The Beautiful South was an English pop/rock group formed in 1988 by two former members of Hull group The Housemartins, Paul Heaton and Dave Hemingway, both of whom performed lead and backing vocals. Other members throughout the band's tenure were former Housemartins roadie Sean Welch (bass), Dave Stead (drums) and Dave Rotheray (guitar). After the band's first album (recorded as a quintet), they were joined by a succession of female vocalists, all of whom performed lead and backing vocals alongside Heaton and Hemingway – Briana Corrigan for albums two and three, followed by Jacqui Abbott for the fourth through seventh albums, and finally Alison Wheeler for the final three Beautiful South albums.
The group broke up in January 2007, claiming the split was due to "musical similarities", having sold around 15 million records worldwide. In January 2009, it was announced that the former members Dave Hemingway, Alison Wheeler, and Dave Stead would reform under the name "New Beautiful South" which was later changed to "The South".