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It's the Year of Music Comebacks But Is It Always Sweeter Second Time Around?

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If there was one week for making comebacks, then this was it. American superstar Beyonce took to her website to announce the return of R&B group Destiny's Child after eight years apart. Justin Timberlake teased fans on Twitter about new material and uploaded a video to his website prompting his musical return. Rock legend David Bowie surprised fans with a new track and details of a new album - the first in nearly a decade. Then there was the highly anticipated return of nineties and noughties British pop bands, 911, Atomic Kitten, 5ive, Honeyz and Liberty X for a new ITV2 reality show, The Big Reunion. We're not even half way through January and already 2013 is set to be the year of music comebacks.

In the music industry, 'out with the old, in with the new' is used as often as Diddy changes his name and the Sugababes change band members. It's the survival of the fittest, where sometimes luck and success are thrown in for good measure. At the height of their career, artists are catapulted into the limelight with TV appearances, signings and tours but it's always a struggle to remain at the top when crowds stop chanting your name and your music fails to shift enough copies. As groups split up or get dropped by record labels, over time, some prepare to make a comeback but only a handful manage to do so successfully.

Tina Barrett was part of the nineties pop group S Club 7, the group which shot to fame claiming four number one singles, a number one album and their own TV show. Despite gaining worldwide success, they were later faced with a drugs scandal and a drop-out band member, which led to their split in 2003. While three members reformed to make S Club 3, Tina kept a low profile developing her song-writing in America. Speaking to her in 2010, she said: "After I left S Club I was totally overwhelmed by the whole experience. It was five years non-stop of touring and performing. I took a bit of a slower pace." Tina, 36, used her time in America to work with different producers and is now preparing a comeback. "I feel really amazed with all the support of my fans," she said. "They're still out there and interested and I am eternally grateful for that."

While it is proof that some are lucky to have their fans, not everyone can regain success by the flick of a switch. A prime example is Upper Street, who formed in 2006 on MTV's reality show, Totally Boyband. The group was made up of former pop sensations Dane Bowers (Another Level), Danny Woods (New Kids On The Block), Bradley McIntosh (S Club 7), Jimmy Constable (911) and Lee Latchford-Evans (Steps) who was later sacked from the band. Sadly, Upper Street was short lived after their d├ębut single charted at number 35.

For others, normality is a safer place than the harsh reality of the music industry. Su-Elise Nash started out in 1999 as part of R&B garage group Mis-Teeq alongside Sabrina Washington, Alesha Dixon and Zena McNally, who left shortly after their first hit. The band had measurable success with a series of chart-topping hit singles but split in 2005. Soon after, Su-Elise returned to university to gain teaching qualifications and two years later opened the Su-Elise Stage School; her own performing arts academy. "To be honest, I don't miss it", she said two years ago. "I had a fantastic time and I really loved it but I feel like this is something I was always meant to do. I went back to a childhood dream."

But this week, the three members hinted at a reunion. Sabrina tweeted: "Ladies I think it might just be that time....Lovely talking to @Su_Elise...Brings back memories..." Alesha and Su-Elise both replied, agreeing with the idea of a reunion, and has since left fans speculating.

Granted, not all of these comebacks will be successful but that's how the music industry works. At the best of times it's trial and error; it's about enjoying the fame, high-life and publicity while you can because it's a struggle to climb back to the top after the love has gone.

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