The United Kingdom seems especially adept at producing musical siblings, doesn’t it? There have been the Ronsons (DJ Samantha and producer/band frontman Mark) and the McCartneys (Beatle Paul and the Scaffold co-founder Mike, who was known professionally as Mike McGear) as well as the Bedingfields (electronic artist Daniel and singer/songwriter Natasha). But of all those names, only the latter once held the record for highest Billboard album chart debut by a female British artist. On this day in 2008, Natasha Bedingfield’s Pocketful of Sunshine entered the U.S. chart at number three, giving her a tie (with Sade, who would later set the new mark when her 2010 album Soldier of Love debuted at number one) for said record.
Bedingfield began her career as a member of an electronic collective called the DNA Algorithm, whose members included brother Daniel and sister Nikola Rachelle. They performed inspirational pop-dance tunes and picked up a bit of buzz early on, but the group eventually splintered when all three sought out solo careers. Daniel broke through first with his hit single “Gotta Get Thru This,” but Natasha hit the biggest when her debut album Unwritten began storming up the charts in 2004. She brought all of her experience as a producer, singer and songwriter to the album, which lent it an eclectic vibe that featured traditional pop songs as well as some strange left-hand turns (including a drop-in by D12 rapper Bizarre).
Following the success of Unwritten, Bedingfield followed up with the even bigger Pocketful of Sunshine, which showed off her songwriting mastery and incredible range as a performer. The title track remains one of the most absurdly catchy pop singles of the past few years (a fact that created an extended joke in the movie “Easy A”), and the video is just as colorful and thrilling.