Blue singer Lee Ryan becomes final member of boyband to declare themselves bankrupt

The 31-year-old singer was reportedly forced to declare his bankruptcy by a debt collection company, and will now have all of his assets frozen

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The Independent Culture

“Step in my house, you find that your stuff has gone / But in reality to whom does the stuff belong?” mused the boy band Blue on their most famous song, 2001’s “All Rise”. Fourteen years later, it appears that it belongs to the bailiffs.

Lee Ryan, who reportedly once had a £10 million fortune, has become the fourth and final member of Blue to declare himself bankrupt, meaning that the entire band is now insolvent. It is a remarkable fall for the group, which has racked up more than 40 number one hits globally and sold 15 million records.

The 31-year-old singer was reportedly forced to declare his bankruptcy by a debt collection company, and will now have all of his assets frozen. The official order was made in the Central London County Court last month, according to the Daily Mirror.

Ryan’s spokesman said: “Lee has tried to manage his financial commitments from over the years to the best of his abilities but ultimately concedes that bankruptcy is the best way forward in order for him to provide the best future for his children.”


His bandmate Duncan James filed for bankruptcy in September 2013, shortly after the group’s company Blueworld Ltd found itself unable to pay creditors and went into administration. He blamed his financial difficulties on bad property investments for his family.

“I’ve always wanted to give my loved ones roofs over their heads and make sure they were taken care of, so that’s what I did,” he said at the time. “Now I’ve had to sell the home I bought for my mum. And that’s been the most heart-breaking part for me. I so wanted to care of her.”

Simon Webbe, who claimed that the group made £82m in its first three years but that its four members “hardly saw a penny of it”, declared himself bankrupt a few weeks after James. Antony Costa, who said he had seen his earnings drop from £250,000 to £400 a month, also became insolvent around the same time.

“I wasn’t saving any of my money along the way and I had champagne taste with lemonade money in the end,” Costa said. “I thought Blue was going to last forever and any money I did have left at the end of Blue. I wasn’t advised on how to save it but I don’t blame anyone for that.”

A source close to the band said they had not been “extravagant” with the money they earned from music. “They made a series of bad investments years ago and have suffered as a result,” they told The Sun.

Blue, who reformed in 2011 after a six-year hiatus, announced last month that they would release future music independently after being dropped by Sony Music due to disappointing sales of their comeback album Colours.

Hitting out at negative press coverage, they wrote on their Facebook page: “Let the haters hate and in the meantime we are going to keep on doing what we love for everyone that enjoys Blue and what we stand for – our music.”