Time flies when you're in one of the most successful girlbands ever. It's almost 15 years since Girls Aloud first burst into the charts, and five since they called it a day – but more importantly, it's been too long since Nadine Coyle scored her first and only (so far) solo hit, Insatiable. Nearly seven years!
But now she's back, at last! Nadine returns with a new single Go To Work, a collaboration with Xenomania, who were the brains behind Girls Aloud's impressive catalogue of smashes. To mark the occasion, we look at what the girls got up to once Girls Aloud was over. And, yes, one of them did have a *couple* more hits than the others.
OK, let's start big. Cheryl always had the highest profile of the ladies, with her presenting gig on The X Factor and marriage to Arsenal and Chelsea footballer Ashley Cole, and this also transferred to her solo career. Debut single Fight For This Love was the first of five chart-toppers, and even gave her a million-seller – something Girls Aloud never managed. Cheryl's five Number 1s mean she holds a chart record for the most Number 1 singles by a British female solo artist – tied with Jess Glynne. 10 Top 40 singles and four Top 40 albums – yeah, she's done OK. Second biggest song Call My Name, produced by Calvin Harris, has shifted 500,000 across all formats.
Cheryl's Top 5:
|1||FIGHT FOR THIS LOVE|
|2||CALL MY NAME|
|3||CRAZY STUPID LOVE|
Some might say Nadine was the voice of Girls Aloud. She would go into the studio without the other girls and lay down the guide vocals for most of their big hits and, famously, had already had a taste of reality TV stardom when she fibbed about her age on the Irish version of Popstars. Her solo career, launched in 2010, was met with bemusement when it was announced the album – named Insatiable, like the single – would be exclusive to Tesco. It was a brave move, but not entirely successful – it peaked at 47. The single did better, reaching Number 26.
Nadine's Top 5:
|2||I COULD BE (WITH SHANE FILAN)|
|4||ENOUGH IS NEVER ENOUGH|
|5||LITTLE MISS COMPLICATED|
Nicola was maybe the biggest solo surprise of the five, veering toward a cooler, edgier sound. Working with Diplo and Dragonette, among others, Nicola showed off her hitherto unknown songwriting skills on debut solo set Cinderella's Eyes, a hit with critics. First solo single Beat Of My Drum reached Number 27 and the album went Top 20 in 2011. Since then, she's focused on writing for other artists, has tried her hand at presenting, and had her own makeup range for a few years.
Nicola's Top 5:
|1||BEAT OF MY DRUM|
|4||STICKS + STONES|
Kimba was Girls Aloud's all-rounder; she acted before her time in the band and has dabbled in different genres since the group went their separate ways. Her top song is a feature on Brazilian rapper's Aggro Santos' poppy banger Like U Like, which hit Number 8 in early 2011. Kimberley went more theatrical with her Centre Stage album in 2013, which featured covers of stage and screen classics, including second biggest song One Day I'll Fly Away. Her cover of Queen's One Vision with Alfie Boe was an official anthem of Team GB for the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games, which took place in London.
Kimberley's Top 5:
|1||LIKE U LIKE (WITH AGGRO SANTOS)|
|2||ONE DAY I'LL FLY AWAY|
|3||ONE VISION (WITH ALFIE BOE)|
The queen of Celebrity Big Brother, Sarah Harding was last off the blocks when it came to releasing solo material. She waited until 2015 before unleashing her debut EP Threads. While it missed the Top 100, it went Top 3 on the physical chart, and the title track is her biggest song. Her next three tracks all come from the soundtrack of the movie St Trinian's 2: The Legends of Fritton's Gold, in which Sarah starred as a teenage rebel. They include a cover of David Bowie classic Boys Keep Swinging, which went Top 10 in 1979.
Sarah's Top 5:
|3||BOYS KEEP SWINGING|
|4||MAKE IT EASY|