I’m currently planning to do a Whatever Happened To… post about a selection of solo singers, but when @natalie7891 on Twitter suggested Abs from Five as one of the pop stars I should investigate, it got me wondering what had happened to all the members of Five. Considering they were one of the biggest boybands of their time, it’s quite strange that not a single one of them remains in the spotlight 10 years later. So where have they all gone?
A few years ago all of them except for Sean announced that they were planning a self-funded comeback album, appeared on Popworld and even did a photoshoot to promote the announcement, but the project was abandoned a few months later upon realising that they each had a very different idea of how their comeback album should sound. It was a sad ending for a band that most pop fans remember very fondly. Here’s my favourite Five song and video, a track called Closer To Me which was actually their final single. There’s something about it which always makes me feel a bit emotional, even though I was never a huge Five fan (I didn’t even have any of their albums). Also look out for an appearance from a very familiar face in the background at 2 mins in!
Now that’s got us all nostalgic, let’s find out what each of the lads has been up to since their fame faded.
Abs Breen – You would never have guessed that Abs would have been the one member of Five to have a solo career, but that’s what happened, and he actually had some really good songs thanks to having Xenomania on his side. I loved Miss Perfect and the surprisingly beautiful 7 Ways. Since then he has changed his name to Abz Love and has made a few TV appearances, including a 5 day stint on Celebrity Love Island and a regular feature on Soccer AM where he gave out the ‘Abs Five Award’. Fans of fake Jamaican accents will be pleased to hear that Abz’s has only gotten stronger since his boyband days.
J Brown – J went AWOL for many years after the break-up of Five, and pictures even surfaced of him with dreadlocks. He became involved in politics and attended protests against the UK’s involvement in wars in the Middle East. However, in 2007 he returned to the public eye to take part in I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, and it turned out he’d aged quite well. He ended up coming 3rd in the competition, but despite clearly being liked by the public he didn’t get much work out of it. He has now moved to Wales and is apparently writing songs for other artists, but I’ve yet to see his name on any album sleeves.
Ritchie Neville – Ritchie has been the band’s king of reality shows since Five ended, having appeared on series such as The Farm and Cirque De Celebrite. On the latter show he met an Aussie model named Emily Scott, who he married but split from 4 months later, even though he had moved to Australia to live with her. It didn’t end well either, with Emily taking Ritchie to court over allegations of assault. Since their divorce Ritchie has stayed in Sydney and tried to launch a career as an actor. He’s also been making electro-pop-rock music under the name Ragz To Riches, which you can hear some samples of on his MySpace. He’s on Twitter as @RagzToRiches.
Scott Robinson – Scott is the one member of Five who still goes around performing the band’s songs. He even appeared at my sister’s uni freshers ball in 2009! Here he is performing Got The Feelin’ in Stevenage the same year. He made his obligatory reality TV appearance on 2008’s Celebrity Scissorhands, raising money for Children In Need, and toured the UK as part of the cast of the musical Boogie Nights 2 alongside grannies’ fave David Essex. One very interesting fact about Scott is that, despite claiming to be single throughout his days in Five, he was actually in a serious relationship with a girl called Kerry the whole time and they got married as soon as the group split up – the very next day in fact! He now runs his own management company called Killer Management and can be found on Twitter under the unmistakeable pseudonym, @scottfromfive.
Sean Conlon – Sean was the first to leave Five, leading to his famous appearance as a cardboard cut-out in the Let’s Dance video. Ritchie later revealed that their management kept his departure a secret from the rest of the group, so they believed he was only absent from the video shoot because he had glandular fever! Sean has been as quiet since he left the band as he was when he was a member. He was apparently signed to Sony (possibly as a songwriter rather than an artist) for some time, but this clearly never led to anything. He’s also been spotted performing in London bars with a keyboard. Here’s a video of one such performance from 2008, and you can check out his MySpace which he still logs on to regularly.