Is Amelle Berrabah leaving Sugababes?

This report in the Daily Mail claims that Sugababes singer Amelle Berrabah is on the verge of quitting the band. She went missing last week, ignoring calls from band management and not showing up for publicity events.

Apparently, Keisha Buchanan has commented:

Every couple of months it will happen. At certain times there are people thinking they’re bigger than the band.

This is presumably in relation to Amelle’s sudden gain in status following a hit single with Tinchy Strider. There’s a mess of claims and counter-claims and Twitter postings suggesting that Amelle is feeling bullied in the group and that there’s burgeoning jealousy about her working outside Sugababes.

In addition to Keisha’s comments above, she has also hinted at a rift in the band by saying:

In the past, I’ve let members talk c**p about me and tried to laugh it off because I know the truth…But not any more. I may come across as a hard nut sometimes, but I’m actually really sensitive and it destroys me to think that people today are going to read that and believe it.

So who’s talking crap about Keisha? Clearly there’s a hint that somebody’s been speaking outside the band.

Now, on the flipside, Amelle’s family apparently thought she’d been kidnapped!!! Who the hell jumps straight to kidnapping when somebody doesn’t answer their phone? So worried were they, that they contacted the police:

Berrabah is said to have told officers she was safe but desperately unhappy and needed a break after a run-in with Buchanan.

The report in the Mail goes on to list a number of incidents that Amelle has been associated with since joining Sugababes and there’s a suggestion that she’s been quite bad for the band’s image.

However, the much-quoted “source” in the papers today suggests that it’s Buchanan who has the chip on her shoulder:

Keisha will just have digs at her throughout the day and it has been going on for months. It has got worse since Amelle had the Tinchy Stryder single and featured big-time in the Get Sexy video. Keisha is very dominating while Amelle is quite placid

Whatever the explanation, life has never been entirely rosy within the ranks of the Sugababes, and this episode is no exception. It’s hard to comment on something which is such a mess of conflicting reports though.

One thing I would say is that if Amelle feels the time if right to embark on a solo career, she should think carefully. There’s not been a girl who’s left the Sugababes and had a successful solo career afterwards. Mutya almost managed it, and although Amelle’s had a chart-topper with Tinchy Strider, it’s not enough to guarantee success.

The big question is who’ll they replace her with if she leaves?

Finally, after reading some of the reaction surrounding this story, I thought it was funny how no-one can spell former member Siobhan Donaghy’s name. I’ve read it as both Doughty and Donagy. Lazy bloody journalists!

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