Hear’Say were a British pop group created through the U.K. version of the reality TV series “Popstars.”
The group originally consisted of Danny Foster (born on May 3, 1979 in Hackney, England), Myleene Klass (born Myleene Angela Klass on April 6, 1978 in Gorleston, Norfolk, England), Kim Marsh (born Kimberley Gail Marsh on June 13, 1976 in Whiston, Merseyside, England), Suzanne Shaw (born Suzanne Christine Crowshaw on September 29, 1981 in Bury, Greater Manchester, England) and Noel Sullivan (born on July 28, 1980 in Cardiff, Wales in the United Kingdom).
In March of 2001, they released their debut single “Pure and Simple” which topped the U.K. Singles chart for 3 weeks, selling 550,000 copies and becoming the fastest-selling debut single at the time.
During that same month, Hear’Say’s debut album “Popstars” which topped the U.K. Albums chart, selling 306,631 copies during its first week and broke the record for the fastest-selling debut album in U.K. chart history at the time.
Despite that, the album received generally negative reviews from critics, pointing out the artificiality and genericness of both the group and the music.
In June of 2001, the group released their follow-up single “The Way to Your Love” which became their second number-one single, topping the chart for a week and selling 75,514 copies.
Hear’Say was later invited to perform at the 80th birthday celebrations of Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh and appeared on the ITV television show “Hear’Say It’s Saturday” which featured performances, sketches and celebrity guests. After that, they had a mini-series called “Meet the Popstars” which was intended to allow the public to get to know the group away from the talent show format.
In August of 2001, Hear’Say toured in the United Kingdom and they initially announced five more dates which quickly sold out and caused them to schedule 30 more dates, but they struggled to sell out, leaving hundreds of tickets unsold. They also released a live DVD.
While on tour, Hear’Say recorded their second album “Everybody” which was released in November of 2001 and peaked at #24 on the U.K. Albums chart. The title song managed to peak at #4 on the U.K. Singles chart.
Despite the album’s somewhat moderate success, it was certified Gold by the BPI a decade after it was released.
Later on, tabloids began reporting that Kym Marsh (who gained attention because of her relationship with former “EastEnders” actor Jack Ryder) left Hear’Say due to feuds with Myleene Klass, but a representative for the group denied those reports. In January of 2002, Kym announced that she was leaving the group and later revealed that she often fought with Myleene and Noel Sullivan.
Auditions were held to find a replacement for Kym Marsh and Johnny Shentall (born on September 3, 1978 from the United Kingdom & the husband of singer Lisa Scott-Lee) joined the group in February of 2002, but there was controversy when it was discovered that Johnny was a member of a short-lived pop music group called Boom! and was a back-up dancer for Hear’Say.
In March of 2002, Hear’Say cancelled their planned arena tour (which was to promote their sophomore album) to allow Johnny time to settle into the group. The group began recording their third album and during the summer of 2002, when they toured the U.K. radio roadshows circuit, they were constantly booed & abused by the public.
During Hear’Say’s tour, their vehicle was threatened by an apparently armed man at a motorway service on the M1 motorway in Leicestershire. Even though the man claimed it was a prank, he was later arrested for his actions.
In August of 2002, the group released their only single featuring Johnny Shentall called “Lovin’ is Easy” which peaked at #6 on the U.K. Singles chart, making it their lowest-charting single to date.
Media reports speculated that the group’s record label, Polydor Records wanted it to at least reach the U.K. Top 5 and it was believed that Hear’Say would be dropped from the label even though there was no official word about it.
In October of 2002, Hear’Say disbanded, citing “abuse from the public” as the main reason for it, but they also admitted that they were a fad that had passed & their popularity was overshadowed by another “Popstars” music act called Liberty X.
Since then, the former members of Hear’Say have continued to be active in the entertainment business.
Myleene Klass went on to pursue a solo career and released a classical music album called “Moving On” in 2003. She has also worked as a presenter & co-host for shows such as “CD:UK,” the U.S. version of “I’m a Celebrity…. Get Me Out of Here”, “Popstar to Operastar”, “Escape from Scorpion Island”, “Last Choir Standing” and was also part of the quiz panel for the BBC’s “The National Lottery People’s Quiz.”
She was also a co-host of BBC One’s “The One Show” before quitting in August of 2007 to give birth to a daughter named Ava. Myleene has also worked with various charities and is an ambassador for the National Foundation for Youth Music (which is a children’s music charity).
In 2003, Kym Marsh released a solo album called “Standing Tall” and had three Top 40 hits in the U.K. with the songs “Cry,” “Come Over” and “Sentimental.”
She later went on to be a guest presenter on the show “Loose Women” and appeared on the show “Making Your Mind Up” (which was devised to pick a singer & song for the Eurovision Song Contest), but didn’t win. She also participated in the first series of “Popstar to Operastar”, but was later eliminated from the competition.
Since 2006, Kym is appearing in the U.K. soap opera “Coronation Street” in the role of Michelle Connor and won the award for “Best Newcomer” at the 2007 British Soap Awards. She married Jack Ryder in 2002, but they separated in 2008.
In 2012, Kym married her boyfriend, Jamie Lomas, but they divorced in 2014. She also has four children: son David (born in April of 1995), daughter Emily (born in January of 1998), a son Archie (who was born in February of 2009, but passed away due to complications from his premature birth) and daughter Polly (born in March of 2011).
Kym also appears to be on good terms with her former bandmates Noel Sullivan and Myleene Klass.
Suzanne Shaw went on to have a successful career as a singer and a stage actress, appearing in plays such as “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” “The Rocky Horror Picture Show”, “Chicago” and “White Christmas”).
She also appeared on the U.K. soap opera “Emmerdale” in the role of Eve Birch from 2010 to 2011 and also competed on the ITV series “Dancing on Ice.”
Suzanne also had a high-profile relationship with singer\actor Darren Day and they had a son named Corey in 2004, but they have since separated. In 2009, she married her long-term boyfriend, Jason King (who is one-half of presenting duo JK and Joel) and in 2015, she gave birth to her second son named Rafferty.
Noel Sullivan is also a stage performer, appearing in shows & musicals such as such as the West End musical “Love Shack”, “What a Feeling”, “Grease” and “Footloose.” He is currently portraying the role of Freddy in the 2015-16 UK tour of “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels.”
Since Hear’Say disbanded, Danny Foster kept a low profile, but these days, he performs as part of his own live act called “Danny Foster & The Big Soul Corporation”.
As for Johnny Shentall, he appared on MTV’s “Totally” with his wife, Lisa Scott-Lee, whom he married in 2004 and they have two children: son Jaden (born in February of 2008) and daughter Lily (born in September of 2009). He has also appeared in musicals such as “Starlight Exprsss” and appeared on the ITV2 show “CelebAir” with his wife, finishing in 6th & 7th place.
To see the music video for “Pure and Simple,” go to:
To see the music video for “The Way to Your Love,” go to:
To see the music video for “Everybody,” go to:
To see a fan-made video for “Lovin’ Is Easy,” go to: