned, the group once more parted ways. With only occasional and brief blink-and-you-miss-her appearances, Rachel slipped back into the shadows to concentrate on being a mother.
…in 2022, Rachel stepped back into the spotlight when she joined the 14th series of Dancing On Ice. Rachel made it to the third round, where she was voted off. In the Summer of 2022, Rachel announced that she and her husband Alex Bourne were separating. So what does this mean? A possible return to music? It has been seventeen years since Rachel last graced the charts, although a 2021 S Club 7 compilation, “Essential S Club 7”, marked a brief return to the music charts. Off the back of Dancing On Ice, anything is possible…sweet dreams my LA ex!
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