British R&B girl group Mis-Teeq enjoyed breakthrough success with their debut single “Why,” which became a Top 10 hit in the U.K. Their debut album, “Lickin' on Both Sides” (2001), rose to No. 3 in the U.K. and went double platinum. It produced four additional U.K Top 10 hit singles with “All I Want” (#2), “One Night Stand” (#5), “B with Me” (#5) and “Roll On/This Is How We Do It” (#7). Their second album, “Eye Candy,” was released in 2003 but only went gold in the U.K. The album spawned the group's most successful single, “Scandalous” (2003), which became a major hit in the U.K., Australia and other European countries. The song was also included in the group's eponymous U.S. album (2004). The song and album went to No. 35 and No. 125 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Billboard 200, respectively. Although successful, the group disbanded in early 2005.
Formed in 1999, Mis-Teeq was originally comprised of Alesha Dixon, Su-Elise Nash, Sabrina Washington and Zena McNally. However, McNally left the group shortly after the release of “Why.”
Since breaking up, the three remaining members have pursued their solo careers. Alesha has released three studio albums, while Sabrina released her debut single “OMG (Oh My Gosh)” in 2010.
Quartet to Trio
Childhood and Family:
Alesha Dixon and Sabrina Washington met in 1999 when they joined a popular dance school in Fulham, West London, called Dance Attic. They soon became a duo and later spotted Su-Elise Nash while she was auditioning for another group. They eventually formed a trio and signed to Sub Pop by Pat Travers, who signed them to Telstar Records with the addition of a new member, Zena McNally. McNally left the group in 2001 after the release of “Why” with plans to pursue a solo career.
Lickin' on Both Sides
Mis-Teeq launched their debut single, “Why,” on April 30, 2001, through Telstar Records. The single was originally an R&B version but with help from Matt “Jam” Lamont, a remix was made and soon became a smash hit on the underground U.K. garage scene and a radio hit. “Why” gave the group their first Top 10 hit on the U.K. Singles chart when it peaked at No. 8. The song was also featured on the soundtrack for Nick Love's 2001 film “Goodbye Charlie Bright.” Despite their early success, McNally decided to quit the group in spring 2001.
The remaining three women released the single “All I Want” in June 2001. The song surpassed the success of their debut single and became a Top 2 hit in the U.K. It also charted at No. 31 on the Australian Singles Chart, No. 23 on the Belgium Singles Chart and No. 82 on the Swiss Singles Chart.
Mis-Teeq's first studio album, “Lickin' on Both Sides,” was released on October 27, 2001. Produced primarily by Norwegian duo Stargate (additional production by Jensen & Larsson and Synth among others), it was a chart success in the U.K. The album was eventually certified double platinum by BPI. “Lickin' on Both Sides,” however, failed to chart or sell strongly outside the U.K.
It was not until Mis-Teeq launched their third single, “One Night Stand,” that the group finally enjoyed immediate international success. Released in the U.K. on October 15, 2001, the Stargate produced song peaked at No. 5 on the U.K. Singles Chart. It also charted well in Australia (#17), New Zealand (#16), Norway (#14), Denmark (as #17), Switzerland (#24) and Ireland (#28).
Released in 2002, the single “B with Me” peaked at No. 5 in the U.K. and No. 19 in Australia. It was co-written by the trio and Mushtaq. It was followed by “Roll On” and the Montell Jordan cover “This Is How We Do It,” which became the final release from their album. The contemporary R&B song rose to No. 7 on the U.K. Singles Chart, No. 25 in New Zealand and No. 42 in Australia “This Is How We Do It” was used on the soundtrack for the 2002 British comedy “Ali G Indahouse,” which was directed by Mark Mylod and starred Sacha Baron Cohen.
After a short break, Mis-Teeq resurfaced with the album “Eye Candy,” which was released on March 29, 2003. The album debuted at No. 6 on the U.K. Albums Chart and eventually went gold. It also charted at No. 40 in New Zealand, No. 77 in Switzerland and No. 95 in France.
“Eye Candy” produced the popular single “Scandalous,” produced by Stargate and written by the trio with Tor Erik Hermansen, Mikkel Eriksen and Rustan Hallgeir. Released in the U.K. on March 17, 2003, the song peaked at No. 2 on the U.K. Singles Chart and enjoyed success in Australia (#9), where it was certified gold by ARIA, Ireland (#3), Denmark (#9) and Greece (#11). The song was chosen as the group's first single for the United States and featured as the theme of the Halle Berry film “Catwoman” (2004).
The second single, “Can't Get It Back,” followed on June 30, 2003. Produced and co-written by Salaam Remi, the song charted at No. 8 in the U.K., No. 14 in Ireland and No. 48 in Belgium. The third and final single, “Style,” was released on November 17, 2003. It peaked at No. 13 on the U.K. Singles Chart.
On July 13, 2004, the group released the album “Mis-Teeq” in the U.S. and Canada under Reprise Records. Containing a selection of songs from their two previous albums, in addition to new remixes, the album rose to No. 125 on the Billboard 200 and No. 81 on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. Released in the U.S. on June 29, 2004, “Scandalous” rose to No. 35 on the Billboard Hot 100. “Mis-Teeq” brought the group a Soul Train Lady Of Soul nomination in the category of Best R&B/Soul Album- Group, Band or Duo.
After the group's record label Telstar Records went bankrupt in 2004, Mis-Teeq announced their split-up in January 2005. Three months later, they released a greatest hits compilation album titled “Mis-Teeq: Greatest Hits” on Universal Records. It peaked at No. 28 on the U.K. Album Charts and contained a cover of The Andrews Sisters song “Shoo Shoo Baby,” which the group recorded for the soundtrack to the Disney film “Valiant” (2002).
Members of Mis-Teeq have pursued a solo career since the group's separation. Signed to Polydor Records, Alesha Dixon began working on her debut solo album, “Fired Up,” in 2006, but after poor record sales of her first two singles, “Lipsticks” and “Knockdown,” she was dropped from Polydor. The album was eventually released in Japan on February 20, 2008. Her second studio album, “The Alesha Show,” was released in the U.K. on November 24, 2008, with Asylum Records. Thanks to hit singles like “The Boy Does Nothing,” “Breathe Slow,” “Let's Get Excited” and “To Love Again,” the album went platinum in the U.K. Her third album, “The Entertainer,” followed on November 28, 2010. Meanwhile, Alesha won the British talent show “Strictly Come Dancing” in 2007 and went on to become a judge on the show in 2009.
In September 2008, during an interview at the MOBO Awards, Su-Elise Nash confirmed she was working on her solo debut album, “Long Way Around.” It was set to be released in 2010. She has also appeared in several television shows, including “Britain's Next Urban Superstar,” “I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here Now,” “Never Mind the Buzzcocks” and “Freshly Squeezed.”
Sabrina Washington became a contestant on “I'm a Celebrity, Get Me out of Here” in 2009. Her debut single, “OMG (Oh My Gosh),” was released on April 5, 2010. Although it was not very successful in the U.K., the song was a success in Poland.
Mis-Teeq is scheduled to be reunited for a tour in 2011.
Train Lady Of Soul: R&B/Soul Album Of The Year, “Mis-Teeq,” 2005