Spice Girls

  • Biography:

    The world-conquering spate of late-1990s boy and girl groups are in many ways the doing of the Spice Girls, England's biggest-ever all-woman pop group. Put together by a management team, the Spice Girls were nicknamed according to their type: Geri Halliwell is Ginger Spice (for her red hair); Victoria Adams (later Beckham), Posh Spice (owing to her upper-crust background); Emma Bunton, Baby Spice (blonde, cute); Melanie Brown, Scary Spice (temperamental); and Melanie Chisholm, Sporty Spice (athletic).

    The quintet came together after a February 1994 ad by Heart Management was answered by, among hundreds of others, Adams, Brown, and Halliwell. Along with two others they became part of a group called Touch; Chisholm and Bunton eventually completed the group by that July. In March 1995, the five young women parted company with Heart Management and began searching for new representation; they found Simon Fuller of 19 Management, who got them signed to Virgin. In July 1996, "Wannabe" was released; it immediately went to Number Three, then Number One in the U.K. and did the same in more than two-dozen countries; it debuted in America at Number 11, hitting Number One a month later. Spice, the album housing "Wannabe," zoomed to Number One in England and became Europe's best-selling album of 1997, eventually selling some 23 million copies worldwide. In November 1997, Spiceworld followed, selling over 10 million itself. There was also a film titled Spiceworld: The Movie, a takeoff on 1960s pop films featuring cameos by everyone from Jennifer Saunders to Elton John to Meat Loaf to Elvis Costello. In May 1998, Geri Halliwell left the group after months of management troubles (Simon Fuller had been let go as representative the prior November) and in mid-tour. In November 2000, the Spice Girls issued Forever, a more R&B-inflected album (among their collaborators were Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis), that failed to re-ignite the flame. The following year, the group announced a hiatus and that its members would be working solo.

    After doing just that to various ends, the Spice Girls reunited officially in June 2007. Following Greatest Hits (Number 93) and a comeback single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)," (Number 90), they began touring in December 2007, selling out arenas in the U.S., U.K., and Europe through February 2008.

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