The Story of Pop: 2000 (Chapter 15)

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It’s Thursday, it’s midday, and time once again to revisit another huge UK chart hit from the turn of the millennium with The Story of Pop: 2000. This week – the debut UK number one for Southampton’s biggest musical export…

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It’s funny really. A record like Artful Dodger’s seminal UK garage banger ‘Re-Rewind’ that we met on The Story of Pop: 1999 last year could so easily have been a one hit wonder. That it wasn’t speak volumes for them and also the subsequently huge career that song’s main vocalist enjoyed (and would have been celebrating this month with a 20th anniversary tour that’s been postponed for obvious reasons).

But as his singing and songwriting talents proved, Craig David was undoubtedly something special, even at the tender age of 17 as he was then. And with UK garage taking over from Britpop as the nation’s defining new sound, he was its poster boy. It was when his long standing manager Colin Lester heard early demos of his songs that he knew hits were in waiting.

The tale of wooing a girl next door away from the watchful eyes of overprotective parents, ‘Fill Me In’ was not a million miles away from the light, skippy 2-step sound that was prominent on national and pirate radio at the time. But with it came a smooth and maturely soulful vocal with a good R&B pop sensibility.

Once released out the traps at the beginning of April 2000, ‘Fill Me In’ proved an instant hit. In fact, when the single debuted at #1 in the UK charts, it led an exceptionally busy top 6 of new entries, in the process seeing off major single releases by Sweet Female Attitude (with their equally prolific UK garage classic ‘Flowers’), Steps and the debut solo single from former frontman with The Verve, Richard Ashcroft.

‘Fill Me In’ also saw to it that Craig was, at the time, the youngest solo male to make his debut at the top of the chart, going onto become the 10th biggest selling single in the UK for 2000. But his success didn’t end there, as the equally velvety ‘7 Days’ gave him a second number one that July.

And with his now classic debut album ‘Born To Do It’ ascending to the top of the album listings that summer, it all but confirmed that Craig David was one of the biggest success stories of Y2K. And even though he’ll have to wait a bit longer to celebrate his 20th anniversary milestone in person, today we raise a toast to Craig, and the single that started his transformation into one of Britain’s best loved male solo artists for a generation.

Don’t forget to follow our brand new playlist on Spotify – updated weekly so you never miss a song from the story of pop in 2000. And you can leave your memories of the songs below in the comments or Tweet us, using the hashtag #StoryofPop2000.

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