Where are Popstars The Rivals acts now? Tragic death, Katie Price spat and shock reunions

It's hard to believe but it's nearly 22 years since Popstars: The Rivals aired on ITV and this week, the show's most successful act, Girls Aloud will begin their reunion tour in Dublin.

Yes, the show that first made a household name out of Cheryl Tweedy aired on ITV at the end of 2002, with the then teenage Geordie earning a place in Girls Aloud, alongside Nadine Coyle, Kimberley Walsh, Sarah Harding and Nicola Roberts, a year after Hear'Say earned instant chart stardom from Popstars.

The girls saw off competition from the lads who made into boyband One True Voice to land the Christmas number 1 with Sound of the Underground. Host Davina McCall announced the big news live on the show as judges Louis Walsh, Geri Halliwell and Pete Waterman looked on.

READ MORE: Girls Aloud setlist 'leaked' online ahead of opening night in Dublin

Get all the latest TV and showbiz news and gossip from Chronicle Live with our free newsletter..

After the show, Girls Aloud went onto be one of the biggest pop acts in the country landing a string of top 10 singles between 2002 and 2009, including number 1s I'll Stand By You, Walk This Way and The Promise, as well as other massive hits like Love Machine, Call The Shots and Something Kinda Ooh.

One True Voice reached number 2 with their debut Sacred Trust but only managed one other chart hit, with Shakespeare's Way With Words reaching number 10 in 2003. The other big success from the show were The Cheeky Girls who scored three top 3 singles in a row with their first singles, including their calling card The Cheeky Girls (Touch My Bum).

Girls Aloud

Cheryl Tweedy

Cheryl joined The X Factor as a judge in 2008, just as the girls geared up to release their fifth album Out of Control and after she collaborated with Will.I.Am on massive chart hit Heartbreaker.

She scored two consecutive victories on the show in 2008 and 2009 with Alexandra Burke and Joe McElderry and used the show to launch her solo career with a memorable performance of debut Fight For This Love. The track went straight in at number 1 and went onto sell over a million. Cheryl's first album 3 Words also spawned further hits with its title track and Parachute.

Judge Cheryl Cole arrives for X Factor auditions
Judge Cheryl Cole arrives for X Factor auditions -Credit:Owen Humphreys/PA Wire

Follow up album Messy Little Raindrops got off to a great start with lead single Promise This entering at the top and it was the same with album number three - A Million Lights - with its first single Call My Name shooting straight to the chart summit.

In between the two albums Cheryl headed Stateside for X Factor USA but was sacked by Simon Cowell after just a few weeks on the judging panel.

Fourth album Only Human, released in 2014, featured two number 1 hits - Crazy Stupid Love and I Don't Care - sending Cheryl into the record books. Her music career faltered in 2018 when comeback Love Made Me Do It failed to make the top 10 and follow up Let You charted even lower.

Away from the charts, Cheryl married Jean Bernard Fernandez-Versini in 2014 but divorced a year later. Cheryl, now 37, then got together with Liam Payne, with the couple having son Bear together, before they split in 2018.

Cheryl's West End debut in 2:22 A Ghost Story
Cheryl's West End debut in 2:22 A Ghost Story -Credit:Helen Murray

Cheryl was last on TV in the second series of The Greatest Dancer in 2020, before the show was cancelled and last year earned rave reviews for her stint in hit West End thriller 2:22, having taking on the lead role of Jenny.

Nadine Coyle

Like Cheryl, Irish singer Nadine, who infamously appeared on the Irish version of Popstars with her 'passport' before trying out for Popstars: The Rivals, also tried her hand at a solo career releasing debut solo single Insatiable in 2010 alongside an album of the same name, which, in a rather bizarre move, she made exclusively available for sale at supermarket Tesco.

Nadine Coyle
Nadine Coyle -Credit:ITV

Both the single and album failed to set the charts alight but Nadine has continued to make music and in 2017 came back with Go To Work, a song lapped up by her fanbase.

Nadine has been a regular on the Pride circuit, both in the UK and in Gran Canaria and other singles from the past few years include Fool for Love and Girls on Fire. In 2019, Nadine, now 36, appeared on I'm A Celebrity and also appeared on The Great Celebrity Bake Off. Over the 2022 May Bank Holiday, Nadine was one of the star acts at the Kiki Weekender at Pontins in Southport, joining the likes of Liberty X and Cleopatra on the bill and earlier this year, released a dance cover of Snow Patrol hit Chasing Cars.

Sarah Harding

Sarah appeared on the big screen in St Trinian's 2: The Search for Fritton's Gold and then landed a dream role in Coronation Street, although her brief stint on the ITV soap was not well received by fans.

After releasing solo single Threads, Sarah appeared on and won Celebrity Big Brother in 2017, where she famously clashed with Jem Lucy and got together with housemate Chad Johnson, with the two enjoying a brief romance outside of the house.

Prior to her stint in CBB, Sarah appeared in Ghost the Musical, in one of the leading roles alongside ex Hollyoaks actor Andy Moss.

In 2020, Sarah revealed the devastating news that she had been diagnosed with cancer. She told fans: "There’s no easy way to say this and actually it doesn’t even feel real writing this, but here goes. Earlier this year I was diagnosed with breast cancer and a couple of weeks ago I received the devastating news that the cancer has advanced to other parts of my body."

In December of that year, Sarah, returned to social media to say: "I can’t deny that things are tough right now but I’m fighting as hard as I possibly can and being as brave as I know how.."

She documented her cancer struggle in candid memoir Hear Me Out, which also reflected on her time in the spotlight. Sarah passed away at the age of 39 in early September 2021, with her death being announced by mum Marie, with tributes rushing in from fans and her former bandmates.

Kimberley Walsh

Another Girls Aloud member who have music another shot, teaming up with Aggro Santos on top 10 hit Like U Like in 2012, before releasing her own album of musical classics - Centre Stage - which she previewed with an performance of One Day I'll Fly Away at the National Television Awards.

Kimberley Walsh during the National Television Awards at London's O2 Arena
Kimberley Walsh during the National Television Awards at London's O2 Arena

After fulfilling a lifetime ambition to sing in Les Miserables on Girls Aloud's TV show The Passions, Kimberley has carved out a successful stage career, which started with a stint as Princess Fiona in the West End in 2011.

Since then she has appeared in the stage adaptations of Elf and Big and last year was on stage in a socially distanced production of Sleepless, alongside The Wanted's Jay McGuiness, in London.

In 2012 Kimberley, 39, competed in Strictly Come Dancing where she reached the final which was won by Olympic gymnast Louis Smith and now is a regular on another BBC show, Morning Live, announcing her break from the programme to 'attend to urgent' business as Girls Aloud rehearsals began.

Nicola Roberts

In between Girls Aloud taking a break in 2009 and them returning with Something New and their Greatest Hits in 2012, Nicola entered the charts as a solo artist with debut single Beat of My Drum, follow up Lucky Day and critically acclaimed solo album Cinderella's Eyes.

Nicola Roberts attends the Pride of Britain awards 2019 Grosvenor House Hotel 28 October 2019 red carpet
Kimberley Walsh during the National Television Awards at London's O2 Arena -Credit:PA

The name of the album and her own makeup brand for pale skin - Dainty Doll - were both clues Nicola gave on her way to winning The Masked Singer last year as Queen Bee. She returned to the ITV show in 2021 as a guest judge.

A successful songwriter, Nicola has written songs for a number of acts including bandmate Cheryl and Little Mix. A real fashionista, she has also been a judge on Rihanna's fashion show Styled To Rock.

One True Voice

After earning their spots in One True Voice, Matt Johnson, Anton Gordon, Keith Semple, Jamie Shaw and Daniel Pearce went in at number 2 with AA side single Sacred Trust/After You're Gone, which they then followed up with Shakespeare's Way With Words.

Despite Pete Waterman being adamant they could be the next big thing, the group split just a few months later, after all playing in celebrity football tournament Soccer Six.

They didn't release an album.

Anton went onto audition for The X Factor in 2006 but it was never seen on screen.

Daniel fared better, making it all the way to Judges Houses in 2009 but wasn't picked by Simon for live shows. Daniel landed a number 1 single as a vocalist on Dizzee Rascal's 2010 number 1 Dirtee Disco and again in 2014 on Sigma's Nobody To Love. Last year, he toured the UK as a backing singer on Genesis' arena tour.

Matt signed a solo deal with Jive Records after One True Voice but left the label after a short spell signed to them.

He also appeared on Celebrity Fear Factor UK.

Keith moved to America in 2007 and auditioned for American Idol in 2010, unfortunately losing his place on the show due to immigration issues.

He gave TV talent shows another shot in 2015, making the live shows on Adam Levine's team.

Jamie switched from music to TV and his Twitter bio has him as an Executive Production Assistant for IJPR, a PR agency who handle shows on BBC ITV Netflix and more.

The others....

The Cheeky Girls

The Cheeky Girls perform at Durham Pride 2016
Nicola Roberts attends the Pride of Britain awards 2019 Grosvenor House Hotel 28 October 2019 red carpet -Credit:Daily Mirror

While they were axed from Popstars: The Rivals well before the live shows, sisters Monica and Gabriela are an act everyone still remembers. From the moment they auditioned with The Cheeky Song they were engrained in the minds of millions of viewers.,

They ended up releasing the track as a single, with it landing at number 3 behind Girls Aloud and One True Voice in Christmas 2002. The duo went onto score two more big chart hits with Take Your Shoes Off and Cheeky Holiday, with other singles including Have A Cheeky Christmas and Cheeky Flamenco.

Away from the charts, Gabriela had a headline-hitting romance with MP Lembit Opik and now, as The Cheeky Girls made a surprise return to TV on This Morning on May 4, they revealed they are both working in different car dealerships, as well as announcing a comeback single to mark 20 years since their Popstars audition, which saw them appear on This Morning to promote it.

This summer, Cheeky Girls were one of the star attractions at a rain soaked Sunderland Pride event.


Javine not getting into Girls Aloud was a huge upset at the time but she dusted off the disappointment to launch a solo career in the summer of 2003, getting off to a great start with a top 5 hit with Real Things.

Follow ups Surrender and Best of My Love also made the top 20 and then came the battle royale when Javine went head to head with Katie Price for the chance to represent the UK at Eurovision 2005.

Javine performing at Eurovision

After a slagging match in the press, it was Javine who triumphed with her track Touch My Fire but it finished right near the bottom of the leaderboard in the Eurovision final.

Javine then became infamous in the press for being 'the other woman' in So Solid Crew star Harvey and Alesha Dixon's marriage.

She released dance collaboration Don't Let The Morning Come with Soul Avengerz in 2006 but it failed to make the top 40.

On TV, Javine has competed in both The Games and Celebrity Masterchef.


Three of Clea in 2005
The Cheeky Girls perform at Durham Pride 2016 -Credit:Newcastle Chronicle

The girls who didn't get into Girls Aloud - Chloe Staines, Lynsey Brown, Emma Beard, and Aimee Kearsley - formed their own band Clea.

They failed to match the chart success of their rivals, with Download It their biggest hit, reaching 21 in 2003.

Follow up Stuck in the Middle reached number 23 and their dance cover of We Don't Have To Take Our Clothes Off reached number 35 in 2005, after Chloe left the band.

Emma went onto appear on TV in bizarre reality show Paris Hilton's BFF where she competed to be the heiress' best mate and this year the group reunited as a four to perform at huge London festival, Mighty Hoopla, only for Chloe's exit then to be announced shortly after, following online controversy over some of her past Twitter posts.



After failing to get into One True Voice, Mikey Green, Nikk Mager, Andrew Kinlochan and Peter Smith (the one who lied about his age!) formed Phixx.

They faired better than Clea with four top 20 hits - Hold on Me, Love Revolution, Wild Boys and Strange Love.

Peter left in 2004 with Nikk following a year later. The remaining three toured as a trio until 2006.

Nikk auditioned in front of Cheryl on The X Factor in 2008 but didn't get through to the next round. Peter tried out for The Voice Ireland in 2013 but no-one turned for him.