Also, it's still such a scream that this exists

Whenever I think of 4.0 it's one of the first things I think of ddd, the way the whole thing was handled was just a complete mess

To this day I’ll never understand the pitch behind this. So they were making her a basic word doc to say happy birthday and show off the “power” of the laptop??!

There’s being frugal then there being tight. Buy me a card you swines!


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Yeah... I do think it's best to focus any resentment on behind the scenes management rather than the band members themselves, that documentary @bonnieetclyde has pulled together really cleanly illustrates how little input and control they had in both the 3.0 and 4.0 iterations of the Sweet 7 promotional cycle. Keisha put a brave face on it, but she was very blunt about the way the album had been put together and that the selling point was it being a party album made by big names in the Roc Nation orbit.
It still baffles me that their management didn't just get them all together and say "Look, let's get this single out, release the album and then call it a day.". The idea that they didn't foresee the backlash to reforming the group without the last original member is laughable. It also put Heidi and Amelle in such a horrific position where they had to essentially face the lions and defend themselves against the indefensible, all the while trying to bond with someone entirely new who also now had to justify their own position. Heidi Amelle Jade became a laughing stock overnight and any goodwill evaporated instantly.

I remember a video where Heidi and Jade were visiting a school where they were meant to be performing but couldn't because Amelle had gone off with stress due to the line-up change and the hate they were receiving. Heidi just starts crying in front of all these kids as she's apologising that they can't perform that day and it was just so awful to watch. They didn't deserve that. They were just left to fend for themselves and I can't imagine what that was like.

I think management were basically in crisis mode trying to save an album which they had an obligation to deliver for the label. That coupled with any commitments in terms of performances, public appearances and sponsorships (like the Windows one) which could have been agreed a long time in advance. At the time, as a Jade Ewen fan, I kind of went along with it but in retrospect it was a poor decision for them to keep going. It definitely tarnished the group's legacy but I think the current line-up are doing a great job of turning that around.

Also I think that this is the video you're referring to:
To their credit, Crown gave Sugababes a lot of business opportunities to the very end. Their downfall was that they wanted to turn the group entirely into a business venture, when it had started exclusively as a creative one. Crown really wanted the Sugababes brand to survive beyond any individual member, because it was their main cash cow. Unfortunately for them, it didn't work out.

I think the girls' current managers are much better at handling the business side without turning it into the main focus of the group. Honestly, I keep thinking about everything that's happened in the past couple of years, and I can't help but sing praise for Matt & Whitney. What a team.
I really wouldnt be surprised if it was Crown who wanted Amelle to leave and go solo after Tinchy's song and also to get Mutya back since 2.0 were the most successful lineup. I could see someone telling Keisha to persuade Mutya to return while Amelle was going through some troubles but when they realized Heidi said no because she wanted Amelle to stay they probably told them Keisha tries to push Amelle out of the band behind their backs which made them leave the band and that made Crown siding with Heidi and Amelle.

Probably somewhere in the middle of this they quickly recruited Jade because they knew someone would leave anyway.

Either way what happened, happened. We're almost 15 years after all that and they're also all in better place now. The future looks bright.
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Those 4.0 interviews are so uncomfortable to watch, it doesn't look like any of them believe most of what they're saying. Everything at that point felt so inauthentic and while I'm glad I continued to support them at the time, I can't pretend that I don't feel differently looking back at it all.

Completely agree, I felt a bit depressed watching it all back because at the time I really wanted to carry on supporting them but it felt so forced, like they were flogging a dead horse and unsure about everything. I felt sorry for them but looking back as I appreciate they were just carrying on with a job, but as a fan I didn't recognise anything remotely 'Sugababes' about them post-Keisha. Music, style, behaviours etc. Amelle always sounded so flustered in interviews like it was her first day at work and had never spoken on camera before, Heidi looked shattered and ready to give up and Jade did her best to smile and feel part of the furniture. By the time Freedom came round I actually thought they all looked and sounded great but it was pretty much over!

Absolutely loved the entire Sugababes series @bonnieetclyde - thank you!
Don't take this as gospel, but my recollection and understanding from that time was that Amelle was being pushed as the focus, and then in the assumption that during the window that Amelle was leaving, Keisha formally offered the suggestion to Crown that Mutya could return. Mutya was shockingly willing, however Crown was reticent, and Heidi was adamantly against it. Keisha was very liberal with her online presence during the time, and posted and messaged many things that perhaps went against media training (like listing Sweet 7 low on her ordered list of favorite Sugababes records as she was promoting it). Keisha seemed convinced that Amelle's departure really could allow Mutya to return despite Heidi's protest, and messaged a few fans that it was going to happen.

No wonder Heidi and Amelle left because its not nice knowing your bandmate is going behind your back DM'ing fans for Mutyas return.
The thing we have to remember is, not only was it clear that Crown had Amelle ready and waiting for when Mutya left. but also they did the whole fake auditions thing for Siobhan's replacement when they had already decided on Heidi in order to fool Keisha and Mutya into thinking they had input.

There was a pretty long period where it felt like Amelle had one foot out the door before the lineup change finally happened. I don't think its unreasonable that Keisha wanted to influence who would replace her, and with that prior history of being played by management, it must have been clear she needed to act quickly and strongly if she was going to succeed in doing so.

As with pretty much every negative part of Sugababes history, its rooted in management treating the girls like shit.
Heidi hadn't spoken to Mutya since she'd left, had she? There was that rumour that Mutya had come to see them backstage at CD:UK or something of the like and Heidi didn't want to speak to her because of how things had ended.
Also Heidi mentioned on a few interviews that her and Mutya had no relationship after she left the group, something along the lines of Mutya not directly telling her she was leaving (and never called her after) which hurt her as they were really close around the Taller era. With that unresolved tension, I guess the prospect of her returning wasn't welcomed by Heidi (who was close with Amelle)