The Sugababes Shuffle: Maybe They Should Just Rename Themselves Altogether?

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Following rumors that Amelle Berrabah had left the group surfacing on Friday, UK pop trio the Sugababes have released a statement about just where they’re headed, and, well, it’s sort of what was reported last week, but with one kind of big unexpected twist: “Heidi Range and Amelle Berrabah will continue as the Sugababes and will be joined by new member [and Eurovision veteran] Jade Ewen…. Keisha Buchanan will continue to record for Island Records as a solo artist.” Buchanan was the last remnant of the girl group’s original lineup, which formed in 1998. Kind of weird, then, that they’re going to keep the Sugababes branding intact, don’t you think? Sure, being in America—where the Sugababes have yet to break, but are apparently supposed to real soon—might tinge my feelings on this rebranding, but then again, as other pop observers have noted, the run-up to the group’s still-forthcoming album Sweet 7 has been doing as much to destroy any notions of what their name may have conjured up, pop-innovation-standards-wise. Compare and contrast:Freak Like Me (2002)

Get Sexy (2009)

It probably doesn’t help that I loathe “Get Sexy” with the heat of a thousand burning copies of Doll Domination, but yeah. Why keep the Sugababes name? So as to not confuse fans in the UK? So as not to confuse the lineups of this week’s promotional appearances? Did Heidi Range pull an Axl Rose-style stunt and gain control of the title sometime after she joined in 2001? Because if not, this incarnation of the band will only give off the same weird confusion that arises when different versions of the same band tour. (And things will only get stranger once Keisha inevitably announces that her forthcoming solo debut for Island will include contributions from her former Sugamate, the ass-enhanced Mutya Buena.)Sugababes Statement [Official site] [Pic via Popjustice]