Billie - Honey to the ...US?

   

by David Lucas


Billie In June 1998, a sixteen year-old singing sensation landed straight in at number one in the UK charts with her teen pop anthem "Because We Want To". Born Billie Paul Piper in Swindon on 22nd September 1982, she has become one of the youngest and most dynamic pop stars on the UK music scene.

She attended the same stage school as some of the members of the Spice Girls and the All Saints. But before she hit the charts, Billie appeared in "Eastenders" and also had a small part in Jon Bon Jovi's "Destination Anywhere" film.

Her debut release, "Because We Want To", became an instant hit all over Europe, as did the second single, "Girlfriend". As Billie's fame continued to grow, her debut album, "Honey To The B", was released. Unfortunately it never made the UK Top 10, though it did go platinum.

But this didn't stop Billie's success. Her third single, "She Wants You", backed by a remake of the Wham! classic "Last Christmas", hit the Top 3. With another hit single, "Honey To The Bee", to follow, Billie was geared up to leave the UK for a few months to 'conquer' America.

Her debut UK single, "Because We Want To" was chosen as the theme for the 1999 Women's World Cup, staged in America. Along with "She Wants You" Billie was unleashed in the US, but unfortunately, instant success did not come her way. The single has yet to make the US Billboard Hot 100, the US chart to be in, although it did reach Top 10 in the Billboard dance chart. Things could easily change though. "Because We Want To" will be performed at the opening of the Women's World Cup, so the stateside fame that most pop stars dream of could still be in her grasp.

Billie But stardom is not everything. Earlier this year Billie announced that she was going out with Rich from boy band Five. Fickle fans of Five slated Billie for this, but, for the girl that won best and worst female at the 1998 Smash Hits awards, this was all taken in her stride.

On the subject of awards, Billie was nominated for Best British Female and Best British Newcomer at this year's Brit Awards. She didn't win in the end, but the 1999 Brit Awards ceremony will be best remembered for the Abba medley she took part in, alongside Steps, B*Witched, Cleopatra and Tina Cousins. Later released as a charity single, "Thank Abba For The Music" has so far spent 10 weeks in the UK singles chart.

So what's next for the 'Princess Of Pop' (as she was voted by Smash Hits)? Well, US domination is her main hope, then her GCSE exams, a second album, and eventually a world tour. And she's only 16.


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