Reuniting, disbanding, changing members and releasing bops. This is the story of Australia’s greatest girl group, The Young Divas. Much more grave than the burning of the Library of Alexandria was the day that this band called it quits for good, so let’s talk about them, hey?
The impact of The Young Divas (capital ‘t’ when you write the name, thanks), is one that cannot really be explained. It had to be felt, lived through, experienced.
The iconic Australian Idol-alum supergroup, made up of Paulini, Ricki-Lee Coulter, Emily Williams, Kate DeAraugo and eventually, Jessica Mauboy, only lasted for two years, so witnessing their shine was kinda like standing under a shooting star and making a wish.
Even though these icons had a short stint in the spotlight, they managed to whip out two iconic albums, a chart-topping single in ‘This Time I Know It’s For Real’ and a nationwide tour. One simply must stan.
You’ve gotta listen to this bop. Sure it’s a cover of a Donna Summer song, but it SLAPS.
In fact, most of The Young Divas’ greatest songs were covers. Think of them as an iconic Aussie cover band. Serving looks and singing hooks. Bless their hearts.
Dreams of getting this band together, however, are all for naught. It will probably never happen given the fact that there’s so much tension between the leading ladies, as much as I can hope and dream.
Thing is, Ricki-Lee left the band in 2007 just one year after its genesis to springboard her solo career. Needless to say, jumping ship did wonders for her music, and she went on to have a whole smorgasbord of hits.
She was then replaced by another Aussie music legend Jessica Mauboy, who continued with the band until its untimely demise.
Here’s the hot single from Mauboy’s run with the band (and yes, it’s still a cover).
Naturally, the departure of a powerhouse vocalist can send any band into disarray (I mean, even Beyoncé stuck around with Destiny’s Child for a while before leaving the nest).
Mix in reports of group tensions and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
“I honestly believe that any time you put a group of strong women in a close-knit situation for long periods of time, emotions are going to spill over about one thing or another,” Emily Williams told Mamamia in an interview.
“Throw in the long hours, the egos, and also everyone fighting for what they want in the line-up… you know. Also, we were so young. We really were ‘young divas’!”
“At the time [of Ricki’s departure] I remember I felt so shocked that I didn’t know how to feel,” she continues.
“Now, though, I know that Ricki was only doing what she thought was best, and more power to her for that! I will always love and respect her.”
Back in 2019, Coulter also admitted to not really liking fellow member Kate DeAraugo on 97.3FM Breakfast, saying “I would just rather be anywhere but with her.” Yikes.
DeAraugo on the other hand appeared on The Morning Show in 2021 to open up about her struggles of becoming sober after being charged with drugs and weapons offences in 2017, and her move into the construction industry to chase new passions.
Add on the others thriving in their solo lanes, and it’s very unlikely to see the band getting back together.
However, one can hope and dream, and at best reminisce on the times when this band were all over the radio, kicking ass and taking names. Somehow, I contribute this band to my gay awakening, despite it comprising entirely of amazing women.
We also have to realise that this was a girl group without a lead singer. They all had PIPES on them, in an era wayyyy before Little Mix, Fifth Harmony and even One Direction.
They were before their time and we simply must salute them for what they did, regardless of the fact that they eventually fell apart.
Godspeed, members of The Young Divas. We salute you for your brave service to this country.