Honeyz

Honeyz were a British-based R&B girl group formed in 1997.


History


Early years

The lineup was initially made up of Heavenli Abdi, Naima Belkhiati, and C?Šlena Cherry. Their debut single, "Finally Found", was released in 1998 and peaked at number 4 in the UK Singles Chart, which remained their biggest hit.


They were also nominated for the BRIT Awards in the categories Best Newcomer and Best R&B Act.


Cover of "End of the Line"

"Finally Found", released in August 1998, went on to sell more than half a million copies. The follow-up, "End of the Line", notched up similar sales figures, peaking at number 5. Their debut album Wonder No. 8 went gold in the UK with sales of over 200,000 copies.


Aside from their success in the United Kingdom, they performed with a full orchestra in the Netherlands, to 8,000 people at Childline in Dublin, duetted with Lionel Richie in Italy, and saw their first single, "Finally Found", go double platinum in Australia. In the United States, they signed to Def Jam/Island, providing backing vocals to a Foxy Brown track and also worked with producer Stevie J.


Departure of Roberts and the arrival of Goodman

During their second promotional trip to Australia in March 1999, Belkhiati and Cherry heard that Abdi had decided to quit the group for personal reasons, including spending more time with her boyfriend, Matthew Marsden.


The gap left by Abdi's departure opened an opportunity for former Solid HarmoniE vocalist Mariama Goodman. Her arrival was announced exclusively on BBC One's Live & Kicking on 10 April 1999, in time for the release of the group's third single, "Love of a Lifetime", which reached number 9 later that month. The new lineup performed over the summer of 1999, at venues including London's Mardi Gras and Capital Radio's Party in the Park concert in Hyde Park in July. At the radio event, performed in front of 100,000 people, Honeyz sang their hits "Finally Found" and "End Of The Line", before duetting with Another Level on the Help A London Child single "Holding Back The Years". This was followed later in the month by a performance at the Wicked Women concert in Hyde Park, in aid of Breast Cancer Research. In September, Honeyz supported Five at London's Brixton Academy and Manchester Apollo, in events organised in conjunction with Cadburys and MTV.


Cover of "Never Let You Down"

October 1999 saw the release of their fourth single, "Never Let You Down", a track recorded for inclusion on a re-packaged version of Wonder No. 8, and the first single to feature the vocals of Goodman. The single entered into the UK Singles Chart at number 7, making it their fourth consecutive Top 10 hit.


Honeyz performed another newly recorded album track, "Won't Take It Lying Down", at the MOBO Awards, held on 6 October 1999 in the Royal Albert Hall, where they had two nominations in the 'Best Newcomer' and 'Best R&B Act' categories. "Won't Take It Lying Down" went on to be released at the end of February 2000, reaching number 7. It became the last Top 10 single that Honeyz achieved.


At the 2000 Maxim awards, they picked up the award for the Best British Girl Band, beating The Spice Girls, Hepburn, Thunderbugs and Eternal to the title.


Departure of Goodman and the return of Roberts

By the summer of 2000, a new song had been recorded, which was confirmed as not only the first single to be taken from a planned forthcoming new album, but also a chosen single from the Nutty Professor II: The Klumps original soundtrack, with the Honeyz featuring on the UK version alongside Sisq?? and Janet Jackson. The single, "Not Even Gonna Trip", was initially scheduled for release in September 2000.


It was during the run-up to the single release, in August, that Goodman announced her departure from the Honeyz. Former member Abdi rejoined and her vocals were added to "Not Even Gonna Trip". The revised lineup was announced on ITV's SMTV/CD:UK, on 19 August 2000, along with a performance of "Finally Found". It was also the song sung on the first performance by a band on CD:UK on its launch almost two years earlier.


Cover of "Talk to the Hand"

"Not Even Gonna Trip" peaked at Number 24 in October 2000. Their next single, "I Don't Know", was released in August 2001 and reached number 28.


They were to release another single, "Talk to the Hand", in late 2001. A video was filmed, however Mercury Records made the decision to drop the group, and plans for the release of the group's second album, Harmony, were shelved; following this and a departure from their management company First Avenue Records the group decided to go their separate ways in 2002.


Brief reunion and disbandment

2005 saw the band reform. In January 2005, Honeyz contributed to an Asian tsunami relief charity single, "Grief Never Grows Old", collaborating with Boy George and Cliff Richard. The same year they appeared on the ITV singing contest Hit Me Baby One More Time, performing their debut single "Finally Found" and a cover of Nickelback's hit "How You Remind Me". This was the last performance with founding member Belkhiati who left the band shortly after; her placement was temporarily filled by Cherry's cousin Candace Cherry, formerly a member of Girl Band Kleshay.


In August 2006 Roberts left the band due to pregnancy and was replaced, again, by Goodman, who filled in for Roberts for the remainder of their committed shows. The group then permanently disbanded at the end of 2006.


Solo material

In June 2003 Cherry released a single with her cousin Alani (also a former member of Kleshay) under the name Anotherside through V2 Records. The song, "This Is Your Night", reached Number 41 in the UK Chart and their brief partnership came to a close.


In 2005 C?Šlena Cherry released a self-titled solo album available through her website. It included three Honeyz hits (re-arranged and re-recorded), three Christmas songs and four new songs. According to Cherry's website, Honeyz were recording a new album as a group at that time, following her acting appearances on the soaps Hollyoaks and Doctors.


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Original Wikipedia article: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Honeyz