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Live Lounge, then and now: How the biggest pop stars have changed

We've had a lot of big names set foot in our Live Lounge this year. From Sam Smith to P!nk, we've happily played host to stars that we haven't seen for a while. Here's what's happened (and how they've changed) since they first paid the Live Lounge a visit all those years ago...

Plan B: 2010 to 2017

Plan B joined Annie Mac in Radio 1's Maida Vale studios recently for a very special live performance of new music and some of his classic tracks. He's no stranger to Radio 1, having previously performed at Radio 1's Big Weekend seven years ago in Bangor in 2010 while riding high on the success of his breakthrough album, The Defamation of Strickland Banks.

And some of the songs he performed for Annie (Stay Too Long, Love Goes Down) in his recent session were the songs that put him on the map back in 2010. They still sound incredible today.

Listen to Plan B's 2017 gig for Annie Mac

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Plan B Live Gig

Rapper and singer Plan B performs an extended live gig for Annie Mac at Maida Vale.

In the years since, Plan B wrote and directed his first movie, Ill Manors, for which he also recorded the soundtrack. He scrapped a planned album, The Ballad Of Bellmarsh, but will return (he promises) in 2018 with his fourth album, Heaven Before All Hell Breaks Loose.

Ed Sheeran: 2011 to 2017

In 2011 we welcomed Wretch 32, Devlin, P Money, Mikill Pane and Ed Sheeran into the wood-clad Live Lounge (shed-chic was big back in the day; don't judge).

While Ed was carving out a name for himself with the critically acclaimed The A Team and his EP, Loose Change, it would be a few years before Ed was considered the singing, songwriting juggernaut he's known as today.

Ed Sheeran sings Shape Of You in the Live Lounge

Four years after his Live Lounge debut and Ed was back in the Radio 1 studio, this time serenading us with Shape Of You.

Still floppy-haired, still with a guitar fixed firmly on his front but some things had changed: Ed had since made history with the fastest selling album by a male artist with '÷', scored 184 awards nominations (taking home 59 of them), headlined Glastonbury and penned an exhaustive amount of your favourite pop songs for some major stars.

Chris Martin (Coldplay): 2002 to 2017

Coldplay performed a live session for Jo Whiley (now found on Radio 2) in 2002, the year they released their second album, A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Chris Martin performed as a curly haired young indie star, enjoying the first years of success and in the spotlight.

Jump 15 years and Chris Martin is performing his band's Beyoncé duet Hymn For The Weekend, solo, in a Radio 1 Live Lounge special from Malibu. Not bad for a singer-songwriter from Devon.

Watch Chris perform Hymn For The Weekend

In those 15 years, Coldplay have become one of the biggest bands in the world, selling millions of albums and topping the charts across the world. 21 years into their career together, the band are still at the top of their game and Chris Martin remains one of the most captivating frontmen in music.

Harry Styles: 2012 to 2017

It's hard to believe that it's been seven years since One Direction entered our orbit (SEVEN YEARS, people!), bringing a baby-faced Harry Styles and his cracking head of curls crash-landing into our lives. What a journey it's been, huh?

The band originally performed an acapella version of Natalie Imbruglia's Torn at the judges house on The X Factor in 2010 and, five years later, swung by the Radio 1 Live Lounge to sprinkle that same magic all over the studio...

One Direction cover Natalie Imbruglia's Torn

Since their infamous inception, One Direction went on to sell over 50 million albums (!!!) and were, pretty impressively, the first band to ever have four albums debut at No.1 on Billboard's 200 chart. They bagged four UK No.1's and spent a whopping 329 weeks in the Top 75.

But that all came to an end in 2016 when the guys decided to part ways and embark on solo ventures. Zayn dropped Pillowtalk, Niall dropped This Town, Louis dropped Just Hold On, Liam dropped Strip That Down and Harry dropped Sign Of The Times...

Harry Styles - Sign Of The Times in the Live Lounge

Yup, fast forward two years from 1D's debut Live Lounge performance and Harry Styles appeared, sans bandmates, to sing his debut single (from his eponymous debut album) and covered Fleetwood Mac's The Chain while he was there, too! Did it feel lonely in there all by himself? Not really..

"I mean I don't feel like I'm completely by myself because I'm with the band," Harry told Clara. "It's fun. Live Lounge is fun - I've only done it once but I used to get the CDs all the time."

Craig David: 2010 to 2017

Can you believe Craig David's Rewind was released in 1999? Us neither. Fast forward 11 years and he paid the 1Xtra Live Lounge a visit, singing a whopping five tracks as he did so, and elevating the scarf from humble winter-warmer to fashion-forward accessory. Bravo, CD.

Craig paid the Live Lounge a visit in 2010 and then in 2016...

Unfortunately there's no official video of Craig's first appearance in the Live Lounge - what with the early aughts basically being an eternity ago - but, after a hiatus from the music world, Craig stopped by in 2016 and inadvertently put himself well and truly back on the map with a soulful rendition of Justin Bieber's Love Yourself.

Some things change, but Craig's on-point hairline isn't one of them.

And then again as part of 2017's Live Lounge Month

Not content with whipping us into a frenzy in 2016, Craig returned to the Live Lounge mic in 2017 as part of Live Lounge Month. From Thirty Seconds To Mars to Miley Cyrus, the stellar line-up for this year's live music-fuelled month was unparalleled and Craig's appearance was nothing short of epic.

He's since announced the imminent release of his seventh studio album, The Time Is Now, and dropped a banger with his single Heartline. We couldn't be happier to have you back, CD.

P!nk: 2012 to 2017

Get The Party Started, Family Portrait, Just Like A Pill, Don't Let Me Get Me, Trouble: it's safe to say that P!nk has had her fair share of hits over the years. And with great songs, comes great album sales, having racked up 70 million singles sales in her illustrious career.

While P!nk's been a big part of the music scene since the early 2000s, it was in 2012 that she first paid Fearne Cotton a visit in the Live Lounge to perform her single, Try.

P!nk performs What About Us in the Live Lounge

Same stellar vocals. Same gravity-defying quiff. As far as image overhauls go, P!nk hasn't changed all that much in the five years since she first made a Live Lounge pit-stop.

Joining the major Live Lounge Month line-up for 2017 (including Harry Styles, Stormzy and Rita Ora), P!nk transported us back to 2006 with Who Knew and Try, and then journeyed on through to 2017 for her latest single, What About Us, before rounding off proceedings with an eye-wateringly good rendition of Sam Smith's Stay With Me.

Sam Smith: 2013 to 2017

A lot can happen in four years, just ask Sam Smith.

In early 2013 Sam released his debut single, Lay Me Down, and since then he's climbed the ranks to claim his place as one of the biggest pop acts in the world. Not bad, huh? Part of this journey included a stopover to R1 studios where Huw Stephens was hosting a Live Lounge session.

Sam Smith covers Bruno Mars' When I Was Your Man in 2013

With 12 million views and counting, we're gonna hedge our bets and say that Sam's cover of When I Was Your Man (a Bruno Mars classic) made quite the impression. He's since gone on to have two UK No.1 albums, 6 UK No.1 singles, record a Bond theme song (for which he bagged an Academy Award), scoop countless Grammy Awards AND make another appearance in the Live Lounge (just as much of an accolade, surely?!)...

And rounded off 2017's Live Lounge Month with a special gig...

In short: Sam Smith is smashing it. Despite the blindingly obvious adoration, Sam was pretty apprehensive about returning to the spotlight with his second album.

"I was really scared that people wouldn't want to hear my voice again and I’m really thankful that they do, for now," he told Radio 1 online backstage before his performance for Live Lounge Month. "That was my biggest fear. I love what I do, I love my fans, I love singing. I feel very lucky to do what I do and I don't take that for granted."

We're not so good at goodbyes, Sam, so don't leave the music biz anytime soon. Thanks!

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