What happened to Daniel and Natasha Bedingfield?
A decade after Natasha Bedingfield's debut album was released, we ask: what happened next?
Published 01/08/2014 | 16:55
Aiya Napa, the summer of 2001, and the infectious bassline of Daniel Bedingfield’s I Gotta Get Thru This is shaking the dance floors of sweltering clubs. Mere months after Bedingfield, then 21, had made the hit with one microphone, a vocal compressor and an ordinary PC in his Lewisham bedroom, his track had been picked up by pirate radio stations and become a UK Garage club staple.
By November, Bedingfield had signed a £400,000 deal, Nokia 3310s were trilling a Gotta Get Thru This ringtone and the relative unknown had beaten PopStars winners Hear’Say, the newly solo Geri Halliwell and S Club 7 to number one.
Less than three years later, Daniel’s younger sister and self-proclaimed “powerful woman” Natasha had won a $1.8 million record deal, her debut track, Single, was at number three in the charts and Daniel had a Brit award under his belt. It was 2004, and at the beginning of the year, Daniel had survived a near-fatal car crash.
By the time Natasha’s debut album, Unwritten, had been released in August – it would go on to sell 2.3 million copies – Daniel’s time in the spotlight was running out. His second album, Second First Impression, contained his final – to date – Top 20 singles. A four-year hiatus followed.
Meanwhile, Natasha was roaring up the charts and gathering the celebrity column inches to go with it. While she didn’t turn out to be better than Britney, as one enthusiastic broadsheet interview suggested before her first album release, Natasha had dominated both sides of the Atlantic by 2006. Unwritten gained double-platinum sales in the UK and gold sales in the US, its Grammy-nominated title track becoming American radio’s most-played song of the year.
This level of success rumbled on for a couple more years, especially in America. Natasha cancelled her British tour twice to continue promoting her Gold-selling second album, which reached number three in the Billboard charts. Tours with Justin Timberlake and a charity collaboration with acts including Beyoncé, Rihanna and Mariah Carey followed.
But two years later, Natasha’s third album, Strip Me Away, was released with little reaction and did not even appear in the UK. Meanwhile, Daniel was working in Tel Aviv with local freak folk band called The Raw Men Empire, after writing music for an eclectic group of artists that included American Idol finalist David Archuleta, Jamaican musician Tessane Chin and Pixie Lott.
Natasha became a celebrity judge for Avon Voices, a talent competition from the beauty cosmetics company. Two years later Daniel would follow her, becoming a judge on New Zealand’s X Factor, joining fellow Noughties pop relic, Melanie Blatt, on the panel.
In the meantime, Daniel continued to spread his music internationally, including Jamaica, where he recorded a dancehall track called Overproof Riddim. He subsequently broke away from his record label and management company, and remains proudly “100 per cent authentic”, relying on crowdfunding from fans to put out his new records.
According to her announcement in April 2012, Natasha is working on a fourth album, called The Next Chapter, although it is yet to appear.
Earlier this year her music appeared on The Pirate Fairy, a Disney film, the latest in a long line of soundtrack contributions that have repeatedly landed Natasha in the British Musicians under 30 rich list over the last decade. She has made a lot of money, millions, in fact, from ‘syncs’, or placing her songs, whether written or performed, on to film soundtracks. Pocketful of Sunshine appears on Easy A, Again in Confessions of a Shopaholic among numerous others to the tune of around $60,000 per placement.
Daniel has mostly disappeared from any lists, however. Now New Zealand-based, where both Bedingfield children were born, he has got involved with his parents' charity Global Angels, and founded the anti-slavery coalition, Stop the Traffik. He has also won several awards for the music video to his most recent single, Secret Fear, in which he appears entirely naked.