- Cleopatra (band)
Yonah, Zainam and Cleo Higgins
Background information Also known as Cleopatra ZYC Origin Moss Side, Manchester, England Genres R&B, Pop, Soul Occupations Singers, songwriters Years active 1998–present Labels Maverick/Warner Bros. Records Members Cleo Higgins
- Cleo Higgins - born Cleopatra Madonna Higgins, 30 April 1982, Birmingham.
- Yonah Higgins - born Yonah Mawusi Higgins, 27 April 1984, Birmingham.
- "Angel" Zainam Higgins - born Zainam Mandisa Talibah Venetta Higgins, 5 December 1980, Birmingham.
The first time the girls stepped on stage they were known as Cleopatra And The Attractions; at that point Cleo was the lead singer and her sisters were backing singers/dancers. They later dropped that name and became known as the band Cleopatra. Their debut single was "Cleopatra's Theme", which was taken from their debut album Comin' Atcha!, and it entered the UK chart at #3 giving them their first Top 5 hit single.
The next three singles - "Life Ain't Easy", the former Jackson 5 hit "I Want You Back" and "Thank Abba For The Music" - all followed the same success heading into the Top 5, gaining the girls BRIT Awards and MOBO Awards nominations. They performed at the 1999 BRIT Awards alongside Steps, Tina Cousins, B*Witched and Billie Piper and were also nominated for 'Best British Newcomer'. Madonna signed Cleopatra to her Maverick label and introduced them to the United States on Nickelodeon's 11th Annual Kids' Choice Awards, where they performed their U.S. debut single, "Cleopatra's Theme". This record was released shortly afterwards gaining them a #26 position on the Billboard chart, and #16 in the U.S. Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts. The video was a popular choice as it was #4 on the TRL Top 10 countdown. Their U.S debut album Comin' Atcha sold over 300,000 copies and entered the US top 30 in July 1998. The group filmed a live show for a 60 minute Disney Channel special, "Cleopatra in Concert," where they performed their biggest hits aboard the Disney cruise ship the "Disney Magic." The show also contained a behind-the-scenes look into the lives of the three sisters over a four-day Bahamas cruise.
Cleopatra were invited to support the Spice Girls on the UK leg of their sell out Spiceworld Tour playing to 150,000 fans at Wembley Stadium. They were also invited to perform at the Vatican Christmas Carol Concert, by request of Pope John Paul II, its an event that is broadcast to the world. Backed by a 100-piece orchestra. They sang "O Come All Ye Faithful" and Silent Night. The performance was later released on DVD as 'All-Star Christmas - From the Vatican (2004)'. They covered the Bee Gees song "I've Gotta Get a Message to You", renaming it "Gotta Get A Message To You", for the tribute album of the same name. They were also asked to record a cover of the disco song "Right Back Where We Started From" for An Extremely Goofy Movie by Disney.
Cleopatra moved onto their second album Steppin' Out, working with top record producers, including Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, Dallas Austin, Daryl Simmons, Cutfather & Joe, and Stargate. They shot their album cover with world famous photographer Markus Klinko, known for his award winning work on Mariah Carey & Beyonce Knowles's album covers.
They toured the U.S. in 2000 promoting the lead single off of Steppin Out', "U Got It". They promoted the single on various television programs including The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and The Queen Latifah Show, and as the new spokeswomen for cosmetics firm, Covergirl. They sang the theme tune for their new make-up line 'Triple Lipstick' and were featured in the U.S. television advertisement.
Cleopatra toured the U.S. with Brian McKnight, Jessica Simpson, Next and Nelly. Cleopatra moved on to tour Japan and promoted their Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis produced Japanese single "Yes, The Party's Going Right". They were invited to perform a mini-concert for the Sultan of Brunei and his royal family.
However, changes within Warner and everyone who was working on the Cleopatra project led to lack of promotion of their UK single, "Come and Get Me" which entered the UK Singles Chart at #29; the Steppin' Out release date for the UK was pushed back, and the album was eventually never released in the UK. The label wanted Cleo as a solo artist, and this led to the group's parting ways with Warner.
On Christmas Eve 1998 CITV premiered Cleopatra's one hour Christmas Special for their new sitcom. With a host of stars including Ian Wright, Steps (group), Another Level, Errol Brown, Shane Richie, cast members of Coronation Street and The Gladiators to help launch the show, it was a ratings smash.
The series had two seasons: Season 1 "Comin' Atcha!" and Season 2 In The House, and it was shown in numerous countries. Both seasons were number one in their time slots. The show was twenty minutes per episode and a mix of music and comedy. The plot followed the girls' lives on tour and at home with their family. The girls' would often perform one of their hits or a track from their album. Season two was slightly different as it featured a song off of their second album at the start and end of every episode. The girls' mother and younger sister were featured in both seasons as themselves.
Cleopatra are the first Black British group to have ever featured in their own Covergirl advertisement. They sang and featured in the Covergirl campaign across America promoting their 'Triple Lipstick' line. It was filmed on Miami's South Beach in 2000 and saw the girls on stage performing the theme song. The commercial was narrated by Cleo.
Cleopatra in recent years
In 2005 the girls came together for a one off performance on ITV1's, Hit Me, Baby, One More Time. They will appear in Living Tv's 'Pop Goes The Band' As of 2009 the members of Cleopatra have reformed and are working on a new album due to release sometime this year.
On November 17, 2009 Cleopatra performed a comeback show live at Embassy in London."We are here to reclaim our true position in the pop world," Cleo said. Yonah added: "Our natural connection as sisters is so much stronger, it shows in our music and live performances. We're hotter".
In 2010, the group re-collaborated.
- "Cleopatra's Theme" (1998) #3 UK, #26 U.S.
- "Life Ain't Easy" (1998) #4 UK
- "I Want You Back" (1998) #4 UK
- "A Touch of Love" (1999) #24 UK
- "Thank ABBA for the Music" (with Steps, Tina Cousins, B*Witched and Billie) (1999) #4 UK
- "Come and Get Me" (2000) #29 UK
- "U Got It" (2000) U.S.
- "Yes This Party's Going Right" (2001) Japan
Albums Singles TelevisionIn The House With Cleopatra & Friends Christmas Special | "Comin' Atcha!" | In The House Related articles
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