Abz Love

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Abz Love
Abs 5ive (2).jpg
Background information
Birth nameRichard Abidin Breen
Born (1979-06-29) 29 June 1979 (age 39)
London, England
GenresPop, hip hop, dance
Occupation(s)Rapper, singer, songwriter, producer, TV personality
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, turntables, sampler
Years active1997–present
Associated acts 5ive
Evie Bicker

Richard Abidin Breen (born 29 June 1979), better known as Abz Love, is an English-turkish rapper, singer, songwriter, DJ, producer and TV personality. Love has sold over 20 million records as a member and the lead singer of Simon Cowell's boy band Five. [1] In 2003, Love released his debut solo album Abstract Theory , which earned him a further three top ten hits. [2] After years out of the spotlight, Love returned to screens on ITV2's The Big Reunion in 2012. In 2013 he appeared on All Star Mr & Mrs and became the runner-up for Channel 5's Celebrity Big Brother 12 . In 2015, Love starred in BBC Two's documentary series Country Strife: Abz on the Farm, followed by a Christmas special titled Country Strife: Abz on the Christmas Farm. In January 2016, Abz released his first solo single in over a decade, a comedy track called "Cockadoodledoo" with the hope of raising money for his farming project.

Simon Cowell English reality television judge, television producer and music executive

Simon Phillip Cowell is an English television music and talent show judge, A&R executive, businessman, talent manager, television producer, critic and entrepreneur. He has judged on the British TV talent competition series Pop Idol, The X Factor and Britain's Got Talent, and the American TV talent competition shows American Idol, The X Factor and America's Got Talent. Cowell is the principal founder and chief executive of the British entertainment company Syco.

Five are an English boy band from London consisting of members Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, and Scott Robinson. They were formed in 1997 by the same team that managed the Spice Girls before they launched their career. The group were mostly known as a five-piece, consisting of Robinson, Neville, Conlon, Abz Love and Jason "J" Brown. Five enjoyed remarkable success worldwide, particularly in their native United Kingdom, as well as most of the rest of Europe and Asia.

<i>Abstract Theory</i> 2003 studio album by Abs

Abstract Theory is the debut solo album released by former Five member Abs. The album was released on 1 September 2003, peaking at No. 29 on the UK Albums Chart. The album failed to find success elsewhere, and resulted in Abs being dropped from his record label just months later. The album spawned five singles: "What You Got", "Stop Sign", "Shame", "7 Ways" and "Miss Perfect". The album received mixed to positive reviews from critics, comparing his material to that of his former band, Five.


Early life

On 29 June 1979 Love was born in London to Turkish father Turan Sanveren and Irish mother Kathleen Breen. Love was raised on a council estate in Hackney, East London until he left home at 16 to join boyband Five. [3] [4] He won a scholarship to attend the Italia Conti Stage School [5] where he studied acting, singing and dance. One day his teacher suggested he audition for a boy band that was being put together by Simon Cowell.

London Capital of the United Kingdom

London is the capital and largest city of the United Kingdom. Standing on the River Thames in the south-east of England, at the head of its 50-mile (80 km) estuary leading to the North Sea, London has been a major settlement for two millennia. Londinium was founded by the Romans. The City of London, London's ancient core − an area of just 1.12 square miles (2.9 km2) and colloquially known as the Square Mile − retains boundaries that follow closely its medieval limits. The City of Westminster is also an Inner London borough holding city status. Greater London is governed by the Mayor of London and the London Assembly.

Turkish people or the Turks, also known as Anatolian Turks, are a Turkic ethnic group and nation living mainly in Turkey and speaking Turkish, the most widely spoken Turkic language. They are the largest ethnic group in Turkey, as well as by far the largest ethnic group among the speakers of Turkic languages. Ethnic Turkish minorities exist in the former lands of the Ottoman Empire. In addition, a Turkish diaspora has been established with modern migration, particularly in Western Europe.

Irish people Ethnic group with Celtic and other roots, native to the island of Ireland, with shared history and culture

The Irish are a Celtic nation and ethnic group native to the island of Ireland, who share a common Irish ancestry, identity and culture. Ireland has been inhabited for about 12,500 years according to archaeological studies. For most of Ireland's recorded history, the Irish have been primarily a Gaelic people. Anglo-Normans conquered parts of Ireland in the 12th century, while England's 16th/17th-century (re)conquest and colonisation of Ireland brought a large number of English and Lowland Scots people to parts of the island, especially the north. Today, Ireland is made up of the Republic of Ireland and the smaller Northern Ireland. The people of Northern Ireland hold various national identities including British, Irish, Northern Irish or some combination thereof.

After performing in front of Cowell and a panel of managers, Love was chosen from over 3,000 auditionees to be in the band Five (also known as 5ive), which went on to have massive international success winning a Brit Award for Best Pop Act 2000, an MTV award and ASCAP awards for songwriting. Love and fellow 5ive members Jason "J" Brown and Sean Conlon were heavily involved in writing many of the band's greatest hits such as "Everybody Get Up", "Keep On Movin'" and "If Ya Gettin' Down".

Jason Paul "J" Brown is an English former singer and rapper. He is best known as a former member and lead singer of boy band Five. He was the oldest member of the band, which also included Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, Abz Love and Scott Robinson. In 2012, it was announced that Five, along with 911, Atomic Kitten, B*Witched, Honeyz and Liberty X, would be reuniting for the ITV2 reality series The Big Reunion, and although Brown initially agreed to take part in the reunion, he later backed out, claiming that he no longer wants to be in the public eye.

Sean Kieran Conlon is an English singer best known as a member of boy band Five before leaving in 2001 a few months before the group announced their split. Conlon rejoined the group in 2013 as part of the ITV2 series The Big Reunion.

Everybody Get Up 1998 single by Five

"Everybody Get Up" is a song by English boy band Five. It was released on 21 August 1998 as the fourth single from their debut studio album Five (1998). The song was written by Five, Herbie Crichlow, Alan Merrill and Jake Hooker and produced by Denniz Pop and Jake Schulze. It contains samples from Joan Jett's "I Love Rock 'n' Roll". "Everybody Get Up" has received a silver sales status certification for sales of over 200,000 in the UK.


1997–2001: Career with Five

Five (stylised as 5ive) were a successful British boy band in the '90s consisting of members Richard Abidin Love (Abz), Jason Brown ('J), Sean Conlon, Ritchie Neville, and Scott Robinson. Formed in 1997 by father/son management team Bob Herbert and Chris Herbert for Safe management ltd. (The same team that originally formed the Spice Girls ) The band went on to be signed by music industry boss & A&R Simon Cowell (at the time Cowell was a music executive at Sony BMG).

Robert “Bob” Herbert was an English talent manager. He was the original manager of the Spice Girls.

Chris Herbert, is a talent manager who has helped overseen the careers of the Spice Girls, Five, Stephen Gately and Hear'Say, B*Witched, The Honeyz, Ben's Brother. He is the son of the late talent manager Bob Herbert.

Spice Girls British girl group

The Spice Girls are an English pop girl group formed in 1994. The group comprised Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, and Victoria Beckham. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996, which hit number one in 37 countries and established their global success. Their debut album Spice sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by a female group in history. Their follow-up album, Spiceworld sold over 20 million copies worldwide. The Spice Girls have sold 85 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling female group of all time, one of the best-selling pop groups of all time, and the biggest British pop success since The Beatles. Among the highest profile acts in 1990s British popular culture, Time called them "arguably the most recognizable face" of Cool Britannia, the mid-1990s celebration of youth culture in the UK.

Based on current BPI certifications 5ive have sold an over 1.6 million albums and 2 million singles in the UK alone.[1] The band split up on 27 September 2001 when new father Robinson convinced the other members to take a break. Love has since stated on ITV's The Big Reunion that he "did not want the band to split and wanted to continue", saying "It felt like they were taking something away from me". [6]

<i>The Big Reunion</i> television series

The Big Reunion was a British reality-documentary series that began airing on ITV2 on 31 January 2013. The show featured chart-topping bands who were big in the UK pop music scene between the 1990s and early 2000s, and the programme followed them as they reunited for the first time in a decade and went through their two weeks of intensive rehearsals before finally stepping back on stage for a comeback performance.

2001–2003: Solo career and debut album

After Five split, Love was signed to Sony BMG by Simon Cowell as a solo artist and became the only band member to release a solo album. Abstract Theory had three Top 10 hits in the UK Singles Chart with "What You Got" (UK no. 4), "Stop Sign" (UK no. 10) and "Miss Perfect" (UK no. 5). Plans for "7 Ways" as the fourth single were aborted despite a music video shot for it. The solo album stalled at number 29 in the UK Albums Chart, leading him to be dropped by Sony in December 2003.

Sony BMG Music Entertainment was an American record company owned as a 50–50 joint venture between Sony Corporation of America and Bertelsmann Music Group. The venture's successor, the revived Sony Music Entertainment, is wholly owned by Sony, following their buyout of the remaining 50% held by Bertelsmann AG. BMG was instead rebuilt as BMG Rights Management on the basis of 200 remaining artists.

In the music industry, the top 40 is the current, 40 most-popular songs in a particular genre. It is the best-selling or most frequently broadcast popular music. Record charts have traditionally consisted of a total of 40 songs. "Top 40" or "contemporary hit radio" is also a radio format. Frequent variants of the Top 40 are the Top 10, Top 20, Top 30, Top 50, Top 75, Top 100 and Top 200.

UK Singles Chart British singles sales chart

The UK Singles Chart is compiled by the Official Charts Company (OCC), on behalf of the British record industry, listing the top-selling singles in the United Kingdom, based upon physical sales, paid-for downloads and streaming. The Official Chart, broadcast on BBC Radio 1 and MTV, is the UK music industry's recognised official measure of singles and albums popularity because it is the most comprehensive research panel of its kind, today surveying over 15,000 retailers and digital services daily, capturing 99.9% of all singles consumed in Britain across the week, and over 98% of albums. To be eligible for the chart, a single is currently defined by the Official Charts Company (OCC) as either a 'single bundle' having no more than four tracks and not lasting longer than 25 minutes or one digital audio track not longer than 15 minutes with a minimum sale price of 40 pence. The rules have changed many times as technology has developed, the most notable being the inclusion of digital downloads in 2005 and streaming in July 2014.

2012–13: The Big Reunion

On 18 October 2012, it was revealed via Twitter that Five would be taking part in an ITV2 documentary series called The Big Reunion , which also featured Atomic Kitten, Blue, 911, Honeyz, B*witched and Liberty X and followed their journey as they prepared for a comeback show at Hammersmith Apollo. The Big Reunion aired in January 2013 and was an unexpected hit for ITV2, with each episode averaging 1 million viewers.

The show revealed what had happened to the bands after finding fame, with 5ive's stories, both as a band and as individuals, heavily featured on the show. Viewers quickly fell in love with Love's quirky sense of humour and ruthlessly hilarious honesty. In episode 4 he gave the audience a tour of his vegetable garden and showed off his 'curly carrots' which subsequently trended at No. 8 on Twitter. Love's eccentric choices of headwear garnered him attention from fans, with his favourite 'rainbow unicorn hat' selling out within days on eBay.

2013: Celebrity Big Brother 12

Love entered the Celebrity Big Brother house on 22 August 2013. When asked by CBB presenter Emma Willis why he was doing the show he responded, "I need a home cos I'm currently living with my aunty Wendy". While Love has never confirmed how much he was paid to do the show, it has been speculated that he was offered a £100,000 fee.

Whilst in the house, he struggled to socialise and integrate with his fellow housemates. Love made headlines around the world when he confessed in the diary room that he suffers from Aspergers syndrome, [7] a neurological condition that can cause the sufferer social anxiety and affect speech and communication.

Despite his shaky start, Love hit it off with former Saved by the Bell star Dustin Diamond, The Only Way Is Essex reality star Mario Falcone and, although they were from completely different worlds, he grew fond of housemate reality star Charlotte Crosby. During their time in the house, American reality star Courtney Stodden developed a crush on the ex-Five star telling housemate Lauren Harries "Abz is lovely, he's so nice to be around. He's so funny. I'm like obsessed with him now." [8] When asked by Vanessa Feltz why he didn't show an interest in Courtney's "obvious" assets, Love insisted "I honour my girlfriend." [8]

Despite his quietness viewers fell in love with him anyway, marvelling at his quirky and creative ways to pass the time and retain his sanity such as pillow stacking, spider watching, bug saving, swan apple carving and face painting. As the house numbers got smaller Love grew in confidence and was eventually announced as the favourite to win the show. [9]

On 13 September, Love was announced as the CBB12 runner-up, behind Charlotte Crosby. [10]

2014: Leaving 5ive via Twitter

In August 2014 Love announced via Twitter that he had left Five, stating: "As of today I am no longer a member of 5ive, thank you to all the fans who supported. I love you all".

Natasha Hamilton of Atomic Kitten quickly took to Twitter to criticise Love, stating: "@abzlove has left @official5ive via the world of twitter...I'd be gutted if one of the girls did that. Publicity stunt if you ask me!" [11]

In an interview with reveal mag in October 2014 shortly after his departure, Neville made his feelings about Love's exit clear stating "I'm more than happy to be a three-piece. It's never felt better to be in 5ive. To be honest, five people just get in your way, do you know what I mean? You've got a bit more space to move around now." [12]

In a frank and brutal interview with Auspop magazine, Love stated that member J Brown ('J') changed his mind at the last minute and without the full original lineup Love felt the reunion was tainted. [13] Love claims he attempted to convince his bandmates and their manager to contact Brown and make amends but they refused.

He states in the interview: "If we were making a cake, J would be the eggs," he muses. "He's an essential part of the ingredients and so with him missing, the cake never rose. It just kind of stayed flat and not properly cooked. There were a few raisins in it and I don’t like raisins so I had to take them out. You get what I'm trying to say with that analogy? There was no cherry icing on the top. It was just a shitty cake and that’s all it’s been since." [13]

Love has admitted that while money was an issue for him it wasn't his only reason for reuniting "I've been accused of only reuniting with Five for the money but that's rubbish, I could've kept on touring with them cos it was good regular money, but I chose to walk away cos I wasn't happy and I had to follow my heart. It's a shame for the fans, but I tried my best." Since Love's exit, his former bandmates continue to tour nightclubs performing as a three-piece still called 5ive

Country Strife: Abz on the Farm (2014)

After a brief attempt at rural living in Lincolnshire from 2011 to 2013, Love decided to buy a smallholding in rural Wales with his partner. After seeing his hilarious antics during their first attempt his partner and manager Vicky Fallon felt that his transition to fully fledged farmer would make for entertaining viewing so she contacted executive producer and owner of Norfolk-based production company Tin Can Island, Andrea Cornes. Cornes got the project straight away and presented the project to Tom Mcdonald at BBC2 who commissioned the project.

The BBC cameras followed the couple's journey throughout 2014 as they purchased a dilapidated smallholding and navigated the highs and lows of adjusting to rural life on a budget and the docu-series Country Strife: Abz on the Farm aired on BBC Two in August 2015. [14] [15] BBC Two were taking a huge risk in introducing Love to their audience and were criticised for it by some, but Love's trademark analogies and clueless antics hilarious on the show soon became a cult hit with viewers and critics alike. [16] [17] [18]

Brit Award

On 8 September 2015, Love put his Brit Award for best pop act 2000 on eBay. The morning the auction went live he announced his plans on The Wright Stuff explaining that he hoped to raise some funds for 'topsoil and some gardening tools' for the farm. The bidding started at 99p and Abz constructed a tongue in cheek item description to go with the award. News of the auction quickly spread around the world reaching as far as Asia and Australia.

The high level of media interest in the auction resulted in bids rapidly rising, eventually reaching over £1 million. Love was reportedly made several offers to end the auction early (including a Ferrari sports car), but turned them down believing that the 1 million bid was real. The day before the auction ended eBay's fraud squad cancelled the account denying him the chance to see if the top bid was genuine. [19]

Personal life

Love dated singer/songwriter Vicky Fallon starting in 2009 and the couple subsequently got engaged. They split in 2017. In October 2014 Love bought a dilapidated smallholding in Carmarthenshire, Wales. Fallon and Love have since split and Love has recently been linked to The Only Way is Essex star Chloe Sims.


Studio albums

TitleAlbum detailsPeak chart positions
Abstract Theory 29

Extended plays

List of albums
TitleEP details
Loved Up
  • Released: 30 August 2011
  • Label: Independent
  • Format: CD, digital download


List of singles, with selected chart positions
SingleYearPeak chart positionsAlbum
"What You Got"200243335937740Abstract Theory
"Stop Sign"2003105621
"Miss Perfect"
(featuring Nodesha)
"7 Ways"
(featuring Evie Bicker)
"—" denotes releases that did not chart or were not released in that territory.

See also

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