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Pop Star to Flop Star: Artists who failed to make a comeback

With Justin Timberlake back on the scene, with a part two of ‘The 20/20 Experience’, it’s great to see an iconic artist of our time make a comeback. But what about artists who tried to make a comeback and flopped?

Pop Star to Flop Star. I looked at a number of cases where bands and artists once successful, tried to make a comeback in the world of music and failed miserably. I managed to compile a list of a few memorable moments, most people would be familiar with.

Before I get into that, I would just like to quickly reference my previous piece on the X Factor. I’m talking about the winner of the first series, the one who nobody remembers, Steve Brookstein. It turns out that Steve actually achieved a number one, with his cover of Phil Collins’ classic ‘Against All Odds’ which was released as his winners’ single back in 2004. He then released a second single in 2006 called ‘Fighting Butterflies’ which reached 193rd place in the chart. After a short four-year break he came back with his third single, aptly named ‘Don’t Give Up’, which failed to even chart. Sorry to break it to you Steve, but I think it’s about time you do give up.

Now, I’m going to go straight in with Vanilla Ice, aka Robert Matthew Van Winkle. Who can forget ‘Ice Ice Baby’? It’s an absolute cracker. Thing is, since its release as a B-side to the single ‘Play that Funky Music’, back in 1989, he has tried to come back numerous times, each time proving unsuccessful. Did anybody realise he has released six studio albums and 13 singles? He now has his own TV show on the DIY Network called ‘The Vanilla Ice Project’.

There are two more artists I’d like to mention who, interestingly, are related. Brother and sister to be specific. I am, of course, talking about Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield. I’ll start with Daniel. His first single ‘Gotta Get Thru This’, which was brilliant, was released in November 2001, and became his first number one. This song was part of his first album, with the same name, that also featured his second and third number ones, ‘If You’re Not the One’ and ‘Never Gonna Leave Your Side’.

In 2004, he released his second album, ‘Second First Impression’, which failed to draw in the same level of popularity, but still featured a couple of tracks that managed to make it into the Top 20, including ‘Wrap My Words Around You’. After this album Daniel sustained some serious injuries in a car crash whilst on holiday in  New Zealand, almost causing him to lose his life. Rightfully so, he took a break for a few years before returning to music. His attempted return came in February 2012, when he independently released a single called ‘Rocks Off’ along with its B-side ‘It’s Not Me It’s You’. Two months later he released an EP named ‘Stop the Traffik – Secret Fear’ which featured both tracks, with an additional five songs, none of which I had ever heard of.

However, his sister Natasha had quite a successful career as a pop star at one stage, achieving a number one album with ‘Unwritten’ in 2004. Her second album ‘N.B.’ was released in 2007 and peaked at number nine in the chart which is still pretty good. She then went on to release her third album, ‘Strip Me Away’, in late 2010. The album was only released in the US, Canada and certain parts of Europe, and peaked at 103 in the US Billboard Chart. It puzzles me that it wasn’t released in the UK, but based on its performance in the US I can’t imagine that it would have been popular here. It’s such a shame we haven’t heard anything else from the musical genius.

I guess you have to admire the determination of these artists who won’t give up on their music careers; but sometimes they really should just call it a day.

Written by Connor Mackay

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