This New Zealand vocal quintet are notable for being the first group to be created by the globally successful Popstars concept. Over 500 women between the ages of 18 and 26 were screened in late 1998 by musician Peter Urlich (ex-Th’ Dudes) and PolyGram Records executive Mark Tienery, with the number being whittled down to 15 and then the final five. TV2’s attendant television documentary followed the auditioning process and the chosen group’s progress, from losing the PolyGram contract and gaining a new one with Sony, to the tensions and insecurities as the women learned how to work together as a team. By the end of the series viewing figures had shot through the roof. The five women, Keri Ann Harper (b. 1 March 1979, New Zealand), Carly Binding (b. 2 February 1978, Tauranga, New Zealand), Joanne Monique Cotton (b. 25 September 1978, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada), Erika Terese Takács (b. 9 November 1977, Wellington, New Zealand), and Megan Bronwinne Cassie (b. 29 September 1976, George, Cape Province, South Africa), were named Truebliss. They enjoyed instant success in their native country when ‘Tonight’ and their debut album Dream both topped the charts. The follow-up single ‘Number One’ could only make the Top 20, however, while a third release, ‘Freedom’ did not even make the Top 50. After completing a sell-out tour of New Zealand Truebliss took a break from promotional duties, with Takács obtaining the highest profile as host of the television show RTR 2000. In July 2000, Binding announced she was leaving the group to pursue a solo singing and acting career.
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