Girls Aloud announce ten-year-anniversary comeback plans

Cole, Roberts, Coyle, Walsh and Harding at a press conference in London today announcing their reunion. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
Cole, Roberts, Coyle, Walsh and Harding at a press conference in London today announcing their reunion. Photo: Ian West/PA Wire
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Cheryl Cole, Kimberley Walsh, Nicola Roberts, Nadine Coyle and Sarah Harding gave a press conference today to announce their reunion plans for Girls Aloud’s 10th anniversary.

The girlband will release a greatest hits album, entitled Ten, on 26 November, which will be followed by a 12-date arena tour in 2013. The album will feature four new songs, while fans will be able to choose the tracklisting on a deluxe edition.

Girls Aloud were formed on ITV talent show Popstars: The Rivals in 2002, but transcended their reality TV origins to become the most successful girl group of the 21st century, with 20 consecutive top ten singles, four UK number ones (Sound Of The Underground, I’ll Stand By You, Comic Relief single Walk This Way, and The Promise), two UK number one albums, a Brit Award and single sales of 4.3 million.

Their own brand of unpredictable, frenetic electro-pop, masterminded by production team Xenomania and drawing influences from glam rock, techno, Motown, soul and punk, redefined pop music for the new millenium with its irreverent and innovative approach, and the band received universal praise from the music press, with The Times declaring: “Not since Abba and Michael Jackson has pure pop been so unanimously praised.”

Girls Aloud played their final gig at Wembley Stadium on 18 September 2009, where they had been hand-picked to support Coldplay on their Viva La Vida tour, with the band’s frontman Chris Martin being one of their many celebrity fans, referring to them as “the ultimate form of life”. Others include Noel Gallagher, Julie Burchill, the Arctic Monkeys (who, along with Bloc Party and Coldplay, have covered Girls Aloud tracks), Neil Tennant and Bono, who said of them: “I think Girls Aloud are at the cutting edge of pop music. They are a great band and they deserve to be centre stage”.

During their three-year hiatus, band members Cole, Roberts and Coyle all released solo albums, with Cole’s the most succesful, Roberts’ (produced by Dimitri From Paris, Metronomy and Diplo) the most critically acclaimed and Coyle’s perhaps best forgotten. Cole was a judge on the X Factor, before being unceremoniously dropped from the US edition of the show, while Roberts has carved a niche for herself in the fashion industry, appearing regularly on the front row at runway shows, releasing a makeup line for girls with fair skin (after ditching the fake tan and embracing hEr own natural look) and producing the fashion-based TV show Styled To Rock, featuring Rihanna.

Walsh, along with Cole, climbed Mount Kilimanjaro for Comic Relief, starred in Shrek the Musical and is competing in the current series of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing. Harding has modelled for Scottish lingerie giant Ultimo and acted in the recent St Trinian’s films. Coyle lives in Los Angeles, where she owns an Irish-themed bar and has appeared as a guest judge on America’s Next Top Model.

The band’s return was first hinted at last week, with daily tweets and a 10-day countdown clock appearing on their website. Their comeback single, Something New, was planned for a release when the clock reached zero today, but was instead hastily unveiled on Tuesday after it was leaked online. The band will perform the song for the first time for Children In Need on 16 November.

Cole said: “We’re really excited. It feels like nothing has changed.”