Nick Carter And 19 Other Pop Stars Who Couldn't Cut It As Solo Acts

Sometimes, a band reaps the rewards from a couple of strong albums, sells out a medium-sized venue or two, sees their merchandise worn on the street by a handful of over-eager fans, and then - as fate plays its course - the popularity fizzles, the music quality starts to wane and the group decides that the grass is greener on the other side - the solo side. In cases like that, it's usually for the better. However, for the artists we're about to see, diverting off the group highway into the solo lane proved to be a nail in their careers' coffins.

From ex-One Direction boys to Pussycat Dolls, Black Eyed Peas, and 'N Sync members, and even a former Beatle, let's take a look at some of the world's most famous pop stars who simply couldn't cut it as solo acts.

20 Nicole Scherzinger

via Parade

If you can't quite remember which group Nicole Scherzinger headlined, it was the chart-smashing, bedroom poster-worth Pussycat Dolls. With songs like Don't Cha and I Don't Need a Man becoming hits around the globe, The Pussycat Dolls were doing extremely well for themselves. Nicole should have realised that and not taken her own path.

19 Michelle Williams

via Radar Online

Have we seen someone leave Destiny's Child and become an international superstar? Absolutely, and her name is Beyonce - now one-half of one of music's greatest couples. It seems that lightning doesn't strike twice, as Michelle Williams - despite a moderately-successful first solo album - could never garner the same level of fame and fortune she once had.

18 Louis Tomlinson

via billboard

We all know the names Harry Styles, Niall Horan and Zayn Malik like the back of our hands, but compared to them, Louis Tomlinson is somewhat of an enigma. Sure, he's been learning his craft in the solo world following his 1D split, however, his successes have paled alongside that of his former band members.

17 Liam Payne

via Sky News

Wait, there's another member of One Direction? That's right, former boyband member Liam Payne - a name that lies in the shadows compared to Harry, Zayn and Naill, also tried his hand at going solo. Unfortunately, his work didn't attract the best of reviews, exampled by Bedroom Floor, to which PopCrush declared "So repetitive and forgettable."

16 Sting

via gigwise

After having a wildly successful stint with the infamous new-wave rock band, The Police (you know, that one that your parents probably haven't stopped raving about), Sting tried his hand at a solo career. Unfortunately, an array of saxophones and panflutes just didn't have the same effect.

15 Posh Spice...

via Good Housekeeping

It's safe to say that there was, and may never again be an all-girl group as successful as the Spice Girls (sorry, Destiny's Child). Leading the way was none other than Victoria Beckham, AKA Posh Spice. After the group disbanded, Posh dipped her feet in the solo waters, although it didn't take much time to fizzle into nothingness.

14 ...And Scary Spice...

via Racked Miami

When Mel B was part of the famous fivesome, she witnessed their debut single, Wannabe, top the charts in a whopping 37 countries. On the flip side, when the group went their separate ways and Mel B decided to pursue her own path - one which, at first, showed success. According to Biography, "her first single, "I Want You," with Missy Elliott, sold 80,000 copies in the first week, giving Mel B a solo No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart." That being said, one county is far less than 37.

13 ...And The Rest Of The Spice Girls...

via Nerdist

You know what, in fact, it's not even just Posh Spice or Scary Spice who nosedived in and out of a solo career - it was the entire group. Throwing Mel C (Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) into the fix, the gal-group should have never split in the first place.

12 Johnny Borrell

via gigwise

When English guitarist and singer Johnny Borrell exclusively performed with his indie-rock band called Razorlight, he found an enormous amount of success. When he decided to give the solo career path a try, that success didn't continue. That's no exaggeration - his first album only sold 594 copies in its first week (according to Gigwise).

11 Will.I.Am

via VegNews

With Where is the love?, I Gotta Feeling, My Humps, Let's Get Re-Started, and Boom Boom Pow, just to name a few, the long list of Black Eyed Peas success stories is almost never-ending. For Will I Am, despite still remaining relevant in the industry, even appearing as guest judges on The Voice, his prime days are behind him.

10 Mick Jagger

via Getty

When we go around saying that we've got the moves like Jagger, we're referring to the moves he put on display when he was moving as one the lead singer and one of the founder members of the Rolling Stones - not when he went solo. His 2001 album, Goddess in the Doorway, was nothing but a flop.

9 Ringo Starr

via gigwise

If we could go back in time and have a quick chat to Ringo, we'd lay down the line firmly - Ringo, you're the drummer in the greatest band of all time. No matter how good you think you'll be solo, you'll never eclipse the fame you already have. Alas, he gave it a try, and, unsurprisingly, received horrific reviews for his almost 'Sentimental Journey' (according to Gigwise).

8 Billy Corgan

via inews.co.uk

Once a Smashing Pumpkins frontman who got crowds yelling at feet stomping, Billy Corgan decided to take a bit of a different direction when the band went splitsville. Sporting a semi electronica-inspired sound, it's safe to say that Corgan's best work was team-based, not solo.

7 Nick Carter

via Sky News

Backstreet's back, alright! Actually, no, it's not. Nick Carter, the former Backstreet Boy, has never quite made it 'back' to the centre stage he once held so dearly, struggling to find a loyal audience. Considering that success seemed like a thing of the past for Nick, it's not such a big surprise that he and the other band members decided to get back together.

6 Roger Daltrey

via Ultimate Classic Rock

When Roger Daltrey led The Who on stage, belting out catchy vocals and getting fans off their feet, he was adored - there's no question about that. But as soon as he decided to ditch the crew and throw his at into the solo ring, well, it didn't fare quite as well. His inconsistent solo efforts weren't positively received by the public.

5 David Lee Roth

via gigwise

We used to see David Lee Roth taking centre stage on the mike alongside the Californian hard rock band, Van Halen. However, after his role as lead singer was given to Sammy Hagar, Roth took a leap down the solo career path. Evidently, it didn't pan out too well for the rockstar.

4 Nick Lachey

via Us Weekly

We're not under any illusions here - Nick Lachey was never even close to Backstreet Boys / NYNC / One Direction territory, however, he did see a moderate amount of success with his pop boy band, 98 Degrees. Of course, when he left his brother and two friends behind, it was a quick demise.

3 J.C. Chasez

via Billboard

After Justin Timberlake welcomed success by the bucketload, his former ‘N Sync teammate, J.C. Chasez, tried to follow in his footsteps. While a handful of people actually liked J.C.'s first solo album, Schizophrenic, it was clear from day one that he would never reach the same heights as he did with 'N Sync.

2 Chris Cornell

via gigwise

As the man who was once the lead singer of two relatively successful bands, Soundgarden and Audioslave, Chris Cornell made what would turn out to be a grave mistake by ditching the team and going solo. His third solo album, a collab with Timbaland called Scream received nothing but flack from industry critics.

1 Tommy Lee


Tommy Lee is a name that's always floated around in a 'who's that again?' kind of sense. While mostly known for that crude video with ex-wife Pamela Anderson, Tommy was also the drummer of Motley Crue, a rock band based out of Los Angeles. After decided to go solo, Lee's sales plummeted.

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