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Monday, 24 December, 2001, 10:35 GMT
Chart stars and flops of 2001
It was the year that pop reigned - yet again - and when TV hopefuls became instant stars, UK garage continued its success and an antipodean chart princess became a pop queen.

BBC News Online's Ian Youngs looks at the stars who had a good year in 2001 - and those who will want to forget it.


Kylie Minogue

2001 was the year that Kylie finally proved that she has got what it takes to be a real superstar - and is not still trading on her former glories. On A Night Like This was the best tour of the year, while Can't Get You Out Of My Head won heavyweight chart battles with Victoria Beckham and Michael Jackson to stay at number one for four weeks - almost unknown in this day and age.

 Click here to listen to a clip of Can't Get You Out Of My Head


Shaggy

Shaggy had the year's best-selling single
Shaggy had the year's best-selling single
It does not get much better than having the biggest-selling single of the year, and being the only artist to have two singles in the year's top 10. It Wasn't Me sold 1,150,000 copies while Angel was also a massive hit. The Jamaica-born singer's success, six years after his last number one, proves that where there are infectious songs and a great personality, even the most unlikely comebacks can be successful.

 Click here to watch Shaggy perform It Wasn't Me on Top Of The Pops


So Solid Crew

The 30-strong south London garage collective burst into the charts in August with 21 Seconds, which went straight to number one, and the ensuing few months have guaranteed them a reputation that will live on for years. Going by the principle that any publicity is good publicity, the shootings and court appearances have made them one of the year's most talked-about bands.

 Click here to watch So Solid Crew perform 21 Seconds on Top Of The Pops


The Strokes

The Strokes: Topped critics' lists
The Strokes: Topped critics' lists
This time last year, they were just five scruffy guys from New York. Now, they are five scruffy guys from New York whose raw rock debut album Is This It has just been named Album Of The Year by two sets of critics. Their emergence was heralded by an almost unprecedented amount of hype and expectation, and tickets for their tours have been like gold dust.

 Click here to watch The Strokes perform NYC Cops on Top Of The Pops


Blue

In the competitive world of boy bands, Blue have been the only ones to make the step up to the big league this year. Filling the gap left by Five and Boyzone, these four London boys have used their garage-tinged sound to notch up two number one singles.

 Click here to watch Blue perform All Rise on Top Of The Pops



Michael Jackson

Michael Jackson could not live up to the expectations
Michael Jackson could not live up to the expectations
He left us baffled in morbid fascination yet again when he shed a tear for the world's children at the Oxford Union and when he was Uri Geller's best man at the start of the year. By the time September's Jackson Five reunion was being described as an egotistical flop, the world was deeply sceptical that his first album for 10 years, Invincible, could recreate past glories. It went to number one in the US and UK, but was roundly panned by critics and sales soon dropped off.

 Click here to watch a clip of Michael Jackson's You Rock My World video


Victoria Beckham

Life has not been particularly sweet for any of the former Spice Girls, but Posh has had it worse than most. With her leather suits and desperate attempts at chart glory, she opened herself up for more ridicule than the others. She was trounced by Kylie in a chart battle - following last year's humiliation at the hands of Sophie Ellis-Bextor - and was pelted with fruit and vegetables during a roadshow, plus was sneered at by fashionistas, not least for that lip ring that turned out to be fake.

 Click here to watch Victoria Beckham perform Not Such An Innocent Girl on Top of the Pops


Mel B

Mel B: Dropped by her record company
Mel B: Dropped by her record company
Another Spice fall from grace - the one they called Scary's single Lullaby failed to reach the top 10 in June, proving the last straw for record company Virgin after her album's only top 40 visit was a two-week spell near the bottom at the end of 2000. They dropped her. She then dropped her manager - as did Victoria Beckham. On top of that, her ex-husband Jimmy Gulzar will be up in court on a charge of assaulting a three-year-old boy.

 Click here to watch Mel B perform Feels So Good on Top of the Pops


Mariah Carey

It all looked rosy for Mariah in April when reports surfaced that she had signed the biggest record deal in history, worth $80m (55m). But in August, we learned that she had suffered an emotional and physical breakdown and newspapers claimed she had attempted suicide. The releases of her debut film Glitter and its soundtrack album went ahead regardless - but both were flops, and critics derided her first attempt to break into acting.

 Click here to listen to a clip of Loverboy


Hear'Say

Hear'Say have had a roller-coaster year
Hear'Say have had a roller-coaster year
It could be argued that this was both a good and bad year for Kym, Myleene, Danny, Noel and Suzanne. This time last year, they were complete unknowns. In the intervening time, they have triumphed on a national TV talent contest, had the second-biggest selling single of the year, their own ITV1 show and the adulation of thousands of pre-pubescent fans. But they end the year with their second album debuting at a lowly 24, having faded fast and with the bubble having well and truly burst. What will next year hold?

 Click here to watch Hear'Say perform Pure and Simple on Top of the Pops

See also:

06 Oct 01 | Newsmakers
Kylie Minogue: Still so lucky
27 Mar 01 | Forum
Shaggy answers your questions
05 Oct 01 | Music
So Solid Crew: Garage stars
10 Jun 01 | Music
New York's new sound
23 Nov 01 | Reviews
All rise for Blue?
24 Jul 01 | Music
Mel B leaves Virgin Records
02 Aug 01 | Showbiz
Mariah Carey in psychiatric care
30 Nov 01 | Reviews
Hear'Say race against time
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