Last updated: 12/16/2012 10:33:20 AM
"Aqua" was a Scandinavian pop-dance band which consisted of Lene Grawford Nystrøm (born 2 October 1973, Tønsberg, Norway), René Dif (born 17 October 1967, Copenhagen, Denmark) and Claus Norréen (born 5 June 1970, Charlottenlund, Denmark) and Søren Rasted (born 13 June 1969, Blovstrød, Denmark). Originally known as "Joyspeed", the group formed in 1995 and released a debut single called "Itzy Bitsy Spider" in Sweden and Denmark. The single performed poorly and the group decided to re-think their plans for success.
In 1997 the group became known as Aqua and recorded the "Aquarium" album. The first single released from it was "Barbie Girl", a pop song seemingly about the children's toy but with 'double-meanings' which resulted in Barbie makers Mattel filing a lawsuit against the group (the lawsuit was dismissed in 2003). The single would hit number one across Europe and would also be successful Stateside, going platinum in the US and becoming a rare million seller in the UK.
The follow-up single "Doctor Jones" would also be a UK number one, as would the third release from Aquarium, "Turn Back Time". "Turn Back Time" was taken from the Sliding Doors soundtrack and featured a less 'helium-induced' sound, gaining a lot of radio airplay. The fourth release would be "My Oh My", which didn't hit number one in the UK but was still a hit. The fifth single "Good Morning Sunshine", released in late 1998, performed poorly and made only number 18.
Aquarius and split
After a year of so out of the spotlight Aqua returned in 2000 with a new album, "Aquarius", and a more matured sound with a larger range of styles. The first single release from the album was "Cartoon Heroes", which made number 7 in the UK. This was followed-up by "Around The World", which despite being surprisingly anthemic would flop and make only number 26. Aqua would then perform at the Eurovision Song Contest of 2001, collaborating with the Safri Duo.
A third release from the album, "Freaky Friday" was planned but was pulled at the last minute. In 2001 lead vocalist Lene would collapse on stage and with the peak of Aqua's popularity passed and relationships within the band weakening, Aqua split up in mid-2001.
All four members continued working in the music industry. Lene Grawford Nystrøm would marry Søren Rasted and then release a solo album, "Play With Me", which flopped in Scandinavia (making number 74 in her native Norway). The first single would do well, though, "It's Your Duty" making number three in Denmark. The second single "Pretty Young Thing" was never released. Lene fell pregnant in 2004 with Søren's baby, and put her solo career on hold.
René Dif would also pursue a solo career, releasing "Let It All Out (Push It)" earlier than Lene, in 2002. His performance was not as strong, though, and he has since been out of the spotlight. Søren Rasted was a judge on the Danish version of Pop Idol, and would later begin work on the Lazyboy project, releasing "Underpants Go On The Inside" in January 2005 and making #5 in Australia. Claus Norréen would be the quietest of the former members, remixing material for other artists, including Lazyboy's second single "Facts Of Life" under the Danny Red alias.
*''Itzy Bitsy Spider'' (1995)
*''Barbie Girl'' (1997)
*''Doctor Jones'' (1998)
*''Turn Back Time'' (1998)
*''Good Morning Sunshine'' (1998)
*''Cartoon Heroes'' (2000)
*''Around The World'' (2000)
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