Throughout the '90s, the U.K. music scene was filled to the brim with nerdy cockney types sporting messy threads and even messier hair. Fresh-faced Sophie Ellis-Bextor was among the first Brit-pop stars to break with this trend. She made it onto the stage in 1997 as the teenage vocalist behind new wave outfit Theaudience. Smartly dressed (often in black) and boasting a sexy, posh voice, she caused quite a stir on London's alternative circuit. Theaudience became known the world over as a groundbreaking pop act and even enjoyed success on the crowded U.K. singles chart with such imaginatively titled numbers as "I've Got the Wherewithal." Due to internal conflicts, however, the group split up and Ellis-Bextor went searching for success on her own.