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Last Updated: Friday, 14 January, 2005, 12:24 GMT
Busted: Pop stars with an edge
By Ian Youngs
BBC News entertainment reporter

Punk-pop trio Busted have ended speculation about their future by confirming they are splitting up.

In a world where every band is neatly pigeonholed into a musical style based on what they sound like and who listens, Busted were a bit of a conundrum.

They were a pop band who were cover stars of teen magazines, and heart-throbs for a pre-pubescent audience.

Busted have been one of the year's most successful pop bands
But they were also a rock band who played their own instruments, wrote their own songs and had a distinctly punky edge.

At a time when music fans were getting fed up with manufactured pop, Busted came along with enough attitude to be cool and enough musicianship to be credible.

And at a time when rock was appealing more and more to "the kids", Busted softened it just enough to make it appeal to the mass youth market.

Although they will be remembered as a teen band, they were the first to profit from the backlash against all things manufactured and formulaic.

'Pop band'

"To call us a boy band is seriously underrating us," guitarist James Bourne, 21, told BBC News Online in 2003.

"We're not a serious rock band - we're a pop band, but we're not a boy band."

Charlie from Busted
Busted cultivate an image as rockers as well as pop stars
James was joined in the line-up by bassist Matt Jay, also 21, and guitarist/singer Charlie Simpson, 19.

The official story is that Busted were born when Jay's karaoke rendition of Oasis' Don't Look Back In Anger led him to a music manager, who suggested he should work with Bourne.

The pair had both been in different teenage rock bands and had already crossed paths at auditions and gigs, and placed an advert in rock bible NME for a third member.

Simpson, then 16, was a drummer at the time - but the other two members picked him to join them and he soon became the singer.

But the official biography does not mention that Jay and Bourne were in a band called Buster with two others, and they only placed the NME advert after those members left.

Hit singles

But things really started happening when they became a trio.

After signing with major label Universal at the start of 2002, their debut single, What I Go To School For, went to number three in September that year.

Since then, they have had four more hits, including two number ones - You Said No in May 2003 and Crashed The Wedding that November.

Their two albums have now sold about one million copies each in the UK.

How Busted rocked the pop scene
14 Jan 05 |  Entertainment
Boy band Busted decide to split
14 Jan 05 |  Entertainment


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