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by Dan Gover
After just 8 months in the business, it seemed the end of the line had come for the Honeyz much earlier than they had planned. Heavenli Abdi decided to quit the group to spend more time with her sweetheart Matthew Marsden, so the remaining two girls have teamed up with former Solid HarmoniE member, Mariama Goodman.
The split came as a sudden shock to Naima and Celena, who thought that Heavenli had been unable to join them on an Australian tour due to exhaustion. When they returned to the UK, they were told that she wanted out. "She told the record company she hasn't had enough time with her boyfriend and it's jeopardising her relationship," explained Celena in a recent interview with Sky magazine.
The split couldn't have come at a worse time. With the next single "Love Of A Lifetime" due out within the next few weeks, and with a video having already been shot, the girls had to find a replacement fast, leaving no time to re-record it.
So, is Mariama a good enough replacement for Heavenli? Most fans seem to think the answer is 'yes'.
"The Honeyz no longer need Heavenli to gain success," one fan explained. When the new-look Honeyz were introduced on Live & Kicking, Jamie Theakston called them the 'new, improved Honeyz'.
However, the latest single from the girls, "Love Of A Lifetime", may have proved otherwise. The track, which was the first without Heavenli in the group, only managed to reach number 9 in the UK charts, and spent only one week in the Top 10. This was a very different picture compared to its predecessors, which both reached number 1 in the R&B chart and Top 5 positions in the UK singles chart. The album, too, has not done as well as Mercury Records may have hoped, only reaching number 40. However, these could be explained by the fact that the third single from an album isn't usually expected to do as well as the earlier ones.
Nevertheless, with a new single currently due for release in late June, the girls look set to continue their success with or without Heavenli
LINKS: The Honeyz