BoyBands that Time Forgot: The Near Greatness of 5ive

Written by: Mykell Barlow – March 28th 2020, 7:49am pst

In 1997, Bob and Chris Herbert (creators of The Spice Girls) placed an advertisement in the UK performing arts paper The Stand looking for young guys to audition for a boy band with edge. 3000 boys showed up to audition but in the end only 5 would make the group. Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, Abz Love, Scott Robinson, and Jason “J” Brown became the band known as 5ive. They signed with Simon Cowell (this was the precursor to his more successful group One Direction) releasing their debut single “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” which debuted at number 10 on the UK singles charts and became the NBA’s new theme song that year.

Credit: Telegraph UK

In 1998, the boys earned their first international hit with the song “When the Lights Go Out”. A song which i find myself singing to this day. It hit number 10 on the US charts and was certified gold. Things should have been blazing for them after that but in the music business things don’t always go according to plan.

Simon Cowell said in an interview about 5ive,
“When I heard “Baby One more TIme” I wanted 5ive to have it but Max Martin (the writer) had given it to Britney Spears. Then they went out to Sweden a few weeks later to record a song which they famously turned down, called “Bye Bye Bye.” And it really was bye bye bye after that. That would have been the record that broke them. I would have broken that band.”

credit: The Mirror

In 2001 after selling 15-20 million copies of their records worldwide, including 7 million copies of their albums worldwide and 2 million in the United States, they decided to go their separate ways. They attempted a reunion in 2006 but due to lack of interest from record labels the reunion was abandoned. So what have they been up to since the split?

credit : Telegraph UK

Post 5ive, Ritchie Neville moved to Australia in 2004 and became a sommelier, In 2012 he opened a restaurant in Sydney named Guerrilla Bar and Restaurant
He started dating Atomic Kitten singer Natasha Hamilton in 2013. They had a daughter together in 2014 but split in 2016.

credit : Telegraph UK

Abz Love was signed to Sony BMG by Simon Cowell as a solo artist and became the only band member to release a solo album. Abstract Theory had three Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart with “What You Got” (UK no. 4), “Stop Sign” (UK no. 10) and “Miss Perfect” (UK no. 5). The album never made it past number 29 which led to Love being dropped from the label.

He participated in Celebrity Big brother in 2012 and got runner up. He joined the 5ive reunion in 2012 but quit via twitter without telling the other guys. Most recently Love bought a farm and attempted life as a small town farmer which was produced as a docu-series on BBC2 called Country Strife: Abz on the Farm.

credit : Telegraph UK

Jason “J” Brown kept a low profile after the initial split and was the only member to do so. After the failed 2006 reunion he joined ITV’s I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!…and came in 3rd place. He pulled out of the 2014 reunion at the last minute because he no longer wanted to be in the public eye. He said “He has moved on and no longer feels comfortable returning to 5ive.”

credit : Telegraph UK

After the band split Sean Conlon tried his luck as a solo R&B/Jazz artist in the cafes of London. He was signed to Sony but was dropped shortly after recording began for his debut solo album. In 2012 he auditioned for The Voice UK but didn’t make it past the audition round. This prompted a successful reunion of 5ive with their current iteration only having 3 members.

credit : Telegraph UK

The day after 5ive split Scott Robinson married Kerry Oaker. They are still happily married with 4 kids. Robinson worked in radio and television, and was one of the leads in the UK regional touring musical, Boogie Nights 2 from 2004-2005.
In addition to rejoining the group he has launched a podcast called @topofthe90s

credit : Wikipedia

After a lot of drama surrounding their 2013 comeback the band decided to continue with only three members-Conlon, Neville, and Robinson. In February 2016, they released another album, entitled Keep On Movin’ – The Best of Five. The new trio joined other 90’s bands 911, A1, and Damage on a The Boys are Back tour which had to be abruptly postponed due to Covid-19. I for one, look forward to seeing what these guys do once we are no longer quarantined. In the meantime I’ll just listen to “When the Lights Go Out” on a loop.

About The Author:

Mykell Barlow is a screenwriter and host at Afterbuzz TV. When he isn’t working he is obsessing over ancestry research or hanging out with his fiance Justin and their puppy Micheaux.

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