Sugababes outdo Madonna and Britney as top female act

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The Independent Culture

The Sugababes are officially the top girl band of the 21st century so far, having achieved more hit singles than any other all-female act in the past six years, according to a new study of the British music industry.

The group beat performers including Madonna and Britney Spears to be ranked as the most prolific all-female hit makers of the past six years in the UK.

Sugababes were formed in 1998 and made their chart debut six years ago with "Overload", which reached the UK Top 10 and was nominated for a Brit Award.

Since 2000 they have enjoyed 16 hits, according to research for the Guinness British Hit Singles & Albums.

Britney Spears and Pink jointly ranked second, with 14 hits each since 2000. Anastasia was ranked fourth. Madonna is in joint fifth position, with just 12 hits since 2000, along with Kylie Minogue, Girls Aloud - created from a television talent show in 2002 - and Missy Elliot, the best-selling female rapper of all time.

The book's editor, David Roberts, said that the research did not try to compare the Sugababes with the bands which dominated previous decades, but argued that the group was now as successful as Bananarama in the 1980s and the Spice Girls in the 1990s.

"Britain has a tradition of creating great girl groups," he said. "Bananarama dominated the Eighties, the Spice Girls were huge in the Nineties, but the Noughties belong to the Sugababes."

Sugababes first made UK chart history in 2002 when, with "Freak Like Me", they became the youngest female group to top the chart.

The band has had a changing line-up and only one of the three original members remains in the group. Sugababes began as Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and Siobhan Donaghy before Siobhan quit in 2001. She was replaced by Heidi Range, but the band changed again recently when Mutya left and was replaced by Amelle Berrabah.

The research defined a hit as a track that charted in the UK Top 75.

Top 10 this century

1. Sugababes (16 hits)

2. Britney Spears (14)

3. Pink (14)

4. Anastasia (13)

5. Madonna (12)

6. Kylie Minogue (12)

7. Girls Aloud (12)

8. Missy Elliott (12)

9. Atomic Kitten (11)

10. Christina Aguilera (10)