Five were an English boyband from the late 90’s\early 00’s that achieved moderate success in the United States.
The members consisted of Scott Robinson (born on November 22, 1979 in Essex, England), Ritchie Neville (born on August 23, 1979 in Solihull, England), Jason “J’ Brown (born on June 13, 1976 in Hampshire, England), Abs Breen (born on June 29, 1979 in Enfield, London, England), and Sean Conlon (born on May 20, 1981 in Leeds, West Yorkshire, England).
The band was formed in 1997 after an advertisement in the UK performing arts newspaper, “The Stage” asked for young male singers\dancers to audition for a boyband-style group with “attitude & edge.” Bob and Chris Hebert (who created the Spice Girls) thought that the time was right for a boyband.
There were over 3,000 participants which were finally narrowed down to 14. Scott, Richie, J, Abs, and Sean arranged themselves into a group while waiting for their audition and they were subsequently signed to BMG\RCA Records for a 6-album deal.
In November of 1997, Five released their debut single, “Slam Dunk (Da Funk)” which managed to peak at #10 on the UK Singles chart. The song sold around 500,000 copies worldwide. In the United States, the song managed to peak at #86 on the Billboard Hot 100, was featured in the Disney Channel movie, “Smart House” and was chosen as the new theme song for the NBA at the time.
Their second single, “When the Lights Go Out” became a hit, peaking at #4 on the UK Singles chart. In the United States, the song became Five’s only highest chart appearance on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #10 and spending 6 months on the chart.
“When the Lights Go Out” was certified Gold and the band went on an 8-day tour to promote their upcoming debut album. They appeared in a concert special on Disney Channel with B*Witched in Times Square in New York City and appeared on MTV’s TRL.
In 1998, Five released their self-titled debut album which topped the UK Albums charts. In the US, the album peaked at #27 on the Billboard 200 and topped Billboard’s Heatseekers albums chart.
Five’s third single, “Got the Feelin” peaked at #3 on the UK Singles chart which became their highest charting single in the UK until their next single. The song was moderately successful in Australia, Europe, Oceania, New Zealand, Belgium, the Netherlands, and Sweden.
Their fourth single, “Everybody Get Up” which peaked at #2 on the UK Singles chart. The song topped the charts in New Zealand and was moderately successful internationally. The single was certified Silver in the UK, selling over 200,000 copies.
Five’s fifth single, “It’s the Things You Do” was released only in the United States, but managed to peak at #53 on the Billboard Hot 100.
The last single from the album, “Until the Time is Through” peaked at #2 on the UK Singles chart. They went on tour with *NSYNC before pulling out due to exhaustion and going back to England to work on their sophomore album.
The first single from their upcoming sophomore album, “If Ya Gettin’ Down” peaked at #2 on the UK Singles chart and became their second #1 hit in New Zealand. The song was certified Silver in the UK and Platinum in Australia.
Their second single, “Keep on Movin” topped the UK Singles chart and became the 16th biggest-selling boyband single of the 90’s in the UK, selling 421,000 copies. It was certified Gold in the UK and was successful in Italy, the Netherlands, Australia, and Belgium.
In November 1999, Five released their sophomore album, “Invincible” which peaked at #4 on the UK Albums chart. In the United States, the album charted at a disappointing #108 on the Billboard 200.
The third single from the album, “How Do Ya Feel” was a part of a nationwide promotion for Pepsi Music, which is a company set up to raise money for the third world. Because the single was part of the promotion, it was uneligible to chart on the UK Singles chart.
The fourth single, “Don’t Wanna Let You Go” peaked at #9 on the UK Singles chart, lasting on the charts for 12 weeks.
In March 2000, Five opened at the BRIT Awards with Queen and performed an updated version of Queen’s song, “We Will Rock You.” The song topped the charts in the UK and Five won their first BRIT Award for “Best Pop Act.”
Five went on a world tour, performing concerts in the UK, Europe, Russia, and Australasia. On their South American concert, only four of the members performed because Ritchie got the chicken pox and had to be flown back to England.
After their tour was done, Five continued to perform in concerts in the UK and a reissue of “Invincible” included remixed versions, live tracks, and a bonus track called “Don’t Fight it Baby.” It was due to be released in the United States, but the song was pulled from release after Five was dropped from their stateside record label, Arista Records. Due to problems with their Asian record company, Five canceled their Asian tour.
Five continued to win awards in the UK and Europe and in December of 2000, they launched their second big tour in their home country. In January of 2001, Five performed at “Rock in Rio” in Rio de Janeiro and Caracas, performing to an audience of half a million people.
In May of 2001, after months of writing & recording, and “developing their personal sound,” Five’s third album, “Kingside” was completed. Just when they were about to begin filming the music video for the first single from the album, “Let’s Dance,” Sean got sick with glandular fever and in the music video, a life-sized cardboard image of Sean was featured.
“Let’s Dance” topped the UK Singles chart and was the last music video the band had recorded together. The song was certified Gold in Australia and became their last #1 hit in the UK.
There were rumors that Sean left the band and Richie said in an interview several years later that the band’s management kept Sean’s departure from Five a secret so they were not aware that Sean had left when they were filming the “Let’s Dance” music video.
Scott temporarily left the band to be with his pregnant fiancee, Kerry Oaker, who was having complications in her pregnancy. Their son, Brennan Rhys was born 5 weeks premature on July 11, 2001. J, Abs, and Richie continued on with heavy promotion of their third album and the “Let’s Dance” single.
While performing in a concert in Belgium in July 2001, Ritchie tore the tendons in his left foot which put a halt on all promotion and prompted the band to have a few meetings to re-think about their future and options.
In August 2001, Five’s third album, “Kingside” was released, peaking at #3 on the UK Albums chart. In September 2001, after a month of meetings with their management, Five announced that they would officially disband. A day after the band broke up, Scott married his fiancee, Kerry and his former bandmates attended the wedding.
In November 2001, a double “A”-side single, “Rock the Party\Closer to Me” was released and their greatest hits album soon followed.
Abs, Richie, and Sean moved on to solo music careers while Scott worked as a radio DJ in 2002. Scott also appeared in the UK regional theater musical “Boogie Nights 2” from 2004 to 2005. In September 2006, Scott’s second son was born.
J Brown had disappeared from the public view for nearly 4 years, but he now works as as a writer & producer. In 2007, he placed 3rd in the British reality show, “I’m a Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!”
In September of 2006, Abs, Ritchie, Scott, and J reformed Five (without Sean) with a new management team. They secured a new tour, but due to lack of interest from record labels, Five announced on their official website that they would disband once again.
Today, Abs Breen (now Abz Love) is still continuing his solo career and working on a finalising a range of environmentally-friendly toilet products, called “Abz-a-Lootly” which will be available in ASDA stores nationwide in March of 2012.
In 2007, Richie Neville appeared on the UK reality show, “Cirque de Celebrité” and dated singer\actress Billie Piper. In 2008, Ritchie married Australian model Emily Scott, but split up 4 months later due to allegations of violence.
Scott Robinson lives in Pitsea, Essex, England with his wife and 2 sons. In 2008, Scott appeared on the BBC reality show, “Celebrity Scissorhands.”
Sean Conlon has been pursuing a solo career as an R&B\soul\jazz singer\pianist in London and was signed a recording contract with Sony, but was later dropped from the label.
To see the music video for “Slam Dunk (Da Funk),” go to:
To see the music video for “When the Lights Go Out,” go to:
To see the music video for “Got the Feelin,” go to:
To see the music video for “Everybody Get Up,” go to:
To see the music video for “It’s the Things You Do,” go to:
To see the music video for “Until the Time is Through,” go to:
To see the the music video for “If Ya Gettin’ Down,” go to:
To see the music video for “Keep on Movin,” go to:
To see the music video for “How Do Ya Feel,” go to:
To see the music video for “Don’t Wanna Let You Go,” go to:
To see the music video for Five and Queen’s version of “We Will Rock You,” go to:
To see the music video for “Let’s Dance,” go to:
To see the music video for “Closer to Me,” go to:
To see the music video for “Rock the Party,” go to: