KATY WHEELER looks at how one of the world’s biggest boy bands reformed to become a record-breaking man band.
LOVE them or hate them, Take That truly have something special.
And they’ve come a long way since bursting on to the music scene as a group of young lads back in 1991.
Their breakthrough single came in 1993 when Take That’s cover of the 70s Tavares hit, It Only Takes A Minute, peaked at Number 7 in the charts.
The boys went on to storm the music scene throughout the early 90s, racking up a staggering 13 Top 10 hits, with eight shooting to the top spot in the charts.
But the boys broke the hearts of millions of women worldwide when in 1996 they delivered the devastating news that they were splitting up.
Hotlines were set up to help heart-broken girls cope with their grief as the boys went their separate ways.
While Robbie Williams enjoyed a solo career, Mark, Jason and Howard faded into the background, while Gary focused on his song-writing skills.
Just when Take That started to drift right off the radar with plenty of other boy bands stepping into their shoes, they made the shocking news in 2005 that they were back in business – minus Robbie.
Proving they still had their magic, Gary, Howard, Jason and Mark hit the road for a string of sell-out gigs, and rose to the same heights of fame they enjoyed in the 90s.
Their Ultimate Tour 2006, which started in Newcastle, saw fans queue for days to get their hands on tickets.
Within 30 minutes, tickets for their 11-date arena tour were snapped up, forcing the fabulous foursome to double the number of shows.
Within three hours, Take That sold a 275,000 tickets, making it the second-fastest tour of 2005 behind former member Robbie Williams’ solo tour.
But that was nothing compared to the rate they managed to shift tickets for their tour, The Circus Live, which started at the Stadium of Light in 2009.
Just when you thought the boys couldn’t get any bigger, they managed to smash records when their latest tour became the fastest-selling tour in UK history, selling more than 600,000 tickets in less than five hours, blowing away the record held by Michael Jackson for his 1987 Bad Tour.
After reforming, their first single, Patience, hit the top spot, followed by another Number 1 with Shine.
Rule The World got to Number 2, and they achieved another Number 1 with Greatest Day.
Then, in 2010 they rocked the music world once more when they announced that Robbie would be re-joining.
Their sixth studio album Progress was released on November 15, becoming the fastest-selling album of the century while also being the first album of new material to feature Take That’s original line-up since their 1995 album, Nobody Else.
Once more, the band chose to open their new tour at the Stadium of Light.
Progress Live 2011, presented by Samsung, kicks-off tomorrow night on Wearside and will see the band play to almost 1.6million people around the UK, culminating in a record-breaking eight nights at London’s Wembley Stadium, the most nights ever played by an act in the stadium’s history.
Progress Live 2011 is the band’s biggest tour yet and will be the first time Gary, Howard, Jason, Mark and Robbie have toured together as a five-piece since 1995.
The spectacular live shows will celebrate Take That’s biggest hits from the last two decades and, will also see Robbie take to the stage to perform songs from his incredible chart-topping solo career.