Billie Piper, from a lifetime ago #MusicMonday

Monday, March 14, 2016

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I was one of those annoying teenagers who would sing a line from a song if what you said happened to match a lyric. Okay, actually, I still do that. Sometimes it doesn't even take a full line. Take, for example, what happened the other day: I was topping my homemade yogurt with some honey when the phrase "honey to the bee" infiltrated my mind.

Though I was born and raised in the U.S. and was every bit a city kid, I was for some reason quite attuned to all types of teen music for a brief period in the '99-early '00s. This was, of course, before YouTube and music streaming, and I believe even before Yahoo! Music/Launch. If I recall correctly, discovering this sort of music required nothing short of popping into a record store and browsing the aisles and (I'm not too proud to say) judging an album based on its cover.

One of these finds happened to be "Honey To The B" by 16-year-old Billie from the UK. The CD was neglected (quite possibly in the discount bin) and had a couple of battle scars across its plastic front. Billie at the time reminded me of Mariah Carey in looks, and in comparison to what some of the female teen pop singers the U.S. had to offer, Billie's voice was much more solid. The songs were, of course, great pop music -- a lot of it with a more nuanced "girl power" message than the Spice Girls had been able to deliver. "Honey To The B" was on full rotation in my bedroom for probably about a year before it was edged out by new music.

Well, Billie happens to be Billie Piper of Doctor Who and Secret Diary of a Call Girl fame. After releasing a second album, she called it a wrap on her musical career ... and the rest is history.

Below, some of my favorites from Billie's short-lived musical career (which doesn't include the song that got Billie back in my head, "Honey To The Bee"). Rather, it includes a song from the 1999 Pokemon: The First Movie soundtrack -- a song which is, incidentally, my favorite Billie song. The soundtrack is actually an excellent find for '90s pop music lovers and features some great and otherwise unreleased songs from Christina Aguilera and 'N Sync ...




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