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Claire Richards


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Claire started life in the pop lane in 1995 when she teamed with Cossie and Bonnie to form TSD. After their two singles – Heart and Soul and Baby I Love You only reached number 69 and 64 respectively they were dropped by their record company. Bonnie promptly quit the group and Mariama, who, later went on to Solid Harmonie and then went on to replace Heavenlii in the Honeyz, joined the group, though TSD soon spilt and it emerged their producer only wanted to work with Cossie.

After a 7 month stint working as a receptionist – and winning the coveted ‘Temp Of The Month for May 1997’ it was Claire’s mum Nina who spotted an ad for Steps in the Stage newspaper. After initial nerves, Claire went along, taking younger sister Gemma along for support. Although she almost didn’t make it too the audition after getting lost on the way. Singing Tina Turners ‘River Deep, Mountain High’ and Eternals ‘I Am Blessed’ for her audition, she not only impressed Tim, but the other audtionees (including Faye) some of whom were sat 3 rooms away! It was at this audition she wore the now infamous catsuit, which made its one and only appearance in the video for Last Thing On My Mind. After getting through the terrifying experience of both the singing and dancing auditions Claire finally got into the group we now know as Steps.

They released the line dancing classic 5,6,7,8 in December 1997, peaking at 14 it is officially one of the highest selling singles never to make it into the British top ten, selling almost 200,000 copies. However it was 5,6,7,8 that also became Steps first ever number one, hitting the top spot in Australia.

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