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Blue formed in 2000 after the members met organically, something which is not often the case when talking about boybands. They had a great deal of fame in the early 2000s until a hiatus saw them move into solo projects. But where are the members of Blue now, and what do they look like?
Blue came together in 2000 after Lee Ryan and Antony Costa auditioned to be part of a boyband as teenagers.
In 1999, the two lads went on This Morning as part of an audition to get a new boyband started, with Simon Cowell in charge.
While Lee, as well as a young Will Young, were chosen, nothing happened with the band moving forward, but Lee and Antony remained friends.
In 2000, Antony and his friend, Duncan James, decided to start their own band, and soon brought Lee on board to get things going, and caught the attention of a manager, Daniel Glatman.
Daniel was “blown away” by the boys, but felt there was something missing and a fourth member was needed.
Simon Webbe, that fourth member, had met Duncan and Lee at a modelling competition and has spoken out about how Lee became his “saviour” when he offered him a room in his flat in London.
He said: “I didn’t know where my life was leading and when I got to London it was so hard. Lee was always the one that helped me to forget my problems.
“Eventually the Blue audition finally came around and Lee told me I should go along.
“I told him no because I owed him enough and I would have hated it if I had got the audition and he didn’t. I did not want to take that away from my saviour.
“To this day I still owe him my life and I will support him forever. The Lee I know is my saviour.”
Simon, of course, did attend the audition and was eventually chosen to be in the band along with Duncan, Lee and Antony.
The group started recording and, in May 2001, released their debut single All Rise, which peaked at Number Four in the UK Singles Chart.
While all the boys chipped in to help, Simon became one of the main songwriters for the band along with other professionals.
Their first album, All Rise, was released in November 2001 and went to Number One in the album chart and has been certified quadruple platinum.
After this they released further singles and collaborations with huge stars such as Stevie Wonder and Sir Elton John.
Their second album, One Love, was released in November 2002 and went straight to Number One in the UK, also going quadruple platinum, while its November 2003 follow up, Guilty, also went to Number One but only went double platinum.
The following year a Best Hits album was released, which to many signalled the beginning of a hiatus, which began in 2005, so the members could work on solo material.
In that time before they came back together in 2011, Simon released two Top 20 solo albums, Antony appeared in the 2005 series of I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here!, after which he performed in the West End.
Both Antony and Duncan made solo albums, though these did not fare well, after which Duncan also turned to the West End and Dancing on Ice, in which he took part in 2007.
Lee’s solo album reached Number Six in the UK charts, but Lee also turned to acting and the stage instead, before, in 2011, the band came back together and competed in the Eurovision Song Contest, in which they gained 11th place.
The band released two more albums, Roulette and Colours in 2013 and 2015 respectively, after which the members went out on their own once more.
Lee took part in Celebrity Big Brother in 2014, after which he and Duncan joined the casts of hit TV soaps Eastenders and Hollyoaks respectively.
In 2018 Lee took part in Strictly Come Dancing and in 2019 joined Celebs Go Dating.
Simon released a solo album in 2017, Smile, while Antony’s activities were less certain until it was revealed the band had been dropped by their label that same year, at which point they released an autobiography, Our Story.
At the time they spoke openly about being forced to file for bankruptcy in 2015, which they claim was after their record label sued them each individually, leaving them with no option.
Their next album is, reportedly, in the works, but most recently the band has been seen in the adverts for Ideal Boilers.
A source told The Sun: “It’s not the usual endorsement deal you’d expect from a boyband – but Blue aren’t your ordinary boyband.
“They expect to get some stick but see the funny side, as well as the cash incentive.
“The adverts will be pretty quirky.”
These were first seen in 2019, but at present it is unclear whether the boys will release another album anytime soon.
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