Chart toppers Atomic Kitten have a two-part history. AK*2 began in January 2001 when Jenny Frost joined the two original Kittens: Liz McClarnon and Natasha Hamilton after the third part of AK*1, Kerry Katona, left the group to become a mum. The AK*1 story begins over a year earlier.
Atomic Kitten pounced onto the scene in late 1999 with their debut single 'Right Now' which jumped straight into the UK Top 10, it eventually spent 7 weeks in the Top 40 at the end of 1999 and defied the critics who thought releasing a debut at such a busy time of year was a big risk.
Their follow-up - the infectious and melody-laden 'See Ya', released in March of 2000 - crash-landed into the charts at number 6. The track perfectly picked up the lyrical theme that courses through every Atomic Kitten song. Having started the ball rolling so emphatically here in the UK, the girls added to their success with barnstorming TV and radio performances abroad. 'See Ya' was used to front Fiat's campaigns in France and Italy and was also heard in cinemas worldwide last Summer in the movie 'Bring It On'.
Throughout 2000, AK*1 enjoyed hugely successful visits to Japan where the band recorded a TV ad for a leading brand of chocolate. They were also the chosen international band at the forefront of MTV Asia's new campaign which began in Beijing in June and saw the Kittens reaching an incredible audience of 675 million people across Asia with a roof-raising performance on the MTV Asia awards alongside Aqua and Alanis Morissette.
The band's third UK single 'I Want Your Love' saw AK*1 achieve their third consecutive Top Ten hit. An incredible TV campaign and the main support slot on the huge Steps tour helped the single to firmly establish the band as one of the most successful and exciting pop groups of 2000. After the Steps tour at the end of 2000, the girls won the prestigious Best Newcomer Award at both the Smash Hits Poll Winners Party and the Disney Awards.
The beginning of 2001 and Atomic Kitten were about to launch 'Whole Again' when founding member Kerry Katona announced her pregnancy with fiancé Bryan McFadden. Through much discussion, the girls all decided that in order for Kerry to relax and have a stress free pregnancy she would step down from AK*1. During the weeks before Kerry's announcement the girls had been working fast behind the scenes to add another Kitten to the litter. The natural choice was their good friend Jenny Frost, 23, also from Liverpool. Jenny had been a member of the girl band Precious- playing many of the same shows and tours that AK were performing at. Jenny officially joined the band in January 2001 and AK*2 was born.
Atomic Kitten's fans stood by the girls throughout this transformation, and catapulted the new look Atomic Kitten and 'Whole Again' straight in to Number One. The single stayed at the top of the charts for an amazing four weeks, beating off competition from U2 amongst others, and breaking a Guinness Record in the process. 'Whole Again' remains one of the biggest selling singles of 2001 in the UK as well as being an international smash and Kitten fever spread across Europe, including a fantastic six weeks at number 1 in Germany.
Following on from the phenomenal world-wide success of 'Whole Again', pop's feistiest trio returned for another heavyweight assault on the UK charts with their Bangles cover, 'Eternal Flame'. Mixing the classic 80's song with the Kittens distinctive identity - and soft r'n'b beats, the AK banked yet another number one. August saw the UK re-release of their debut album 'Right Now'. Featuring brand new songs and classic Kitten hits, 'Right Now' rocketed to No.1 - staying at the top of the charts for two weeks, keeping David Gray and Prince from that elusive spot.
Atomic's massive success in 2001 has taken them to a whole new level. From topping the charts all over the world to pinning their AK slogan across Prince Charles's chest (as guests of HRH at The 2001 Party In The Park), the Kittens also picked up a number of awards along the way. These include the 2001 Disney Awards for Best Pop Act and World's Sexiest Females, a Best Pop Act nomination at the MTV Europe Awards, a Smash Hits Poll Winners Award for Best Single ('Whole again') and the Music Week award for Best Pop act online with AtomicKitten.com.
In 2002 their hard work continues to reap rewards with BRIT Award nominations in two categories: 'Best Pop Single' for 'Whole Again' and 'Best British Newcomer', and a fun-packed sell-out 22-night tour around Britain which has seen them picking up friends everywhere they play - The Daily Express said: "These girls are naturals, Jenny's the slinkiest, Tash the biggest voice and Liz the exuberance not only laughing, smiling and being spontaneously human they also (unlike most pop royalty) put microphone to mouth and sung live throughout. After this, they could have done anything!". "The truth is that Atomic Kitten aren't just a pop band. Atomic Kitten could still be around long after the preening boyband himbos have ceased to dominate the charts!" - said The Guardian.
May 2002 Atomic Kitten return to the charts with their sassy upbeat track 'Its OK!' -it's got summer smash written all over it. Written and produced by the Stargate team, Top of the Pops call it "The perfect pop package - an infectious, sexy tune guaranteed to get you in the mood for summer". "Its OK? Its a blinder! The single has a real All Saints feel to it and is easily up there as the Kitten's best tune alongside Whole Again.
Their next single 'The Tide is High' has been in the chart longer than any other record in the current chart. The girls officially became the UK's biggest female act of recent years when they simultaneously held the No.1 spot on both the singles and album charts, a feat only ever achieved by one other girl band - The Spice Girls
Their new double A side single 'Last Goodbye'/'Be With You' went straight into the charts at No.2. This was taken from the double platinum (nearly triple platinum) selling new album 'Feels So Good'.