For better or worse – TrueBliss were the pop group that gave the planet the Popstars TV franchise, and from there, the Pop Idol and (insert country) Idol megalith – changing the way pop music was discovered and delivered to the world.

The simple concept was from Aucklanders Bill Toepfer and Jonathan Dowling. Toepfer, who was originally from Chicago and was working at TVNZ as an editor, was inspired by the events at his daughter's birthday party. He told NZ on Screen: “I had hired a band called The Paua Fritters to play for the party, and the girls ended up pushing the band out of the way, grabbing the mic and singing Spice Girls songs. I thought 'oh my god, what’s happening to the music industry? Can anyone be a pop star now?'”

Number One
At the 1999 New Zealand Music Awards: Joe Cotton, Megan Cassie, Keri Harper, Erika Takacs and an unknown fan
Carly Binding, Keri Harper, Megan Cassie, Erica Takacs, Joe Cotton
TrueBliss at the 1999 Music Awards, towards the tail-end of the incredible media scrum that followed them everywhere for months: Joe Cotton, Megan Cassie, Erika Takacs, Keri Harper, a radio reporter and - looking decidely not at ease - Carly Binding.
The sole album from TrueBliss released in June 1999. Produced by Anthomy Ioasa, the album debuted at Number 1 on the Official New Zealand Music Chart and achieved well over double-platinum sales in a week.
Megan Cassie, Joe Cotton, Erica Takacs, Keri Harper, Carly Binding



Carly Binding - vocals

Joe Cotton - vocals

Erika Takacs - vocals

Keri Harper - vocals

Megan Alatini - vocals


Megan Alatini (neé Cassie) was a judge on NZ Idol.

Carly Binding would be the second TrueBliss member to have a long-term relationship with a football star, with Matthew Ridge. They have a child together.

Joe Cotton would go on to win a second talent contest: Pop's Ultimate Star, in 2007.

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