Inside toxic girl band feuds

BEING in a hit girl band can feel like living in a pressure cooker – and when the lid blows it can be very messy.

This week Kerry Katona revealed Heidi Range quit Atomic Kitten after she had a fight with fellow bandmate Liz McClarnon.

Heidi Range got into a spat with Liz McClarnonCredit: Getty

The 41-year-old singer then went on to say that Heidi walked out of the band after “someone got slapped”.

Heidi, who went on to join the Sugababes, was picked for the original line-up in the 1990s after Kerry held auditions.

“Heidi and Liz didn’t get on,” she told The Jay Hutton Show. “I think one of them slapped the other one. And then she went solo.”

But the Atomic row is just one of many toxic feuds that have caused devastating girl band divides.

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Here we remember the spats behind band break-ups – from the Spice Girls to Destiny’s Child.

Kerry Katona vs Liz McClarnon

Kerry herself quit Atomic Kitten in 2001 after a series of rows with Liz.

“I remember some of the fights we had in Atomic Kitten back in the day. Once, Liz punched me from behind after we had a little row. I was furious and got my own back,” she said.

Liz McClarnon and Kerry Katona got physical in fights

Liz McClarnon and Kerry Katona got physical in fightsCredit: Rex

“I made her get changed in the toilets at SMTV Live, then I stamped on her feet while we were up on stage singing Whole Again.”

But Kerry’s replacement Jenny Frost also had the knives out for her predecessor, claiming she’d “rather eat her own kidney with a spoon” than work with her.

Talking about a 2013 reunion, she said: “I don’t want to be derogatory about Kerry, but there shouldn’t be four of us in Atomic Kitten.” 

When Kerry’s return meant Jenny was booted out, she told Closer: “I’m not in contact with them any more, which I think is a real shame. But I didn’t like how things were handled with the reunion and Kerry replacing me.”

Geri vs Mel B

Geri didn't take kindly to sex romp claims from Mel

Geri didn’t take kindly to sex romp claims from MelCredit: Getty – Contributor

They may have sung that “friendship never ends” but at one point there was no love lost between Spice Girls Geri Halliwell and Mel B.

When Geri left the band in the lurch, at the height of their success in 1998, it was the beginning of the end.

The remaining four members called it quits two years later – and put the blame squarely on the shoulders of their former bandmate.

In a 2014 interview, Mel B claimed Geri gave them no warning before ditching them.

“When Geri left the group, it was so bad,” Mel said. “She left on my birthday and didn’t tell anybody. She just didn’t show up.”

Things went from bad to worse between the two fiery singers in 2019, when Mel embarrassed Geri on Piers Morgan’s Life Stories by claiming they had slept together.

When Geri left the group, it was so bad. She left on my birthday and didn’t tell anybody. She just didn’t show up

Mel B

“You were coming here to be brutally honest – did or didn’t you sleep with Geri Halliwell?” Piers asked her.

Mel answered: “Yeah. We all slept in a bed together, but not like that, all of us.”

When pressed on whether they’d had sex, Mel eventually smiled and nodded.

She added that mum-of-two Geri and her millionaire husband Christian Horner were going to “kill her” now.

“She is going to hate me for this because she is all posh in a country house but it wasn’t a ‘thing’, it just happened, we just giggled at it and that was it,” she said.

Geri later described the rumours of a fling as “very hurtful.”

As well as spats with Geri, Mel said the rest of the Spice Girls “fought like cat and dog” and then made up.

“I’ve had punch-ups with Mel C in the past,” she said. “We might not speak for a week or so but then we get back on Skype and sort our s**t out. The five of us definitely have been through it over the years.”

They’re clearly all friends now – as we recently revealed they are planning to reunite for a Glastonbury gig.

Cheryl vs Nadine Coyle

Nadine claimed she had not wanted the split

Nadine claimed she had not wanted the splitCredit: Rex Features

After a string of smash hits, including Sounds of the Underground and Love Machine, Girls Aloud took a break in 2009.

They reformed in 2012 but split a year later – and things soon turned toxic when Nadine Coyle publicly distanced herself from the break-up.

She tweeted: “You should know by now I had no part in any of this split business. I couldn’t stop them. I had the best time and want to keep going.”

Cheryl quickly slammed her claims, saying Nadine was “full of s***” and had asked for a break in 2009 which led to the band’s demise.

She added: “She was the one who wanted to make a solo record. Which is why we took the hiatus. She wants to come out and say we broke the band up? No! She shouldn’t tell porkie pies.

“Okay, so do you want us to tell the truth? She wasn’t going to make another Girls Aloud record until she got a solo deal. I feel she held us to ransom and then made her solo record deal.

“It’s the truth. She’s saying that we broke the band up. So, there you go.”

After seven years of feuding, Nadine revealed that Cheryl had reached out to her in 2020, and they were back on “cordial” terms.

“We’re not best mates, it’s just the way it’s always been,” she said.

“I’m very close to a lot of people from my time in the band, like our hair and make-up people and the dancers, but you gravitate towards the people that you have stuff in common with.”

The two women have become closer following the tragic death of member Sarah Harding, who lost her fight against breast cancer last year.

Appleton sisters vs Melanie Blatt & Shaznay Lewis

Natalie and Nicole Appleton fell out with Melanie Blatt and Shaznay Lewis

Natalie and Nicole Appleton fell out with Melanie Blatt and Shaznay LewisCredit: Getty

All Saints were one of the biggest pop groups of the late ’90s with hits like Never Ever and Pure Shores.

But a bitter feud divided the foursome into two warring factions after the release of their second album. 

Sisters Nicole and Natalie Appleton released a tell-all book, Together, in 2002, where they revealed the backstage rivalry that split the band. 

“We just weren’t getting on any more and we kind of hated each other, so we just thought… let’s stop,” Nicole told Alan Carr.

“Which was the right thing to do, I think. We fell out because of a lot of things that were going on around us.”

But never say Never Ever – as the band reunited 17 years after their bitter break-up.

Beyonce vs LeToya and LaTavia

Destiny's Child were split down the middle

Destiny’s Child were split down the middleCredit: Getty

The four original members of Destiny’s Child – Beyoncé Knowles, Kelly Rowland, LaTavia Roberson, and LeToya Luckett – grew up together and were close friends before their chart-topping success kicked off in 1997.

But that didn’t stop tensions pulling them apart.

In 2000, LeToya and LaTavia suddenly left the band, amid accusations that manager Matthew Knowles – Beyonce’s dad – showed favouritism towards his daughter and best pal Kelly.

They were replaced by Michelle Williams, and released the smash single Survivor – which was rumoured to be aimed at the departing duo.

In response, LaToya and LaTavia filed a £150m lawsuit against the band and their management, alleging that they were forced out of the group and were victims of career sabotage.

The claim was settled out of court.

Jesy Nelson vs Leigh-Anne Pinnock

Leigh-Anne and Jesy fell out over 'blackfishing' claims

Leigh-Anne and Jesy fell out over ‘blackfishing’ claimsCredit: Getty

When Jesy Nelson ditched her Little Mix bandmates to go solo, last year, all hell broke loose.

Leaked messages which appeared to be from Leigh-Anne Pinnock urged a social media star to accuse Jesy of ‘blackfishing’ – trying to look like she came from a black background – in her video for Boyz.

Things escalated when Jesy and Nicki Minaj hopped on a livestream together, where Nicki slammed Leigh-Anne as Jesy laughed along.

Jade Thirlwell later backed Leigh-Anne saying: “We don’t want to talk about the video, or be critical, but one thing we will clarify regarding the blackfishing situation is that Jesy was approached by the group in a very friendly, educational manner.”

Jesy, 30, told the Graham Norton Show: ‘We’re not talking any more. It is sad but honestly there is no bad blood from my side, and I still love them to pieces and genuinely wish them all the best.”

Camilla Cabello vs Normani

Normani (left) was left devastated by racist posts from Camila (centre)

Normani (left) was left devastated by racist posts from Camila (centre)Credit: Getty

Camila Cabello was in the line-up of Fifth Harmony when they rose to fame on the US version of The X Factor in 2012, but went solo four years later.

In 2019, Camilla came under fire when old posts featuring racist slurs and derogatory memes from her social media resurfaced online.

She apologised in 2019, writing: “When I was younger, I used language that I’m deeply ashamed of and will regret forever. I was uneducated and ignorant and once I became aware of the history and the weight and the true meaning behind this horrible language, I was deeply embarrassed I ever used it.”

Normani, the only black member of the group, later addressed the racism she experienced from Camilla’s fans in Fifth Harmony, and how she didn’t feel supported by her bandmates.

“It was devastating that this came from a place that was supposed to be a safe haven and a sisterhood,” she wrote.

“It took days for her to acknowledge what I was dealing with online and then years for her to take responsibility for the offensive tweets that recently resurfaced.

“Whether or not it was her intention, this made me feel like I was second to the relationship that she had with her fans.”

Fans spotted new beef in July last year, when Camilla chose the day that Normani released her hotly awaited single, Wild Side, to announce her own new track.

Keisha Buchanan vs Heidi Range

Keisha (right) was sacked after falling out with Heidi (left)

Keisha (right) was sacked after falling out with Heidi (left)Credit: CableImage

It seems Liz McClarnon is not the only girl band member to clash with Heidi Range.

Eight years after Heidi joined the Sugababes in 2001, backstage rows led to Keisha Buchanan, the only original member left in the line-up, getting the boot.

Heidi revealed the atmosphere between her, Keisha and Amelle Berrabah had been bad for months and the band “couldn’t work together any more”.

She was replaced by former Eurovision hopeful Jade Ewen, 21.

Heidi said: “It suddenly came to a head last week. Me and Amelle knew we couldn’t move forward the way it was.

“We couldn’t work together any more. But we did not want to throw away what we had achieved and split up. None of us was happy. We had to make a decision.”

Heidi told the Mirror: “The last time I saw Keisha was terrible. We didn’t speak.

“I’ve sent her a message but she’s not talking to me. She doesn’t want to know. It’s been years together with the band and it’s really hard. Really hard.

“Everyone’s nicknamed me Tiny Tears because I’m constantly bursting into tears.”

Keisha hit out at her former bandmates saying she found it hard to harmonise with them after the departure of original members Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghey, and that the Sugababes had become about “being sexy” rather than creative.

In a recent documentary on racism, she told Leigh-Anne Pinnock she was accused of bullying before being kicked out, which she denied, adding she is still in therapy over the traumatic sacking.

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“That whole situation changed the course of my life. It affected me emotionally, mentally, financially,” she said.

“I have confidence issues and just feeling like the whole time I couldn’t have an opinion in the workplace. It’s taken me years to process and I’m still in therapy.”

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