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Wednesday, 31 January, 2001, 10:20 GMT
Atomic Kitten heading for top
Kerry Katona [centre] is being replaced
Girl group Atomic Kitten are soaring up the charts and could get their first number one only days after one of the trio quit because she is pregnant.

Kerry Katona, 20, decided to leave the band after it emerged she and her fiancÚ, Westlife's Bryan McFadden, were expecting their first child.

The band's track, Whole Again, which is just outselling U2's new single, caught their record label and retailers by surprise with extra copies having to be rushed out to shops.

The single sold almost 1,000 more copies than U2's Stuck In A Moment (You Can't Get Out Of) during its first day in the shops on Monday.

"We weren't expecting it to do this well but it's great," said a spokesman for the group.

'Amazingly well'

Chart expert Gennaro Castaldo of HMV said: "It's looking quite good for being in the frame for a number one when the charts are announced on Sunday.

"It's done amazingly well for the fifth single. The publicity surrounding Kerry's departure from the band can't have done any harm."

Katona's replacement, Jenny Frost, of another all-female act, Precious, is already working with Atomic Kitten's other members, Natasha Hamilton and Liz McLarnon, on a new single.

Katona, meanwhile, is hoping for success in a TV career.

There are also high hopes for singer Dido, who is expected to see huge benefits from her link-up with Eminem at the end of the week by topping the UK album chart with No Angel.

The British performer has already become a huge star in the US after featuring on the rapper's hit single Stan.

See also:

18 Jan 01 | Entertainment
Girl group's Precious newcomer
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