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Sunday, 30 December, 2001, 13:00 GMT
Steps split: Is it a Tragedy?
Does the break-up of Steps leave you feeling Words Are Not Enough? Or was it high time the group split?

The five-piece say they want to concentrate on their solo careers, but fans on their website say they've been lied to - Steps recently told them they had no plans to break up.

Others attacked the group for their timing - the announcement came after young fans had just unwrapped Steps goodies as Christmas presents.

Will you miss Steps' catchy pop - or are they just another manufactured act who won't be remembered?

BBC News Online recieved hundreds of e-mails from Steps fans - and those who were not so keen on the group.


You do have to wonder at the timing of this announcement. It's hardly a sudden decision to make, and to announce it just after Christmas smacks of sheer commercial exploitation. Whatever you might feel about their music, you can't fault their financial acumen.
Alastair Alexander, UK

Yes, I'm sad about them splitting up but also very greatful for everything they have done for us for the last five years. Congratulations Steps. You truly are the best band around. Thank you.
Gavin Brewer, UK

Having been a great Steps fan from the beginning I feel let down by what I thought was fantastic group. It is obvious that they were only in it for the money and i now have to spend more money redecorating my bedroom due to having to remove all my Steps memorabilia.

I don't feel I can trust any musican now and don't where to go from here. I hope Steps are happy they have ruined mine and many others Christmas.
CY, UK

At Last!! All as-yet untouched classic songs can breathe a sigh of relief... No more sacred Diana Ross songs shall be so callously dumbed down! One down... now lets hope Westlife follow suit.
Danny, UK

They are, of course, entitled to do what they want to do. They are, after all, just another talented pop band. They have exploited their fans and their money. But Pop Music is like that isn't it?
Derek Taylor, UK

Steps had a good run, but now they exhausted their genre. It's time to move on. I look forward to their solo efforts.
Joe DeSilos, USA

I have never been a big fan of Steps myself, prefering less manufactured bands with more talent. However, I do feel their fans are being a little bit harsh on them - they have enjoyed a long time at the top (somehow) and have decided to call it a day while they are still at the top, rather than fading away into pop obscurity like so many before them.

Their fans and irrate parents obviously do not seem to realise the pressures of the kind of weight that they have had on their shoulders - being a member of a close band for so long, doing tours of such magnitude and being under constant scrutiny from the press, will at the end of the day wear anyone down, and ultimatley get boring going through the same routine.
Adam Howes, UK

Well, they were no match for S Club 7 anyway. Let's party!
Rob, UK

If a band wants to call it a day, then so be it. Just because they are celebs doesn't mean that they should continue to stay together just for their fans. I wouldn't stay in my job if I didn't want to. Good luck to them!
Nick Richbell, UK


My daughter cried all night when she heard the news

Sylvia Crump, England
Well, all bands come to an end, and it is better to go out on top than fade like the Spice Girls and try to revive a career.
A Steps supporter, UK

I feel a little bit sorry for all those bewildered kids who have followed the band over the years. Personally, I can't stand their brand of pop pap, but they did do it well, and the girls in the group did have some talent.

I expect we will see some successful female solo careers rise from the ashes of the group. As for the lads, I expect to hear at least one of them asking me if I "would like fries with that" some time next year.
Nathan Lloyd, UK

They knew it was time to move on, and I respect them for that. I will always love them. Long live Steps!
Chris, UK

It's a bit suspicious that they have announced the split just after the most profitable marketing period for teen bands, and just after their big pay-per-view concert at the weekend. Still, all things must pass (as at least one member of an ex-teen band once said) and I am sure they will go on to bigger and greater success as individual artistes.

Maybe.
KL, UK

I think steps were the best group around. I have been to there concerts and have enjoyed everyone. I think its a sad loss to the pop world now they have split up. Good luck to all of them. My daughter Caroline cried all night when she heard the news.
Sylvia Crump, England

I couldn't be happier. I thought they were absolutley terrible and very offensive to listen to. As for H, I can't see him ever making it solo!!!! He is the most annoying man around! Good ridance.
Malcolm, Scotland

The thought of all these people left furious because of a pop band splitting up makes me laugh! Anybody who thought that Steps were anything other than a marketing tool to earn the record company money are being incredibly naive. Do they really think that the band or record company somehow owe them something, or have some kind of duty to them?
Graeme, Scotland

When I first heard about the split, I thought.."Great!!" Then quickly, I realized that it wouls spawn 3 or 4 solo careers, all producing carbon copy stuff that is clogging up much needed airplay. Radio 2 (viz Richard Allinson, Janice Long et al) are playing too much of this absolute bilge already
Ian Hinds, England

Steps were manufactured pap who cynically exploited a very young fan base. It's no coincidence that a much denied split was announced after Christmas thus maximising sales of their "Greatest Hits" (sic) album and other memorabilia. Hopefully, they will now disappear into the ether like others of their ilk.
Liddy Ferguson, UK


This is truly the worst christmas present they could have given all us truly dedicated fans

Jessie
Good group, should have known they would split when greatest hits, steps gold album came out. Won't be much use on their own, only claire has talent but will find it hard on her own as a solo artist.
Jayne Cooke, Ireland

Was it really their decision to split? Since the group was auditioned, formed and styled by the management, I'm not clear how much autonomy the members had? If Pete Waterman decided it would be best for them to quit while they were ahead, they'd probably be inclined to bow to his knowledge of the business.
Tim, UK

Apart from one or two songs Steps opitmised everything horribly superficial and bland about late 90's Britain. A case of style over substance. Hopefully it will be the beginning of the end for a lot of these manufactured bands.
Richard Medlycott, UK

"Just another money-grabbing pop group"? Of course they are, but then they were never exactly going to announce an all-new experimental free-jazz phase, were they? Good luck to them I say - they've made a fortune and have had the courage to get out before their star fades.
Stuart, UK

Why have they done this? This is truly the worst christmas present they could have given all us truly dedicated fans.
Jessie, uk

Steps will soon be forgotten - it is doubtful any of them have enough individual talent to be successful in any solo career. You can't blame them for getting out while they are on top - look what happened to Bros!!
Serena, UK

Steps splitting? It was the best Christmas present I had this year!!
Jon Doody, UK

My Christmas wish has come true - if only this were the end of banal and insipid love song based dance acts but if experience is anything to go by, like Stalin they'll only be replaced with something far worse !!
Bill, UK


Chances are Steps didn't even have a choice in the matter

Ivan, Ireland
I don't class my self as a true Steps fan, but I can understand why many fans are upset. However, there is no need to start a hate campaign. Nothing lasts forever and neither can Steps. There is no point in them carrying on if their hearts are not in it anymore, that really would be unfair to their fans. If their fans really are true fans, they would wish them well and continue to support their solo careers.
Vicky, England

The feeling's gone and I can't go on. It's a tragedy.
Lee Hesketh, UK

You do have to wonder at the timing of this announcement. It's hardly a sudden decision to make, and to announce it just after Christmas smacks of sheer commercial exploitation. Whatever you might feel about their music, you can't fault their financial acumen.
Alastair Alexander, UK

Cheer up teeny boppers - my sister cried when Bros split up. She cringes with complete embarassment when I take the mickey out of her for that, so spare yourself the embarassment and start listening to drum and bass and gangsta rap now.
Dave, UK

At Last!! All as-yet untouched classic songs can breathe a sigh of relief...
Danny, United Kingdom

They are, of course, entitled to do what they want to do. They are, after all, just another talented pop band. They have exploited their fans and their money.But Pop Music is like that isn't it?
Derek Taylor, England

In a year of tragedy and grief, here's something we can all celebrate. The end of another manufactured piece of pop trash.
Andrzej Wawrowski, UK

Steps had a good run, but now they exhausted their genre. It's time to move on. I look forward to their solo efforts.
Joe DeSilos, USA

Chances are Steps didn't even have a choice in the matter. I believe they were probably told by management that they were calling it a day and that was it.
Ivan, ireland


My only comment would be the timing of the announcement - why Boxing Day?

LNW, UK
I have never been a big fan of Steps myself, prefering less manufactured bands with more talent. However, I do feel their fans are being a little bit harsh on them - they have enjoyed a long time at the top (somehow) and have decided to call it a day while they are still at the top, rather than fading away into pop obscurity like so many before them. Their fans and irrate parents obviously do not seem to realise the pressures of the kind of weight that they have had on their shoulders. I applaud their decision to go for new challenges and new projects, even if I haven't previously applauded their music.
Adam Howes, England

Thank God for that. Does this mean an end to having to suffer that pointless drivel that they insisted on churning out?
Music Fan, Wales

Good riddance to bad rubbish. All you Steps fans should get a life and discover some of the great REAL music out there. They were nothing more than a money making scheme for cynical middle-aged record company executives and you should be ashamed of yourselves for thinking otherwise. I only hope that a few more manufactured bands follow their lead and leave some room for real musicians to enter the charts.
Michael, UK

I have been a steps fan since the start 5 years ago. I understand their decision is to call it a day, and the fans should respect this. My only comment would be the timing of the announcement. Why Boxing Day?
LNW, UK

Did Steps sell many 2002 Calendars?
Paul, England

The word 'inevitable' springs to mind, but I do agree that their decision - especially at this time of year - is ill-timed. With a fan base of predominantly children, it is especially poor. As for their solo careers, it will be interesting. As a band they have individual personalities that complement each other; however, whether these personalities are substantial enough to survive as solo artists is questionable. I predict that only Faye will have solo chart success, with H heading into TV presenting. After all, look what has happened to the solo careers of the Spice Girls and Boyzone.
Mat Smith, UK

All these Steps fans seem to be ungrateful! Steps have been providing people with entertainment for the past 5 years and then their fans go and slag them off for wanting to persue other plans. They can't go on forever, can they?!
Nixy, UK


I do agree that their decision is ill-timed - with a fan base of predominantly children, it is especially poor

Mat Smith, UK
Having taken my kid to their concert in Cardiff only a few days ago, where they shamelessly plugged and urged parents to pay to see them on Sky TV the next week, as well as purchase next years concert tickets early, the thoughts are heavy of them truely being yet another money grabbing teeny-pop group. Having been at the concert though.. I can easily beleive that this split has been known about for some time.
D Pollard, UK

Me and all the lads down the construction site are devastated. How can we go out and celebrate on New Year's Eve now? Life just doesn't seem worth living anymore.
Al Emanuelle, Wales

Good! I've had a pretty rotten year and its good to finish off on a high.
Dave, UK

It's a crime what steps have done, they lied to all their loyal fans most of them youngsters who just cannot understand why they have just seen a concert and got all the new CD's, DVD's, books, teddys the list is endless, only to find there is no Steps a few days later. It's time British music fans told the music biz to stop ripping them off and stop buying CD's for 1 month, hit them in the only place it matters.
Mike Edwards, UK

Steps shouldn't split up because they have proved the critics wrong on many occassions, why should they stop now? it is theans of them, who are the important ones, not the critics or the people at the top of the industry, who sit behind they desks and call steps cheezy
Vicky, England

About bloody time too. I urge all of the fans to go and buy a Clash record, as soon as possible.
Jon, UK

They were a pop group (albeit a rather talented one), nothing more. They were not a band that changed the lives of people across the globe, such as the Beatles or even Kiss. And of course they were in it for the money. It was their job.
Mike B., USA

It's always sad when your pop heroes decide to call it a day. Their timing might be lousy, but at least they've announced the split rather than keep the fans hanging on la ABBA and Boyzone with non-committal statements about doing solo projects for a while. I wish them every susccess in their furture careers.
Kyle Lindsay, uk

I am delighted that they are breaking up. There was always something faintly disturbing about their aggressive lack of talent. My only fear is that one or more of them will actually make a go of solo life.
Adam Rice, UK


Steps were great fun, and brought some great pop tunes

Graham, UK
They were never a real group anyway - just manufactured pop. They used to be compared to Abba but at least Abba wrote and produced all of their own material. I think it is really poor that they 'cashed in' over Christmas and announced their departure on the 26th. They must have known for some time that they were going to split up. I can't see any of them having solo careers - at the end of the day, they were a novelty manufactured pop act.
Dez, UK

It was obvious they were gonna split up some months ago. Claire has her own agenda and always has had. Why else would they make a Greatest Hits album, easy money from continuous royalties.
Helen Gordon, England

I have completely lost faith in the music industry of today - in the world there are maybe 10 good bands - bands with talent. These however struggle to get into the top 100s if they are ever brave enough to release a single, while manufactured tripe like Steps, Limp Bizkit, Linkin Park, Britney etc etc etc write terrible lyrics (or get someone else to write terrible lyrics) and get to number 1. People should support the people who have something to say, such as Pearl Jam, A Perfect Circle, and REM. Personally, I think the Smiths and the Pixies of the 80s beat anything around today.
Andy Bradford, UK

This is a great day in popular music. Steps were a terrible group. They were never taken seriously because there was nothing to them apart from easy to learn dance moves and a catchy chorus... Having said that we probably said the same about Robbie Williams and Cathy Dennis
TC, UK

Steps were great fun, and brought some great pop tunes. But I agree with them if they want to go out on a high. Their "Gold" tour was absolutley amazing and they will now be remembered as a group of great performers who brough lots of fun for their fans. Better that than holding on for too long and slipping down the charts. That would be a Tragedy ;)
Graham, UK

They are right to quit whilst on top - just look at what happened to the Spice Girls. Good luck for the future, whatever they decide to do.
RS, UK

Were they any good in the first place? Maybe former Steps fans can move up the pop food chain and become fans of tunes featured in television commercials?
Steven, Chelsea, London


Good riddance - there are far too many of these teeny bopper talentless bands around

Laura, UK
I am just excited about the raft of new material available to the likes of Hear'Say and others now that Steps have stopped stealing all the irritating 70s teen pop for themselves. You'll have to excuse me now, my Night Fever seems to be playing up.
Greg, UK

Good luck to them. They were fabulous entertainers and hopefully they'll reunite for a comeback tour in years to come!!
Susan, Scotland

I doubt there will be much of a backlash - they were too bland to be memorable!
Bob, UK

Steps were to music what Turkish Delight is to nutrition.
Derek Tarr, UK

Now if only sme other groups could take the hint....
Rich, Canada

As a parent you really must be quite naive to believe that a pop group with no talent is doing it for anything other than the money.... Get a life, and then some.
Not a fan, Canada

2 points. Firstly, the people who formed Steps do not owe people anything. They have always been professional about what they did (unlike the Spice Girls and the Geri fiasco), so you all got what you paid for. Secondly, they sum up everything that is wrong with the music industry. I can write and sing, but I cheerfully acknowledge I have no chance of ever being a pop star 'cos I'm too old and my hair has started to recede. If you don't like your pop stars behaving like employees of a city firm, stop encouraging them by buying their records. I have sympathy with the kids who feel let down, but none with the parents who spent a fortune on this 'band'.
Paul, UK

Why should they stay together if they are ready to move on? They don't owe the fans the rest of their lives. Everyone has a right to be happy. Good luck to them.
Kira, USA

Good riddance - there are far too many of these teeny bopper talentless bands around. Makes more room for the likes of Coldplay and Travis - genuine talent and they even play their own instruments and sing live too!
Laura, UK

First 5ive, now Steps. If only Westlife and Atomic Kitten would follow suit I could believe there is a God after all.
Mike Parker, England

I think it is sad that they are splitting up I am gutted because I have tried to go and see them in concert but have never had any luck getting tickets. Good luck to them all, H you are my idol I love you
shelley cooke, rhondda valleys


At least they could sing and had a sense of humour

John Kearney, UK
I was overjoyed to see that Steps had split up. I only wish Hearsay would go the same way. I can't believe anyone really cares.
Chris Denton, UK

To be very frank ..... I've never even heard of them!!!!!
Shan Chelliah, Malaysia

Fair play to them, they've entertained us with their pop for years, we've enjoyed it, they've enjoyed it, let's move on to something else. Let the S-Club party begin!!!
Brad Queenan, UK

I dont understand. I looked in their 'Gold' book which says (page 124) that they have no reason to split, and it sounds like none of them wanted to. Does anyone know of any TRUE reasons, there must a reason more feasible than their 'solo' careers....
Grace, england

Absolutely right! I am probably twice the average age of Steps fans, certainly old enough to know better. Still feel cheesed off to have paid money recently to watch their interview on Sky, reassuring fans about a fourth album. Final page of the brand new Steps Gold book is a long quotation from Lee about how the band has absolutely no plans to break up any time soon.
Helen Charlesworth, UK

Steps are talentless losers who hit more bum notes than Dick Van Dyke.
Mr Hibbert, England

Let's face it - they didn't write anything original, they can't play instruments, and apart from H were dull dull dull. Will anyone care in 2 months time? Good riddance - they were awful.
Matt, UK

YAHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That is until the next boy or girl band get here and people fall in the trap once again...
Chris, Belgium


Of course they are manufactured, but then they were never exactly going to announce an all-new experimental free-jazz phase, were they?

Stuart, UK
Groups such as Steps are a five year project, like many other acts. This is the industry standard.
Bob Peters, United Kingdom

Steps were never my kind of band, but at least they could sing and had a sense of humour. As for splitting up, they've made the right decision. Quit while you're ahead.
John Kearney, UK

If parents spent a fortune on their memorobilia then more fool them!
Eileen, England

A product of their time, they enjoyed their success and gave a lot of pleasure to their fans - to criticize them for leaving at the top of their fame is pointless. Most of their original fans have themselves moved on, and in twelve months , who'll be bothered? Who remembers Take That, East 17 and all the other been and gone boy and girl bands?
Paul Granger, UK

What's all the fuss about? They were only a bunch of slightly good-looking karaoke singers anyway. It's about time people learnt about proper music - people writing their own lyrics, playing their own instruments with passion and meaning - and not getting into the charts and becoming famous for singing endless Abba covers. Those who are upset need to grow up & will probably be over it in a few weeks when the soon-to-be 'Pop Idol' releases his/her new single.
Matt W, UK

I was at at the last Take That concert when Gary promised faithfully they were not splitting up, and two weeks later...! Face it people, no one wants to do the same job for the rest of their lives, and that's what it is - a job. I'm sure we will all be dancing to Tragedy at the office party for years to come.
Claire, UK

Yes of course they are manufactured pap designed to wring the maximum amount of cash from hapless parents but will this lesson teach anyone anything? I doubt it, there are enough talentless airhead acts in the pipeline to keep the fat cats rolling in it till the next millennium.
Dave Perks, UK

I quit my job earler this year to do something new. I didn't face backlash. Why then shouldn't these people be allowed to do the same!!

First Richard & Judy left This Morning, now Steps have split....was 2001 the year of culling students' favourites?

Jo, UK
Perhaps if the selfish fans thought a little more of their idols they would perhaps see that these people have reached a point where enough is enough and that they could not see a way forward as a group. Perhaps as a way of appealing to the selfish fans, should they not be thinking that with the group pursuing solo careers, they get the benefit of five individual acts to follow, and that just maybe, one of those individual acts may be able to give something that as part of a group they couldn't. I have never been a fan of Steps, but I recognise that they have a talent for singing, and I am curious to see what else they could do. Come on kids, grow up and give your grown up idols a chance for heaven's sake!!
Neil Fellowes, United Kingdom

To quit while they were ahead is right. Their timing is poor. Should have left it a month.
Pikachu, UK


I feel cheated and let down because at the end of the concert the "We'll see you all again soon" was a load of rubbish

Rhys, Wales
I feel that I have a fairly objective viewpoint on the matter, being from the states. We haven't had a taste of Steps' music here yet. I too am a fan of the genre, though, and find that I am dismayed at some of the harsher reactions from 'fans'. It seems to me that no matter the motivation of the group, the fans should realise that they created music that will live on beyond whatever incarnation they exist in. There is a body of work to cherish, and I should hope that their fans would miss them, not hate them for entering our lives. I also think, though, that the group could simply take time off to pursue their solo projects without fully breaking up. It wouldn't hurt to leave the door open in that way. It wouldn't be too late to make that decision either.
Louis, US

YES! Thank heavens that Steps are no more. Call that music?! Try listening to bands who really can play instruments - like Pink Floyd!
paul, uk


Fair play to Waterman - he pockets the cash. Good lad

Paul Stendon, UK
Well, I guess it is the end. Its a shame, They were a really good group with so much widde appeal, and now its over. At least, I have the honor of saying I went to thier last tour. But, The thing is, it came all of a sudden to some of us! Some saw it, some didn't! I didn't see it comin! They put it accross that they were so happy. But, obviously this was not the case. I am not going to be bitter. I suppose it is better for them to go out on a high, while they are on top, and not fizzle out like the Spice Girls did. It's just sucha s hame, that yet another BRILLIANT group has split. Too many of the good ones finish :(
Darren Miller, Scotland.

The sad thing is, there is always another hopeless act who will be just as irritating to replace them!
Grant Patterson, Birmingham, UK

I went to the Cardiff Concert and it was totally amazing.. after that event i felt amazing.. i love steps to death.. and i'm devastated that i'll never be able to have any new dance moves to learn!! Steps made me what i am (i know that sounds weird.. but its true!). I feel cheated and let down because at the end of the concert the "We'll see you all again soon" was a load of rubbish. What lies.. and i honestly thought they were "real". But there u go... Goodbye Steps RIP.
Rhys Steps, Wales

Thank Goodness. Awful live and a band who did dodgy covers.
John, Scotland

Kids - save your money - they're not worth it!
Martin, UK

Better best forgotten!
James, UK

Everyone in my office is very upset about the split. They weren't exactly "meaningful" music but they were fun and that was what people liked about them!
Jenny, UK

Well, when Take That split up, there were lines set up because fans might harm themselves... ...at least this time round they want to take it out on the group. Progression? I think I'd rather listen to the sound of Steps being chased down by hundreds of enraged fans rather than listen to their music...
jamie walker, UK

I flew to the UK from the States about 5 or 6 times just to see STEPS perform. I'm naturally disappointed that they'll be splitting up, but secretly I'm thankful I was able to see their last two concerts -- if in fact, they are completely finished performing as a group.
Matt, USA

I'm steps biggest and probably only 40 year old fan. I feel totally betrayed by this apparent lack sensitivety of timing over this announcement. I, like many others, spent a small fortune on Steps merchandise over the Xams period. Are the band prepared to pay me back the money I've spent?
Rob White, England

For goodness sake, all Steps were was a lucrative business, invented by Pete Waterman. They are no loss whatsoever.
Iain Kirk, England

Steps were a great band and are going to be sadly missed - but I'm sure we'll still be dancing along to their tunes for many years to come. They were a breath of happy-go-lucky air in a world of morbid, suicide inducing modern music. Good luck to them!
James, UK

Give me Bananarama anytime over Steps. At least the girls wrote their own songs!
John, Canada

I can't claim to be traumatised by the Steps split but their brand of inoffensive catchy pop tunes comes as a welcome break from all those popstars who take themselves far too seriously. At least they acknowledged themselves as what they were - a manufactured pop group, rather than trying to pass themselves off as serious musicians. I for one shall miss them.
Eva Green, Spain

Steps splitting up? Great news! That's 5 less aerobics instructors on Top Of The Pops next week.
Cam Smith, England

First Richard & Judy left This Morning, now Steps have split....was 2001 the year of culling students' favourites?

What next....Is the future of the good old pot noodle looking bleak?
Jo, UK


The timing of the anouncement was appalling. Our 7 year old daughter spent Boxing Day evening sobbing

John Reynolds, UK
No surprise there. Fair play to Waterman - he pockets the cash. Good lad - cash is King, heh heh.
Paul Stendon, USA

As true fans we should be celebrating their achievements for overcoming initial criticism and making some great music. This guilt trip is very uncalled for and as for comments that they have lied, what do you think a Greatest Hits album signifies?
Louise, England

I can respect the decision but the timing is TERRIBLE. We were having quite a good Christmas up to that point but my Steps mad daughter cried all night after hearing the news. We had bought her all the 'Gold' merchandise for Christmas and although she still can't see through the hype WE CAN. Steps calendar anyone?
Terry Singleton, UK

The timing of the anouncement was appalling. Our 7 year old daughter spent Boxing Day evening sobbing. Before Christmas we went to the Steps concert and bought presents of books, CDs tea shirts and calenders as presents for our daughters. The timing smacks of greed and cynicism.
John Reynolds, UK

As long as Kylie's still around I can just about cope........
Sandy, UK

Of course I am disappointed that they are splitting.... but only because they've got better eye-candy than most U.S. bubblegum pop.
Chance, USA

Steps are not normally my bag at all but there music did "exactly what it said on the tin" - made you dance which is great. What irritates me is the rubbish they have spouted about not splitting up. There younger fans must be gutted. I do wish them all well, I just wish bands would stop treating people like muppets - people have brains and I still think they owe a certain amount of responsibility to their fans - split up if you must, just don't lie about it chaps!
Sunny, UK

I feel very upset when they said that they were spliting up.
rosy, england

Probably the best quote is "ever feel you've been cheated" (Johnny Rotten)
Gary, England

Funny how they called themselves a "band", never saw them play instruments, nor did I here anything original from them. Just a bunch of people who sung Karaoke, but made millions, not really a loss to the music world now is it?
Kate, Germany

I cried when I found out, I couldn't believe it. why did they spilt up?, and well i always remember you steps, they were number 1 to me, and i was a fan for years , I'm 12 now , But i was 8 or 9.They were great!...good luck
sarah, england

At least Kylie can't split up....I hope!
stepsfan, UK

With Pete Waterman behind them of course they were a business proposition ahead of being a band with 'something to say', but that's no criticism as they did it well. Good luck to Faye anyway as I hope she has a decent career ahead in TV presentation.
Fudge, UK

Like any group Steps are adored by their fans, ridiculed by their enemies and ignored by the majority. As a father of a Steps fan since 1998, all I can say is my daughter is devastated by this sudden announcement; especially when the split was denied earlier in the year. Will they be missed? Yes for a few months until the next group comes along. As for the music, well they were certainly masters of their craft and actually made it possible to listen to a Bee Gees song without wondering how a grown man could sing so high
Steve, UK

Hopefully my kids will get into Pulp instead. That way I can walk past my daughters bedroom without having to plug my ears.
Sparky, USA


Were it not for Pete Waterman's professionalism, you might have had to listen to 21st Century versions of Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep

Max Blinkhorn, UK
To the guy who asked was STEPS prepared to pay him back all the money he spent on their stuff over the Xmas period: Get serious! It was your choice. Nobody put a gun to your head. Grow up. And to all those who keep mentioning other acts and then say: "well at least THEY wrote their own songs!" - so what? What is the big DEAL about writing your own songs? Writers write. Singers sing. They are two different jobs. When did the rules change? At what point in time did it become a requirement for singers to write their own material? Who gives a crap who writes it? As long as the singer really CAN SING, thats all that counts. People who say they only like bands/singers that write their OWN stuff are being musical SNOBS. You know you are!!
Kira, USA

I feel that the Steps decision to split was totally up to them and all these supposed 'fans' that are slagging them off are not fans, they would support them in what ever decisions they make, I do understand that they maybe upset and that I think they could have chose a better time rather that boxing day as many parents would have spent money on merchandise but Steps have brought the world many good records and we should take this into account and support them in whatever their future plans are.
Laura, England

it is a terrible christams, my worse chritmas ever! my mum & dad bought me loads & loads of steps goodies for christmas, & that was a total waste! Steps lied to us, cause they siad that they would tell their fans themseleves & they didn't even bother, the worsed thing was that they said only a few months ago that they were NOT spliting up, and that they were in the middle of recording another studio album, and had plans for some more amazing tours! I am very hurt, and i cannot stop crying, it has effected the fans SO much!
Lydia, uk

Hardly anyone cared when one of the greatest bands of the last 20 years, "The Smashing Pumpkins" disbanded..but when a 4 year old fad group calls it quits, everyone cries about it.
Andrew, UK

Whatever happens i will still support them.
Amanda, England

I LOVE STEPS! I don't know if anyone can rival them, and their departure from the pop world has come as a huge shock to me and my huge mafia-like family! Someone's gonna pay!
Piere, France

I was one of the unfortunate fans who had never aquired a ticket for any of Steps' concerts in Cardiff. Two friends of mine Ceri Anne and mum Sue Faulkner of Ynsduu, Gwent told me how great the band was on stage. It is only now at Christmas that I recieved Steps' Gold Greatest Hits as a gift. I have seen them on television over the Christmas period and they did well on "Friends Like These" with Ian Wright. I am sure that many of their devoted fans are upset with the decision to split up after 5 years. I couldn't quite believe it myself as it came to a complete shock. My best wishes go to Faye, Lisa, Claire, Lee and H.
Diane Wilsher, S. Wales

So it's ruined some people's Christmas? Please! Last Christmas was far sadder for the loss of Kirsty MacColl, someone with real talent and a sense of humour - someone who actually contributed something worthwhile to music industry other than income for a company.
Alan, UK

I don't understand all the fuss to be honest. Just another teeny band who couldn't lace the Beatles' boots. Watch them all fade into insignificance, one by one.
Gav McRae, UK

This is so funny!! Like anybody cares that a few 10 year old fans are sad. Let's take back the music. REAL music!!!!!
S M, UK

Who ARE they actually? And did anyone over the age of 12 ever buy any of their records?
P Mc, UK

All of you who write that we should start to listen to "real" music...maybe we are listening to "real" music ... pop music is REAL music to us...And everyone is in the music business because of the money...EVERYONE
Amanda, Sweden

Good luck to all of Steps I am sure that we will not have seen the last of them on TV All of them will go on to have other careers I am sure They are five suberb representatives of the Pop media and deserve everything that comes there way Thankyou Steps for all the fantastic entertainment you have given us and good luck to you all what ever you decide to do
Alison Stewart, United Kingdom

Well, it's hardly surprising that a band that only seemed capable of doing bad covers of other people's songs would eventually break up.
Ben Steeples, United Kingdom

Although I find it sad that they have split, I know that their cheery tunes will continue to be played, and like ABBA, will continue to entertain fans, old and new.
Rich, Wales

I'm indifferent. Why am I even writing this? Like it matters...
Arthur Taylor, UK/USA

Calm down, maybe they had just taken the group as far as they can go. Would you be fuming if a popular TV show finished just because it had run out of scripts?
N Stirrup, England

I have been a fan of steps ever since they first became famous and got lots of merchandise for my xmas presents. my little sister even gave me the calender for next year and she has wasted her money now too. im really upset about this as they were my fave band of all time. Steps will be tops 4ever!!
Louise McLellan, scotland

To those fans who are angry about Steps breaking up, I say for goodness sake, give these poor people a break! Do you lot live your life through them? If so you should just get out more! These people have put their heart and soul into entertaining you for five years - you should be grateful! Stop trying to run their lives - you don't own them, so just grow up! To Steps, I say Good Luck, don't look back and I hope to drum my old fingers on my steering wheel to something music from you as individuals, in the future!
Alan Jackson, UK

Could you please tell me if they really ever sang those songs live or were they sung bby someone else or were they just miming them? It puzzles us so much. A good dance act, though. They shouldn't treat their fans like that and just disappear. Thank goodness we never liked them, so we didn't waste our money on them. I am 11 years of age and I'm disgusted.
Miss Stephanie Koennecker, England

STEPS were poised to become one of the biggest stars in the US and the planet. Although I was in a state of shock after I heard the news, I will continue supporting them in all their endeavours and will buy all their records and continue spreading the word of STEPS! May STEPS live on eternally!!!!
Thomas, USA

There once was a band called Steps, man,
Whose songs reached the heights and the depths, man,
Then one day, they broke up, but nobody choked up,
'cept the record co. and poor Peter Water, man.

I will genuinely miss Steps - they've been the soundtrack to my life for the past 4 years

Nicki, England
There's always room for bands like this - never underestimate the public's appetite for inoffensive, plain, dull, unimaginative, uninspiring ..... music. Just think yourselves lucky. Were it not for Pete Waterman's professionalism - otherwise, you might have had to listen to 21st Century versions of "Chirpy, Chirpy, Cheep, Cheep"!
Max Blinkhorn, UK

I am bitterly disappointed with the demise of Steps. Not only because they were my favourite group but the way they lied to loyal fans and could not be honest. I can't believe that they didn't say anything when me and my sister saw them live last week and spent a fortune on merchendise....
Caroline O, UK

At the end of the day if this is what they want to do it's their choice. And do you know what - they're just another pop group - it's not the end of the world.
Gail Templeman, UK

Firstly, I'd like to thank all you "Steps-haters" who have gone to a huge effort to tell the world how much you despice them or their music. Steps have received enough criticism to last them a lifetime, much of it was extremely undeserved. I will genuinely miss Steps - they've been the soundtrack to my life for the past 4 years, and the girls especially, have been a huge inspiration to me - giving me the confidence to perform in front of an audience myself. They were truly devoted to their jobs, and contrary to popular belief, their fans. I had the pleasure of meeting the band a few times this year, and have always seemed very grateful for our support. Boxing Day marked the end of a fantastic era for me. I won't forget Steps in a hurry, and whilst I wish they were still together, I wish them all the best in the future.
Nicki, England

I'm sick to the back teeth of people slagging Steps off, even now that they're gone. Everyone is entitled to their own tastes in music so stop trying to shove your preferences down our throats- thats one thing a Steps Fan wouldn't do. The Music Industry has a had a great loss whether people believe it or not and I will miss them greatly- they were best pop act we've seen in a long time. Steps, if you read this, all the best for the future and I still love ya to bits!!
Graeme Heatley, N. Ireland


My joy at the demise of Steps is tempered by the knowledge that Waterman remains at large

Paul Higgins, Canada
Great laugh, easy on the eye, very much like abba, they will be missed, and if they gave up because they felt like a joke then shame on them. What type of example does that set youngsters, surely they would be better to prove themselves better than their detractors.
Andrew Brown, Scotland

My hat goes off to Pete Waterman (if he is indeed still pulling the strings of these puppets)...He'll never be a rockstar himself, and however cynical he may appear to be, he still knows how to present a PR package and make some cash for everyone involved. Any parents who fell for this marketing scam should have seen it coming, and educated their children accordingly. Well done Pete - Top lad !
Paul, Nottingham, England

Isn't music meant to be about entertainment? To be entertained, does it really matter that the artist wrote the song, played every instrument on the record and produced it themselves? As long as you enjoy what you hear, who really cares?
Alan Coxhill, Australia

I wasn't aware that Pete Waterman was behind Steps, but I guess I should have known given his gruesome track record to date. Isn't it high time that this man was arrested and imprisoned for crimes committed against the music industry? And my joy at the demise of Steps is tempered by the knowledge that whilst Waterman remains at large it is only a matter of time until some ghastly new musical atrocity is foisted upon us.
Paul Higgins, Canada (ex-pat Brit)

1) They split with Pete Waterman
2) They stop having as much success as before
3) They split up
Alan, UK

sorry....I've forgotten which pop/cover band I was going to make a comment on...
Brian, Australia

What a unhappy end to such a great band! I've loved them since 1999 and I think they could well continue. OK, they've made their choice. Good luck and happy life ot everyone.
Vadim Kossogorov, Russia


At least we shall see less of the insanely corny H!!

Ryan Dale, UK
We here in Zimbabwe are very sad to hear that Steps have decided to split. I am a radio presenter with the Zimbabwe Broadcasting Corporation and when I inform them of STEPS' intentions they will be devestated
Derek Bailey, Zimbabwe

My daughter and i were quite shocked when we read that steps had split. Heather said she thought that it was because the group wanted to persue solo careers. We can understand that some fans will be upset but there is never a right moment to split. Good luck to all the group, perhaps you may do some work together again in the future but in your own right.
Jayne Corbin, Holland

They are obviously quite clued up and have realised that they only had a limited shelf life. These fans who are moaning and crying over them splitting up would probably have grown tired of them very shortly and stopped buying their records anyway.
Peter, UK

Big Deal!! In a year when the country lost true musical genius in the form of George Harrison, It is truly a relief to have one less false, media friendly, under produced and overpaid novelty act out of the world of music. They have offered nothing to a rich a diverse musical world and soon enough, there will be another manufactured act to take their place. At least we shall see less of the insanely corny H!!
Ryan Dale, England


I feel it was a very cynical move to announce the split on Boxing Day.

Vicki, Scotland
As Marc Almond said in one of his songs: "You have to taste the hamburger to appreciate the steak". Steps always reminded me what good music was not about. I think a new music category called Pretty Dancing Mimers should be introduced so that bands like Steps (S-Club 7, Blue, A1, Westlife etc.) could all be shoved into it and the pop charts could once again be filled by talented musicians who are capable of performing live. I guess I should just dream on.
Terra, England

Lets hope that they reform one day. I shall miss them
John Donegab, London

As most of their recent "hits" have been reworkings of previously successful hits by other artists (they are not alone in this phenomena) one wonders how they could accept the accolades which have been earned by plagiarism rather than innovation. The only good thing is that my daughter and I have been appreciating the same songs, if different versions....
Andy Shaw, UK

Check out real artist like Angie Stone, Jill Scott, Musiq Soulchild etc.You need proper music in your lives not the crap churned out by steps who thought aerobics was actually dancing!!!
David, UK

I feel it was a very cynical move to announce the split on Boxing Day. Many people will have bought albums, videos, concert tickets etc etc etc for Xmas presents, and then they announce they are splitting up! They knew it would be a financial disaster to make the announcement before Xmas, so waited till the money had rolled in. Announcing it just one day after Xmas simply confirms they had made the decision beforehand and simply held off till the time was right. In their words - they have "gone out on top"!
vicki, scotland

What I great day. Their banal form of formulaic pap is of no significant loss to anyone. It's just a shame they could not take Blue, Westlife and all the others with them. Good riddance.
Victor M, UK


Everything has to end sometime, and in this case, it was Steps, but we are still going to support you in your solo projects

Emma, UK
Who is this 'H' fellow, then? Oh well, another talentless group of unoriginal copycats down the pan. Come on record companies - sign us up some fresh, new talent!
Catherine, UK

Thank God for that...mediocrity wrapped up as d-list celebrities..it's QVC & Play UK for this lot in the future..all I can say (looking ahead) is..'where's the other two from East 17 now heh?'
mad marjorie , uk


If you read this Steps then take no notice of these e-mails but instead go to the Steps site to see what all the young fans really think

Amanda Delaney, Britain
The people who have emailed in to say that they don't care about the split and that Steps were rubbish seem to be the ones who are getting most wound up about the issue. Is it too much for people to accept that there are hundreds of forms of music, and that each and every one will be to someone's taste? I didn't like Steps, but I know that if any of my favourite bands split up, I would be disappointed.
Vicki, Scotland

Right, lets get this straight, Steps, we are not being horrible about you, in fact, we are doing the right opposite, we are supporting you 100% check for yourselves on the official board. Everything has to end sometime, and in this case, it was Steps, but we are still going to support you in your solo projects! Good Luck to the future
Emma, UK (H's angel)

They have said that it was a quick decision and they didn't want to wait to tell us as they always said they wanted their fans to know as soon as it happened. If they hadn't told us and had waited the upset fans would have thought they couldn't even be bothered to tell us the truth, or all they wanted was to sell some more of their products.

There would have never really been a good time to split they were a brilliant group and will continue to be brilliant people. Any true steps fan still luvs them and always will.
jenny l, uk


To choose Boxing Day after so many presents had been purchased bearing the Steps names and image seems to be thoroughly irresponsible - Steps were denying a split in their latest book and on their website

Ginny, UK
Manufactured - yes. Mediocre tunes - yes. Covers of disco classics - yes. Catchy - very. Music for those who don't take themselves too seriously - definitely. All those who have recommended other styles of music should lighten up and realise that children need bands like Steps, they need adults they can relate to and trust. Steps betrayed them in the timing of this announcement and the lies that went before it. This is the issue not the music.
A.S, UK

Their timing couldn't have been more perfect, at least we can enter the new year with one down! Hopefully the other crap groups will follow suit ... and soon too!
Lara, UK

As a parent I think it is disgusting what the b.b.c have done, they have gone onto the steps official message board and have taken only the comments that slag steps off, if you read this steps then take no notice of these e-mails but instead go to the steps site to see what all the young fans really think.I dare you b.b.c to add this to your e-mails but I doubt if you will it will probably be edited to much to suit your opinions A parent with a very distressed young fan of 8years old,
Amanda Delaney, Britain

As a parent who has watched her daughter cry when she met STEPS in October for a book signing because she was so overwhelmed at meeting her heroes, and who never missed an opportunity to buy merchandise,see them live or on television, I cannot help feel that the timing could have been better. No-one wants to hear that their favourite band has split up, but to choose Boxing Day after so many presents had been purchased bearing the STEPS names and image seems to be thoroughly irresponsible.

As other people have pointed out, STEPS were denying a split in their latest book and on their website. It is the lying that has hurt my daughter not the fact that she has all the merchandise. It just makes me angry and sad that they can do this to the fans who have been so loyal.
Ginny, UK

What's the problem? Pete Waterman will soon have a new money making machine for all the heartbroken lovers of cheesy pop - whoever wins Pop Idol perhaps?
Nicola, Wales, U.K

I am really upset and angry about the split up, It was a bad timing for them to split up, expecially as it is still the Xmas season, but it had to be done, STEPS didn't choose that day to split up so they could get money from their merchandise either, it just happened. For those people who think that STEPS were 'just another manufactured cheesy pop group' you are wrong, STEPS stuck around for almost 5 years, and not many pop groups are around for 2 of them.
OneSweetStepsFan1SSF, UK

how could you do this? Steps do have the right to break up, we (fans) always knew that the Day that Steps depart from our lives would have to come some day, what are you at the BBC going to do next, make a profile on everybody in the country who is devorced, leave Steps alone, they still rock, more that any Band, group and especially any bbc website.
Christopher Wharton, England

THANK GOD! Now decent bands can get to the top of the charts!
hayley, uk

I think that all the steps fans who have turned against them are out of order and they aren't true fans. True fans are the ones who still support them and respect their decision.
Gill, England


I want to thank them for all these wonderful years. They were, are and will always be a big part of my life. I met lots of great people on the message boards, had lots of fun seeing Steps, buying magazines

Linzi, Holland
Thank you God!! One less group of manufactured rubbish down the drain...
Ali, UK

well what can i say....if a band like steps can make an 18 year old cry, then there has to be something wrong. I have spent the last 3 weeks coming back to earth after H noticed me at the 8th December concert at Wembley. The I hear Steps are spilting, all i can say is HOW COULD YOU. all the lies we have been hearing over the past 6 months or so, it is bad that you have to lie to your fans 'the best fans in the world' as you put it, if we are the best fans then why spilt and lie to us??? Of course I knew this day would come, but why on boxing day??? Everyone having fun and then the news STEPS ARE SPILTTING UP... not the best way to enjoy christmas.... I look forward to seeing all your solo careers and tours in the future..just remember WE LOVE STEPS WE LOVED STEPS WE WILL ALWAYS LOVE STEPS
vicky4h, uk

The people who 'slammed' steps on their website, were just shocked and i personally spoke to some who were shocked to have had their comments posted on this website in a news story- this is giving steps a bad press - hasnt anyone said things they didnt mean when they were having a bad day?! i think that youll find that all true steps fans will be supporting the band members 100% whatever they continue to do
HugeStepsfan, UK

Upset, gutted... that's how I feel now. Steps meant EVERYTHING to me. They were my world. And no I'm not 'another 5 year old' , I am 20. And yes I am a Steps fan, and damn proud of it too.

As for them announcing it on Boxing Day... they never planned this, it leaked out to the press. So don't be mad at them for that, it's not their fault. Lisa's mum Jan came on all the message boards straight away to tell us it was true, and Lisa wrote us a letter as well.

I don't think they ever lied to us. I know they've been telling us lots of times that they were not going to split up. Well, I am sure that at the time they said that, they did mean it.

I want to thank them for all these wonderful years. They were, are and will always be a big part of my life. I met lots of great people on the message boards, had lots of fun seeing Steps, buying magazines, and all I can say is THANKS STEPS.
Linzi, Holland

Well It wasn't much of a surprise now was it! They were good while they lasted with their happy pop songs but things change. Just good luck to them all and I seriously hope westlife follow suit, they seriously are getting on my wick!
M, UK


This is yet another example of bad management - at least we wont have to wait in the rain and be told to get lost any longer

"steptoclaire", UK
We are very ddisappointed about Steps splitting up. They have been the most friendliest people who had visited us for the past few years.
Akemi, Philippines

Quite frankly, they have always been terrible. I can only believe that after five years they couldnt bear another contract with Pete Waterman, and they had enough money not to inflict any more pain on the public. I sincerely hope they all retire.
Gerry Walter, UK

I'm disgusted at the way this whole debacle has been handled. I never dreamed they would do it in the manner they did - or the timing.

It was the 18th birthday present I never wanted.

Personally I think the group ought to take a look at themselves and decide what exactly they did mean when they told us "we're not splitting up".

The group themselves have been nice enough on the occassions I've met them - this is yet another example of bad management - who scheduled half an hour to sign 500 in October. At least we wont have to wait in the rain and be told to get lost any longer.
steptoclaire, UK


Steps must realise that their fan-base is of an extremely young and impressionable age, it wasn't right for them to announce their split on Boxing Day

Robyn Eastlake, UK
i think its a shame that STEPS have split my stepchildren went to the concert at wembley and really enjoyed theirselves as did my husband and myself they will be sadly missed great group great music
carol duffin, england

Thank the good forces of life they're finally gone. now we can go back to music, and not tedious business scams to fool small children year in, year out.
little miss naughty, england

Lara. So you only want your favourite music played do you?. I suppose some people only want the music they like and have everything else banned?. I dont blame Steps for splitting up. I love heavy metal and punk. But I dont deny Steps were a good band that could sing well and provided pleasure to millions. I must say the timing of the announcement was a bit off though.
Mike, UK

Steps breaking up is terribly devistating. I am a 25 year-old fan who spent tons of money on their merchandise (all on import, mind you)...and I am glad I did. Steps was the most 'fun' group to come along in ages.
Eric, USA

Steps must realise that their fan-base is of an extremely young and impressionable age, it wasn't right for them to announce their split on Boxing Day. It was inconsiderate to the fans and also their parents' hard earned money spent on unwanted Steps merchandise as Christmas presents! I feel that the announcement of their split was delayed until Boxing Day to cash-in on the merchandise that would have been bought as Christmas presents. Thjis was wrong of them to do this and I feel it was disrespectful to the fans, it took advantage of their loyalty.
Robyn Eastlake, UK

Knock Knock...
Who's there?
Steps.
Steps Who?
That's show biz.
"Noel Gallagher", UK


Vote for your favourite Steps song on CBBC Newsround OnlineStep back!
Vote for your favourite Steps song on CBBC
 VOTE RESULTS
Steps breaking up - what do you think?

Tragedy!
 83.15% 

Trivial
 16.85% 

178 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

See also:

27 Dec 01 | Music
Stepping up to stardom
27 Dec 01 | Music
Steps fans slam group
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