Whatever happened to the Spice Girls? From their beginnings to the latest news
Speaking to BBC Breakfast from Glastonbury this year, Spice Girls singer Mel C hinted that next year's edition of the festival could well see the group return for a spectacular reunion. All 5 of them. She said in the interview: "It’s the dream, the absolute dream, we would love to do it."
Then she was asked if Posh Spice - Victoria Beckham would join them. The response has got fans all giddy in anticipation. "I have a good feeling [she would]," Mel C replied.
There have been many plans to get the girls back together, but now it seems that years of scheduling issues and hesitation from Becks could have finally come to an end and The Sun has also stated the ladies are set to bring 'Girl Power' to Glastonbury in 2023.
A source told The Sun: “There have been bumps in the road, particularly where Geri is concerned, but the plan is still that the girls’ world tour will go ahead next year... The idea is that it will kick off in 2023, and finish at Glastonbury... Victoria has previously said that she would perform with them at the festival. So that would be the perfect way to round off the tour."
As reported by The Mirror, Mel C hinted in November 2021 that performing at Glastonbury could possibly persuade the elusive Victoria Beckham back to the group for a reunion. She said: "I do believe it could be the thing that would see all five girls on stage. So should we start a petition?"
Many want to go back in time and relive the days of the Spice Girls. Well 2021 was the year you could do that. The group released a new EP in celebration of their top hit, "Wannabe", turning 25. Not only does it include the original Radio Edit, but also a Remix, the demo and, most importantly, a Spice Girl's unreleased song, 'Feed Your love'. A memory of when many danced, sang or simply dressed up as the Spice Girls those 25 years ago...
Girl Power was born in 1993 when Emma, Mel C, Geri, Victoria and Mel B saw an advertisement in a trade magazine and applied to audition for a female pop group. They were the successful candidates, all with dancing and singing backgrounds, and immediately because housemates, friends and the groundbreaking Spice Girls.
Wannabe was fun and every bit girl power. The video is almost as famous as the song - filmed in an abandoned London house as they caused havoc at a formal event. By the end of its first year, Wannabe had reached number one in 22 countries and The Spice Girls were officially a household name.
Photo: Music Video, 'Wannabe'
In an interview with Marie Claire, Geri Halliwell said, "We'd bounce ideas and talk about how we felt, and it would fall onto the page. It didn't take any longer than a day to write 'Wannabe.'
Mel B came up with the "zig-a-zig-ahh" line—she'd often add flair to our songwriting with crazy words, while the rest of us would contribute our own theme, melody, and lyric ideas. We wanted our songs to tell you how we felt. And 'Wannabe' was catching a moment and sharing it." The video also made history and here they are collecting the VMA in New York for best video.
After ‘WannaBe’ came ‘Say You’ll be There’ and both were number one hits, coming from their history-making 1996 album Spice. The album shot to success, reaching number one in more than 17 countries and Multi-Platinum in 27 countries. The album sold 19 million copies in just over a year and is one of the best selling albums of all time.
A year later, The Spice Girls released their second album, Spiceworld and then released a feature film to secure their place in the limelight and pop culture history. The album released songs such as "Stop" (everyone surely remembers the dance moves), "Too Much" and "Viva Forever".
Photo: Music Video, 'Stop'
In 1998, Geri Halliwell left the group to start a solo career. Despite this, the rest of the group stayed together but also tried out their own solo careers at the same time. Finally the pop sensations went their own ways completely, bringing the Spice Girls to an end in 2001.
They came back together for a reunion and world concert tour in 2007-2008. There has also been a musical based on the Spice Girls songs, called ‘Viva Forever!’, and they were all seen together promoting the musical in 2012.
In the same year they also performed at the London 2012 Olympics together. They reunited for a world tour, this time without Victoria, and ticket sales rocketed, crashing sites such as Ticketmaster. It sold out so fast that extra dates were added to the tour - it is obvious The Spice Girls will always be around.
The band members were original and unique in their own ways. They were Sporty Spice (Melanie Chisholm, also known as Mel C), Posh Spice (Victoria Adams), Ginger Spice (Geri Halliwell, also known as Sexy Spice), Baby Spice (Emma Bunton), and Scary Spice (Melanie Brown, also known as Mel B).
Geri told Marie Claire, ‘How you saw us in public was very much our own individual style: Mel B was street and funky; Emma was sweet and baby doll; Victoria was minimalist but designer-driven (I remember Victoria coming into the studio one day wearing Manolo Blahnik shoes, and I was mesmerized); Melanie C rocked the sneakers and tracksuits; as for me, I was a mix of everything vintage, sassy, and expressive (depending on what day it was!)’.
Victoria was given the name Posh Spice - mainly because of her love for designers and the little black dresses she wore. She had a good childhood, saying her parents had always had money and went to an established school. After studying dance and modelling, Victoria joined the spice girls and shot to fame. Victoria is everything fashion and made her own name attending many different fashion shows in Gucci, Prada and Chanel, then she met David Beckham...
Victoria’s relationship with Beckham pushed her further into the limelight. They were the perfect couple. Everyone wanted to be Victoria Adams. Of course, she married him and became Victoria Beckham and the Beckham name was one of the biggest in the world, with many people likening them to British royalty. Victoria stayed in the press for the rest of The Spice Girls and beyond, she tried her hand at a solo career, released and album and a few top ten singles and then turned to fashion full time and her own label, Victoria Beckham, was even names designer brand of the year in the UK in 2011.
How could ‘Posh Spice’ possibly have any scandals? In fact most of her scandals seem to come from her time spent in Spain with the translation and culture problems she faced. Spanish journalists quoted Victoria Beckham as saying, “I have never read a book in my life”. Later Victoria told the press is was a translation issue and she meant she had never finished a book due to her responsibilities as a mother. She is also reported to have said that everything in Spain ‘smells like garlic’, which, needless to say, the Spanish were not amused.
Four children later, worldwide fame and the life most people envy, Victoria Beckham continues to show great advances in her own fashion career and spend a lot of time with her family. Her third son, Cruz turned 16 recently and there were message of pride and love from all of the family on social media. It is clear they all have a special relationship, having all of them spent their lives in the eyes of the press.
Melanie Chisholm became Sporty Spice mainly because of her love for football and slightly tomboy dress sense. She was the ‘sportswear’ dresser of the group, with her hair pulled back in a ponytail, sporty shoes and tattoos; and she was also commonly known as the best singer out of the five. After The Spice Girls split, she started a successful solo career, including a duet with Bryan Adams and then released her first album which went platinum internationally and sold over 4 million copies, making hers the most successful Spice Girl solo career.
Mel C struggled during her Spice Girls days. She suffered from depression, anxiety and eating disorders so, following her international successes, she focused on promoting self-acceptance, with many of her lyrics depicting her journey to redsecovering herself. One of her tracks, Who I Am, includes the lyrics, “When I look in the mirror, I finally like who I see," showing the personal journey Melanie has been on and how she is now finding a new strength in herself. She has always been in the music industry, collaborating with different UK artists and writing a number of songs that have reached number one in the charts.
Melanie C confessed to being bullied when she was in The Spice Girls. She told ‘Attutide’, in an interview when talking about her single, Version of Me, in 2016 “About being in a situation as a young adult where I felt bullied and how that has affected me, and molded me in a way. Unfortunately, being bullied can really damage people and even when you are stronger and over it, it can still be in the background — undermining you.”
Melanie C continues to sing and develop her music career. It is obvious The Spice Girls era was truly special to her and just recently, for Valentine’s Day 2021, she recorded a special acoustic version of the Spice Girls hit, “Too Much”. As a solo artist she has co-written 11 UK number ones, more than any other female artist. Melanie is a promoter of self-acceptance, having struggled herself with anxieties about her place in The Spice Girls and in the world. As a mum she is also, like everyone, struggling with home-schooling during these lockdowns, having told interviewers that they have managed the ‘bare minimum’, despite her daughter being quite smart. She has a tour planned for this year, depending on lockdown restrictions.
Melanie Janine Brown became Scary Spice, due to her crazy afro and wild style. She wore lots of animal prints and had a memorable tongue piercing that added to her wacky aura. When The Spice Girls came to an end she, like the other girls, embarked on a solo career and teamed up with Missy Elliot to produce the UK number one, “I Want You Back”
Melanie B has made constant television appearances including as a judge on a number of TV shows such as America’s Got Talent and Australia’s Dancing with the Stars. As well as continuing a solo career, which never really made it past the first album (the second was considered a flop), she branched out into film and theatre and starred in the musical ‘Rent’ playing Mimi Marquez, receiving positive critical acclaim and then further adding to her musical career in 2017 playing Roxie Hart in ‘Chicago’.
Melanie B was a victim of a number of racist remarks and situations that always affected her. She is from a mixed race family, her father coming from black Nevision descent and her mother, a white Brit. When she remembers her journey into The Spice Girls, she definitely had one dream, "I want to make enough money to buy this club in Leeds from the owners who wouldn't let me in once because I was from a mixed-raced family." Mel B has also constantly been in the press for her reportedly abusive relationship and messy divorce with Stephen Belafonte.
Melanie has two children, a little girl called Angel Iris Murphy Brown, born on April 3, 2007. She had a brief relationship with actor Eddie Murphy and later Murphy was confirmed as the father through paternity tests. She also has another little girl with Stephen Belafonte on September 1, 2011, Madison Brown Belafonte. Melanie has just recently taken part in the incredibly entertaining, Masked Singer on ITV but was voted off the second week of the show.
Emma Lee Bunton was born in January, 1976 in Barnet, North London. Before The Spice Girls, she had already worked as a model and studied drama in a top children’s theatre school, going on to make a few television appearances on The Bill and Eastenders. She was known as Baby Spice thanks to her youthful looks and sweetheart dress sense. Emma is also the youngest of the five Spice Girls.
Emma Bunton had a relatively successful solo career. She released an album which featured the hit number one single, ‘What Took You So Long’, then came a few more singles form the album. She released another album which was also received very well and produced four singles, then her music career started to flop. Emma has made a number of appearances on TV shows, most notably Dancing on Ice, and then made the excellent career move to become a radio DJ at London’s Heart Radio. Emma has been in a relationship with her partner, Jade Jones since 1997 and has two children with him.
Emma, at the start of her relationship with Jade Jones, reportedly had a fling with heartthrob Justin Timberlake. She had told Jonathan Ross a year later that they had ‘hung out’ and ‘partied a bit’. Emma Bunton is now planning to have a third child with her partner which could throw away any planned 25th Spice Girls anniversary plans.
Emma revealed she enjoyed a socially distanced reunion with the other Spice Girls band members last year and the mother of two continues to be in close contact with all the girls. She is still Heart FM’s DJ and making many appearances in the press, especially at her best bud’s side, Holly Willoughby with whom she shares a special friendship. She has recently posted photos of her two sons, surprising for fans as she has generally kept them out of the limelight, but the public were very happy to get a glimpse of the handsome two.
Pre-Spice, Geri worked as a nightclub dancer in Mallorca and also presented a TV show in Turkey. When she joined the group, she was known for her flaming red hair, giving her the nickname, Ginger Spice, and her sassy attitude. The oldest of the group, she initially took the role of the ‘Spice Mother’ and drove the group around in her car. Her fame, of course, also comes from her outrageous costumes and extrovert behaviour.
Geri Halliwell was the first to leave the group, meaning the Spice Girls would never be the same again. Fans weren’t happy with the call, but Geri gave the press the following statement, "This is a message to the fans, sadly I would like to confirm I have left the Spice Girls, this is because of differences between us. I am sure that the group will continue to be successful, and I wish them all the best. I have no immediate plans and I wish to apologise to all the fans and to thank them and everyone who's been there. Lots of love Geri. PS: I will be back". Since The Spice Girls, Geri has enjoyed a solo career, shocking fans when she turned to Yoga and transformed her body completely. She became a representative for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), has done many charitable events and projects, is a philanthropist, children’s book writer and mother.
Geri is not shy of a few scandals. Not to mention the unknown identification of her daughter’s father and her initial decision to leave the Spice Girls, she has also appeared in the press for a range of other situations, keeping her in the public eye. Most notably, the recent reveal by band co-member Melanie B, who disclosed their fling to the press. They reportedly had intimate relationships while in the band but Mel B unearthed the nineties fling in an interview with Piers Morgan, saying, "She's going to hate me for this because she's all posh in her country house with her husband."
Geri Halliwell, now Geri Horner after marrying husband Christian Horner, lives in a beautiful country residence in Banbury, Oxfordshire. It is filled with luxury and the most beautiful artwork. Recently she showed her new short hairstyle and new country outlook on life. With no husband in sight, nor her children, Bluebell and Monty, or stepdaughter Olivia, she packed her the Jeep and went to stay in a tent for the night out in the rolling countryside. Geri loves nature and the outdoors and creating adventures. Her YouTube series, Rainbow Women, is about creating adventures for women and empowering them. She said, "Rainbow Women is my love letter to you. It’s sharing our spirit. I’m taking you on a girl power adventure of discovery."
Aside from the incredible ‘Wannabe’ which, for sure everyone can recite word for word, The Spice Girls had an incredible bout of number one and top ten hits throughout their time together. Girl Power continued into their second hit, ‘Say You’ll Be There’, which shows a musical mix of different styles but talks about staying in control and being empowered. Another change of pace came when ‘Spice Up Your Life’ was released and the girls showcased latin American beats as well as Bollywood influences and multilingual lyrics. Everyone remembers ‘Who Do You Think You Are’, a song written to jab at the music industry controlling producers. It was while performing this song that Geri wore her iconic Union Jack dress. The group had a massive nine UK number one hits.
The Spiceworld Tour in 1998 was the group’s first tour, selling out in record time. The tour started in Dublin and ended in, well, Geri Halliwell’s resignation. Geri missed the two shows in Oslo and then announced her departure - she never actually made it to the North American leg. Both Mel B and Victoria announced their pregnancies during this sold-out tour. The girls all performed together at the London 2012 Olympics closing ceremony and they then had a reunion tour in 2019, without Victoria Beckham, but it didn’t stop the tour selling out fast.
Their 2019 reunion sold out so fast that extra dates were added almost immediately. The reunion sparked a rise in Spice Girls merchandise and they released a Spice Girls charity monochrome T-Shirt with #IWANNABEASPICEGIRL tagged on the front. Despite Victoria not joining the group, it was clear there was love between all the girls still. She told interviewers, “Being in the Spice Girls was a hugely important part of my life and I wish my girls so much love and fun as they go back on tour, I know they will put on an amazing show and the fantastic fans past and present are going to have a wonderful time!”
Seeing the girls back together excited many fans, the press and even celebrities who grew up with the Spice Girls, most notably singer Adele took to Twitter with a photo of her as a child in front of all her Spice Girls posters, saying “I AM READY”.
Feminist dance-pop has to be the tagline to describe their music. They fused the traditional pop group style, which made the band Take That so successful, with a Madonna-esque alternative rock twist. Their music has topped nearly every country in the Western world, been played more times that anyone can count and has even created a West-End musical.
Each member of the group developed their own look and style. The 90s fashion industry marvelled at the way these girls could reflect their personalities with their attire, make outlandish fashion statements, dress sassy and sexy, yet still be role models for young girls. Emma had the pigtails, Mel B the animal print, Mel C the Adidas, Victoria the little black dress and, of course, no one can forget the Union Jack dress worn by Geri.
The Spice Girls invented ‘Girl Power’ and empowered young girls. Their focus on strong female attitudes and friendship is what will always be remembered and Geri Halliwell commented in an interview that, “we want to bring some of the glamour back to pop, like Madonna had when we were growing up. Pop is about fantasy and escapism, but there’s so much bull…around at the moment. We want to be relevant to girls our age.”