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In May 2001, a new band named Blue released their debut single.

Three No.1 albums, three No.1 singles, two BRIT Awards, over 7 million albums and 4 million singles later, Blue are now officially one of the biggest pop acts not only in the UK, but across the world.

Comprising of London based lads Duncan James (26), Anthony Costa (22), Lee Ryan (21) and Simon Webbe (26), Blue released their first single in May 2001, the anthemic "All Rise", which entered the UK chart at No. 4 and stayed in the Top 10 for five weeks. The next two singles "Too Close" and "If You Come Back" went on to be even bigger hits, both crashing into the chart at No.1 and selling in excess of 200,000 copies each.

The boys followed this massive success with their eagerly anticipated debut album "All Rise", which has now sold over 1.5 million copies in the UK alone, reaching No.1 in the album charts after a phenomenal 23 weeks.

Numerous awards followed including "Best Newcomer" at the BRIT Awards 2002, "Best Newcomer" at the Smash Hits Awards, and "Best Single", "Best Newcomer" and "Best Pop Act" at the Capital FM Awards.

In March 2002 the boys hit the Top 10 with the fourth single from the "All Rise" album, "Fly By II". Reworked and remixed, the track proved to be a massive airplay hit, reaching No.1 in the official airplay chart, and is today still a firm favourite with radio programmers across the country.

After spending the summer touring the globe, November 2002 saw Blue unleash their second album "One Love", a confident collection of classic r'n'b/pop tracks featuring some of the best songwriters and producers around. The album entered the UK album charts at No.1, and has to date sold more than 1.3million copies in the UK, and an amazing 2.7million copies worldwide.

The lead single from the album, title track "One Love", shot straight into the UK Top 3 and provided Blue with their second consecutive No.1 airplay hit. This was quickly followed by another single, a duet with international superstar Elton John on a poignant cover of his 1976 hit 'Sorry Seems To Be The Hardest Word'. Released in December 2002 the track entered the chart at No.1, providing Blue with their third UK chart topper.

Following the "One Love" album release Simon, Antony, Lee and Duncan embarked on their first ever tour - a mammoth Arena tour of the UK and Ireland, taking in Sheffield, Cardiff, Birmingham, Newcastle, Glasgow, Manchester and London's Wembley Arena. The spectacular tour was a sell-out success, with the guys earning rave reviews wherever they played across the country.

Blue ended 2002 on a massive high by picking up another batch of awards including "Best Pop Act" at the TOTP Awards 2002, and "Best UK Band" and "Best Live Act" at the Smash Hits Awards 2002. The boys were also named "Best Band" in the Heat Magazine, Hot Stars Magazine and Daily Star's 'End Of Year' polls.

February 2003 saw the boys steal the show at the 2003 BRIT Awards with an amazing performance of album track "Riders. The band also walked away with another prestigious award, this time for "Best Pop Act". The third single from the "One Love" album, "U Make Me Wanna", followed soon after. Hitting the UK Top 5 in its first week of release, the single featured a gorgeous promo video, shot on a yacht in South Africa, that soon found itself on heavy rotation across all music channels.

Yet more awards followed both at home and abroad as Blue picked up Capital Radio's "Favourite Group", MTV Japan's "Best Pop Video" for "One Love" and MTV Asia's "Best International Group". In addition, Blue's success has not limited UK soil. To date the band have scored big hits and major sales in New Zealand, Australia, Belgium, Sweden, Norway, Demark, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand and Ireland.

After a summer spent recording, touring Europe and the Far East and appearing at festivals up and down the UK, the boys from Blue returned in October 2003 with a brand new single "Guilty". The track, an emotive and heartfelt ballad written by Duncan with production team, True North, stormed into the UK singles chart at No.2 and quickly became another massive airplay hit for the band.

Blue's highly anticipated third album "Guilty" followed the single's release in November and instantly hit the No.1 spot in the UK charts. In support of the album another massive Arena tour took place in November and December at sell out venues across the UK and Ireland.

The end of 2003 also saw the Blue boys pick up another batch of awards in the "End of Year" polls including "Best Pop Band" in The Sun's reader's poll, and Best Band in the Heat Magazine, Hot Stars Magazine, Star Magazine and Daily Star reader polls.

February 2004 saw Blue take the hugely successful "Guilty" tour to Japan for a string of sell out dates. The band has had huge success in Asia, resulting in them winning MTV Japan's 'Best Pop Video' for 'One Love' and MTV Asia's 'Best International Group' in 2003.

A further three Top 10 singles followed from the Guilty album. In December 2003 the boys teamed up with Motown legend Stevie Wonder and soul diva Angie Stone to record a new version of Stevie's 1970 hit "Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours". The boys flew to LA to record the track with Stevie and Angie and filmed a stylish video on the rooftops of the city with the pair at the same time.
The Top 5 hit single "Breathe Easy" was released in March 2004, a beautiful, haunting ballad, written by Lee with production team DEEKAY. The track proved to be a firm favourite with Blue fans on the "Guilty" tour, with the video for the single filmed in Prague and co-directed by Lee alongside respected video director Cameron Casey.

"Breathe Easy" also proved to be another big international hit single. The track has so far reached Top 10 in many territories, with a specially recorded Italian language version of the track reaching the No.1 spot in Italy.

"Bubblin'" quickly followed "Breathe Easy" into the UK Top 10 in June 2004. Written by the band's Antony with DEEKAY, "Bubblin'" was a return to smooth r&b for the famous foursome. Remixed and reworked by the band's very own Simon Webbe, the single featured a rap from new act "L.A.D.E", an r&b girl group managed by Simon's company Love 4 Music.

The summer of 2004 saw Blue take to the stage at venues around the country for a series of live gigs, as well as going back into the studio to write and record new material.

Now 15 November 2004 sees Duncan, Lee, Antony and Simon, release their highly anticipated greatest hits album "Best Of Blue". This collection of 15 amazing tracks featuring the trademark Blue sound underlines the fact that the band are at the peak of their craft – writing and performing exceptional pop songs for anyone and everyone who likes first class music.

The album is preceded by a sensational brand new Blue single, "Curtain Falls", released on 8 November. Written by the band with prolific hit makers Stargate, the track is built around a sample from Stevie Wonder's legendary song "Pastime Paradise" and features one of Blue's strongest vocal performances to date. An infectious chorus sits over a groove laden with head nod appeal, creating an unmistakably classic "Blue" track.

Blue have to date achieved phenomenal sale figures not only in the UK, but all across the globe, with an amazing forty No.1 singles worldwide. The "Best Of Blue" album is testament to the band's talent, passion and commitment.

With another spectacular UK arena tour lined up for March and April 2005, you can be assured that this is only the end of 'Chapter One' in the amazing Blue story.

Biography courtesy of

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