The sad news is out. The X Factor judge and ex-N-Dubz singer Tulisa Contostavlos had only just nosed her way into the mid-week top 40 with her curiously titled debut album, The Female Boss (because obviously the only *regular* kind of boss is male. Girl power, Tulisa!), despite the blanket publicity that only appearing on a prime-time Saturday night show can garner.
Placed at 35 in the chart, and having sold 7,000 copies in two days, the album can already be tentatively filed under "flop". She's far from the only "name", however, to see her fame has absolutely no positive impact at all on record sales.
Paris Hilton, Paris
The hotel heiress might have hoped that singing could supplant leaked sex tapes as her main source of fame when she released this inoffensive pop album in 2006, which included reggae-by-numbers hit "Stars Are Blind". But only 180,000 people saw fit to buy the album. According to FHM, Paris is now cooking up a house album. She told the mag: "I have a huge passion for house music. It always has been my passion. I just haven't been able to focus on it, because I have been doing reality TV for so long now".
Martine McCutcheon, Musicality
Singer/actress McCutcheon scored acclaim with UK number one "Perfect Moment". But in 2002, this album of show tunes could only make number 60 in the UK charts – this despite a reported £500,000 publicity campaign. The ex-Eastender's record deal was swiftly cancelled.
Spice Girls, Forever
Following the departure of Geri Haliwell in 2000, the superstars went for a name of defiant permanence. Sales of 300,000, compared to ten times that for their debut Spice, meant that Forever would be – with a sardonic irony – the group's last album.
Kevin Federline, Playing With Fire
In 2006 K-Fed, the rapper/wrestler/actor/ reality TV star most famous for his marriage to Britney Spears, released an album that was, to quote Rolling Stone, "every inch as bad as you expected". And with song titles like "Middle Finger" and "Dance With a Pimp," it's surprising it even made it to its eventual 18,000 sales.