B*Witched are an Irish girl group consisting of twin sisters Edele and Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou and Sinéad O’Carroll. Originally active between 1997 and 2002, they enjoyed success in both Europe and North America between 1998 and 2000, releasing two albums and eight singles, all of which made the UK Top 20. Their first four singles, “C’est la Vie“, “Rollercoaster“, “To You I Belong” and “Blame It on the Weatherman“, all reached number one in the UK Singles Chart. In 2002, having sold over 3 million albums worldwide, B*Witched were dropped by their record company. Soon afterwards, when O’Carroll decided to leave, the group split up. In 2006, the Lynch sisters formed a group, Ms. Lynch, frequently performing B*Witched material at live shows.
On 18 October 2012, it was announced that B*Witched would reunite for the ITV2 reality-documentary series The Big Reunion, along with other pop groups of their time, including Liberty X, Five, Honeyz and Atomic Kitten. The show follows the six groups as they reunited for the first time in a decade and rehearsed ahead of a comeback performance at the Hammersmith Apollo on 26 February 2013. Due to the success of the show and the high demand for tickets at the Hammersmith Apollo gig, the Big Reunion lineups also embarked on an arena tour around the UK and Ireland.
In May 2013, B*Witched unveiled a new song called “Love and Money”. During a radio interview in October 2013, Edele Lynch confirmed that the group would be releasing new material. On 28 September 2014, they released an EP, entitled Champagne or Guinness.
1996–98: Formation and B*Witched
All four members of B*Witched came from musical families and were accomplished musicians from young ages. Sinéad O’Carroll met Keavy Lynch (one of the younger sisters of Boyzone‘s Shane Lynch) in a garage where Keavy was working as a part-time mechanic and the two of them became friends. Lindsay Armaou met Keavy at a kickboxing class. In 1996, Keavy, Sinéad and Keavy’s identical twin sister Edele decided to put a group together. They were originally called Butterfly Farm. They later became a four-piece when Armaou joined.
The group experimented with the name D’sire and Sister, before settling on B*Witched. The band members deliberately cultivated a tomboy image and, in order to appeal to a younger audience, understated their ages in their early years. Edele and Keavy’s brother Shane Lynch (of the band Boyzone) helped the group find a manager, Kim Glowas. In 1997 she signed the group to Glowworm Records, the Epic Records label she ran. The label was co-run by Ray “Madman” Hedges, who produced all of B*Witched’s releases.
B*Witched released their debut single “C’est la Vie” on 25 May 1998 prior to their first show at Lawmuir Primary School in Bellshill as part of Jobee‘s 20th anniversary. Despite mixed reviews, it reached number one on the UK Singles Chart and in the process B*Witched became the youngest girl group to have a number one in the UK (a feat that has since been surpassed by the Sugababes and Little Mix). Following its release in the United States, the song went to number nine on the Billboard Hot 100. Subsequent singles “Rollercoaster“, “To You I Belong” and “Blame It on the Weatherman” all topped the UK chart as well. They also sang the theme song for Sabrina: The Animated Series. Their self-titled debut album, B*Witched, was released in October 1998, and reached number three on the UK Albums Chart and was certified 2× Platinum in the UK. The album also peaked at number 12 on the US Billboard 200 and was certified Platinum in the US.
1999–2000: Awake and Breathe
In 1999 B*Witched appeared on the ABBA tribute single “Thank ABBA for the Music“, which reached number four in the UK, and recorded a cover of “Does Your Mother Know” for the subsequent ABBAmania album and TV special. Singing dolls of the group were made by Yaboom Toys in 1999. Along with Britney Spears, they performed the opening act for NSYNC‘s world tour. B*Witched’s second album, Awake and Breathe, released a year after their debut, peaked at number 5 on the charts and was certified Platinum. Singles from the album were less successful than earlier releases (“Jesse Hold On” reached number 4, “I Shall Be There” number 13 and “Jump Down” number 16 in the UK). After touring Europe and America, where they co-headlined the All That Music and More Festival with LFO and Blaque, the band began work on a third album. Three new songs were recorded: “Hold On” (featured in The Princess Diaries); a cover of Toni Basil‘s “Mickey” (featured in Bring It On); and a cover of Wild Cherry‘s “Play That Funky Music“. The latter two appeared on their new American EP, Across America 2000, along with live tracks and the earlier cover of “Does Your Mother Know”. Across America 2000 was supposed to make a comeback for the band in America but did not chart.
2001–2002: Troubles, O’Carroll’s departure and break up
In 2001, a third album was in the works, and the band had chosen “Where Will You Go?” as the first song from that album which they were to release as a single. On 4 July 2001, B*Witched made a guest appearance on the United States daytime television medical drama, General Hospital. In October the video treatment was done and the girls were due to fly to Africa when they received a phone call from their manager. They were told that their management was not going ahead with the third album, and that their record label Sony had dropped them. Throughout the year and the beginning of 2002, they looked for another label and manager who could produce the group. In June 2002, a discussion took place amongst the members of the group in relation to finding another record label or release a new album as an independent artist and O’Carroll decided to leave the band. In September 2002, after failing to finish the third album or sign with a new label, the group split.
Songs from their unreleased third album
- “Where Will You Go?”
- “Held Me In Your Arms”
- “Some Kind Of Miracle”
- “City Calls My Name”
- “Never Alone”
- “Hold On” (Taken From “Princesses Diaries”)
- “The Boss Man”
- “Dear Steven”
- “Until Our Time Is Up”
2012–present: Return and Champagne or Guinness
On 18 October 2012, it was announced that B*Witched would reunite for an ITV2 series entitled The Big Reunion along with five other pop groups of their time—Honeyz, 911, Liberty X, Five and Atomic Kitten (Blue later joined as well). The show would feature each group telling their stories of their times in their respective bands, before rehearsing together ahead of one major comeback performance at the Hammersmith Apollo. B*Witched had to hold “emotional clear the air” talks before reforming. Edele admitted that she and Sinéad had fallen out in 2006 and had not spoken to each other since: “My biggest anxiety about doing this – there’s only one, and it’s Sinéad, I think. It’s just how I’m going to feel about being in her person again.” Lindsay also said: “Some of the issues we didn’t even know were necessarily there until we were faced with this opportunity that we have to work together again, then we were like, ‘Oh, OK, in order for us to do this then we have to sort a few things out.’ It all just came up. It’s been difficult to get to this point. There’s been a lot of talking, a lot of talking. But we’re here now. It’s very surreal being called B*Witched again because it’s been 12 years.”
Due to the success of The Big Reunion, the bands embarked on an arena tour around the UK and Ireland in May 2013. The groups got together to record a charity single, a cover of Wizzard‘s “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday“, for Text Santa. In March, Armaou announced that they would record new material. On 4 May, the group released a promotional single called “Love and Money” on YouTube. On 3 October, Edele Lynch announced in an interview to Today FM that they were recording their third album. On 11 December, B*Witched made an announcement via PledgeMusic. The EP, titled Champagne or Guinness, was released on 28 September 2014. On 12 February 2016, B*Witched released the compilation album C’est la Vie – The Collection, a 36-track double album featuring tracks from their first two albums and two tracks from their 2014 Champagne or Guinness EP. B*Witched had planned to tour Australia in 2017, along with other acts including Atomic Kitten and Liberty X.
In March 2021, B*Witched starting hosting a new podcast called Starting Over with B*Witched.