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North London-based trio Busted first appeared in early 2002 with an audacious blend of BBMak and Boyzone called "What I Go to School For." The single's sugar high of saccharine pop-punk progressions, processed harmonies, and cheeky curse words ("I fought my way to the front of class/To get the best view of her ass") was a big hit with the kids, and saddled the Busted boys with immediate sensation status. And why not? Mattie Jay, James Bourne, and Charlie Simpson were freshly scrubbed yet fashionably skuzzy, and came complete with PG-rated potty mouths perfect for an audience raised on boy pop but newly taken with blink-182 and Good Charlotte. Busted's eponymous debut spawned three more singles -- including the number one "You Said No (Crash & Burn)" -- and the trio embarked on a successful U.K. tour. By July 2003, the inevitable fawning biography had appeared, and the fellows began to gear up for their bang-up follow-up. Present for Everyone appeared in December 2003. Its guitars were whinier and its vocals a bit snottier, reducing the holdover boy band elements in favor of Simple Plan-style mall punk. In January 2004, Busted capped their whirlwind U.K. pop takeover with Brit Award nominations for Best British Group, Best British Breakthrough Artist, and Best Pop Act. When Charlie Simpson decided to part ways with Busted to pursue other interests, the guys called it quits in January 2005. Simpson went on to play with the rock act Fightstar; Bourne formed the Green Day-esque Son of Dork; Jay concentrated on solo work. ~ Johnny Loftus

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2002 in London, England

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