This weekend, national treasure Cheryl celebrates her 35th birthday and whilst we patiently wait to see if she’ll have new music coming soon, we thought what a great excuse to look back at her solo career and choose our favourite hits.
The year is 2002 and Cheryl Tweedy, as she was then known, made it to the final five on TV talent show Popstars: The Rivals and joined a brand new girl band called Girls Aloud. Alongside Nadine, Sarah, Nicola and Kimberley, Cheryl launched her pop career, with Girls Aloud easily beating boyband One True Voice to the number 1 spot with their debut single Sound Of The Underground. They followed up with a string of hits, gaining a whopping 22 top 40 hits, tours, awards and an endorsement from Artic Monkeys who covered Love Machine on Radio 1’s Live Lounge. They were the girl band it was ok to love whatever your musical taste.
In 2008, the girls made a TV show called Passions of Girls Aloud in which each girl took on a challenge that was unique to them. Cheryl wanted to learn street dance and ultimately auditioned for Will.i.am’s music video for his single Heartbreaker. It ended up that Will.i.am invited Cheryl not only to appear in the video, but also to guest vocal the track which peaked at no.4 in the UK. Shortly after this Cheryl also signed on to be a judge on X Factor UK and that’s when her solo career really took off.
In 2009, she gave a huge performance on X Factor of her debut solo single Fight For This Love which topped the charts and went on to sell over a million copies in the UK. Four solo albums later and she’s now had 10 top 40 UK hits including 5 solo no.1s. She is second only to Jess Glynne as the British Female solo artist with the most UK no.1 singles (versus Jess’ 7).
We’ve picked our top 5 Cheryl hits and there might be a few surprises in there. Let us know if you agree on our social media channels.
1. 3 Words ft Will.i.am
Despite its huge success, Fight for this Love, for us, was bettered by follow single and title track of Cheryl’s debut album 3 Words. Featuring Will.i.am this trippy, dance duet and the accompanying video showed a stylish and sensuous Cheryl oozing coolness. It was leftfield and unexpected following the pure pop of Fight for this Love.
2. Call My Name
We’re in banger territory now as Cheryl enlists Calvin Harris to write and produce Call My Name which topped the charts in 2012. With more than a dabble of 90s house influence, it drew to comparison to Calvin’s work at the time with Rihanna on We Found Love. Not bad company to be in at all.
3. I Don’t Care
Cheryl’s most recent no.1 record was the second single, I Don’t Care, from the album Only Human and followed the no.1 Crazy Stupid Love. The only time she’s had two no.1 hits in a row. In this song she’s flicking the finger to the haters and you can’t help but smile along with her.
4. Under the Sun
This track followed Call My Name and is a laid back summery single about how guys will tell you anything to get with you. It’s just not true is it? I love what you’ve done with your hair by the way.. Not Cheryl’s biggest hit but we fell in love with it after seeing a cover by The Struts (yes that is Jade Thirwall’s boyf Jed’s band) and it totally made us fall in love with the song. Here’s their version too.
Following her split with Ashley Cole, Cheryl got tongues wagging in the video for third single Parachute as her and dancer Derek Hough looked very cosy. Years later, Derek confirmed that they had dated for a short while. The song reached no.5 in the UK giving Cheryl three top 5 hits from her debut solo album – not too shabby at all!