Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Cleopatra

Cleopatra is a female R&B\pop trio from Manchester, England consisting of the Higgins sisters: Zainam (born Zainam Mandisa Talibah Venetta Higgins on December 5, 1980), Cleo (born Cleopatra Madonna Higgins on April 30, 1982) and Yonah (born Yonah Mawusi Higgins on April 27, 1984). They are the daughters of session singer Christine Higgins.

After winning a local talent contest, the girls were signed to a management contract and spent 6 years touring around the U.K. before signing to the British division of Warner Bros. Records in early 1997.
In June of 1998, Cleopatra released their debut album, "Comin' Atcha!" which peaked at #20 on the U.K. Albums chart.
Their debut single "Cleopatra's Theme" managed to peak at #3 on the U.K. Singles chart, giving the girls their first top 5 hit single.Cleopatra released their second single, a cover version of the Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" which peaked at #4 on the U.K. Singles chart.
The third single "A Touch of Love" was also moderately successful, peaking at #24 on the U.K. Singles chart.

In the U.S., Cleopatra was signed to Madonna's Maverick Records label and the album peaked at #109 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on Billboard's Heatseekers albums chart.

Madonna introduced Cleopatra at Nickelodeon's 11th Annual Kids' Choice Awards where they performed "Cleopatra's Theme," their debut U.S. single.

The single peaked at #26 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #51 on Billboard's Hot R&B Singles chart, staying on the chart for 18 weeks. The music video was popular on TRL, making it #4 on the show's countdown.

The girls filmed a live 60-minute Disney Channel special called "Cleopatra in Concert" where they performed songs aboard the Disney cruise ship, "The Disney Magic" and it also contained a behind-the-scenes look into the lives' of the girls over a 4-day Bahamas cruise.

On Christmas Eve of 1998, the CITV network premiered Cleopatra's 1-hour Christmas special for their new TV sitcom. The first season was called "Comin' Atcha!" and the second season was called "In the House." Both seasons were number-one in their timeslots.

The show was about the girls' lives on tour and at home with their family. Their mother and younger sister were featured on both seasons of the show as themselves.
Another single from their album, "Life Ain't Easy" peaked at #4 on the UK Singles chart and in the U.S., it managed to peak at #81 on the Billboard Hot 100.

Cleopatra were invited to support the Spice Girls on the U.K. leg of their "Spiceworld" tour, playing to 150,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. They were also invited to perform at the Vatican Christmas Carol concert by the request of Pope John Paul II.In 1999, Cleopatra was featured on the song, "Thank ABBA for the Music" which featured musicians such as Steps, B*Witched, Billie, and Tina Cousins. They performed with them at the 1999 BRIT Awards and received a nomination for "Best British Newcomer."

The song peaked at #4 on the UK Singles chart. In 2000, Cleopatra also covered Maxine Nightingale's 1975 hit song "Right Back Where We Started From" which was featured in the movie "An Extremely Goofy Movie."In August 2000, Cleopatra released their sophomore and last album to date, "Steppin' Out." It's unknown how or if the album ever charted.

The album included producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, Stargate, Darryl Simmons and Cutfather & Joe.

They shot their album cover with world famous photographer, Markus Klinko (who worked on Mariah Carey & Beyonce's album covers). The album included more R&B music than pop music like on their debut album.Cleopatra toured the U.S. promoting their lead single, "U Got It." They promoted the single on "The Queen Latifah Show" and "The Tonight Show with Jay Leno."

Cleopatra became the new spokeswomen for Covergirl cosmetics, making them the first black British group to have been featured in their own Covergirl advertisement. They sang and were featured in the Covergirl campaign promoting their "Triple Lipstick" line.

Cleopatra also toured the U.S. with musicians Brian McKnight, Next, Nelly, and Jessica Simpson. They later toured in Japan and promoted their Japanese-released single, "Yes, The Party's Going Right" produced by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis. They were even invited to perform a mini-concert for the Sultan of Brunei and his royal family.

The follow-up single "Come and Get Me" peaked at #29 on the U.K. Singles chart due to lack of promotion. The record label wanted Cleo as a solo artist which led to the trio's departure from Warner Bros. Records.

In 2007, Cleo released her debut single "Feelin' Like This." She also recorded 2 duets with tenor singer Russell Watson. She performed on tour with Russell and on the National Lottery while she was 5 months pregnant with her first child.

In September of 2001, Cleo gave birth to her first child, a daughter named Chika Lil Che with her long-term partner Marlon McKenzie.

She later gave birth to a son named Taylor James "T.J." Cleo and Marlon have since separated, but they remain good friends & spend time with their children.

Cleo also joined ITV1's "Songs of Bond" which was a tribute to the songs of James Bond. She toured with artists such as Joe Budden, Blue, Jagged Edge and Girls Aloud. She even embarked on a university tour.

In 2005, Cleopatra reunited for a one-off performance on the ITV1 series "Hit Me, Baby, One More Time."

In 2009, they appeared on Living TV's "Pop Goes the Band." In November of that same year, they performed a comeback show live at Embassy in London.

In 2013, Cleo was featured on the U.K. version of "The Voice," but was eliminated in the live semi-finals.

These days, Yonah teaches street dance and cheerleading to children from deprived areas. Zainam continues to perform & travel, but is mostly a writer and she also has a daughter named Sydney-Robyn.

To see Cleo's official website, go to:
http://cleohiggins.com/

To follow Cleo on Twitter, go to:
https://twitter.com/OfficiallyCleo

To follow Yonah on Twitter, go to:
https://twitter.com/YonahHiggins

To follow Zainam on Twitter, go to:
https://twitter.com/AngelZainam

To see the music video for "Cleopatra's Theme," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=blQmgusV40M

To see the music video for "I Want You Back," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H6pMatgeO5Y

To see the music video for "A Touch of Love," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ejgPWmS6hTY

To see the music video for "Life Ain't Easy," go to:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1OZp_YixQSI

To see the music video for "Come and Get Me," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=71tq9W9uvTU

To see the music video for "U Got It," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yW7wlgFFv3g

To see the music video for "Right Back Where We Started From," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DfU8hWykc8I

Here are a couple of bonuses:

To see Cleopatra's U.S. Covergirl Triple Lipstick Commercial, go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3KXZLnqprKM

To see the music video for Cleo's song "Feelin' Like This," go to:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nRohfAGU7bs

To see Cleo's blind audition from "The Voice," go to;
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=seqYdHmdLUo


[updated on 08/02/13]

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