U.K. boy band JLS is enjoying a perfect start to its third album campaign.
The four-piece pop group, which finished second during the 2008 season of Simon Cowell’s music talent TV show “The X Factor,” scored its fifth U.K. No. 1 this week with “She Makes Me Wanna” featuring U.S. rapper Dev (Devin Star Tailes). The uptempo, RedOne-produced dance track — mixing slick, synth-fueled production with catchy Auto-Tuned vocal harmonies — posted first-week sales of 90,000, according to the Official Charts Co.
Signed to Epic/Sony Music Entertainment, JLS comprises Aston Merrygold, Marvin Humes, Oritse Williams and JB Gill. The quartet first topped the U.K. singles chart with the infectious “Beat Again” in July 2009. Follow-up singles “Everybody in Love,” “Love You More” and “The Club Is Alive” also went to No. 1. The band’s combined singles sales total more than 1.6 million, according to the OCC, while its album sales are similarly impressive. JLS, the group’s 2009 debut album, has sold 1.3 million units; sophomore set Outta This World, which featured production by Stargate, has moved 610,000, according to the OCC. The multiple BRIT Award-winning group, whose name stands for “Jack the Lad Swing,” will release its yet-untitled third album in the United Kingdom on Nov. 14.
“JLS could easily have slipped from view after their initial TV success, as other acts have. Instead, they have used the platform to brilliant effect to launch a truly impactful career,” says Gennaro Castaldo, spokesman for HMV, the leading U.K. entertainment retailer. “Clearly there was a real gap in the market for such a boy band,” adds Castaldo, who anticipates JLS’ forthcoming third album to be a key fall release and predicts the group to “go on to even greater things.”
Despite the band’s U.K. success, an international breakthrough has yet to happen. The band’s JLS made its official U.S. bow in summer 2010 on Jive. That release was supported by a traditional radio and promotional tour, but sales stalled at a mere 2,000, according to Nielsen SoundScan. “Everybody in Love,” JLS’ only U.S. hit to date, has sold 69,000 downloads and peaked at No. 38 on the Mainstream Top 40 chart.
Jive couldn’t be reached for comment at press time. Epic Records declined to comment, other than to confirm that the label is working on international plans for JLS’ next release.