Whether as Sporty Spice or as Mel C, Melanie Chisholm has been a fixture of the British pop landscape for more than 20 years. On the heels of a Spice Girls reunion tour, the singer stopped by Rolling Stone to discuss her first time being recognized on the street as Sporty Spice, the experience of meeting her personal hero Madonna and the emotions of performing onstage.
“I don’t remember the very first time I cried to a song, [but] I cried a lot onstage,” she said. “Often when I see other people’s reactions — to the song that you’re singing, and obviously you see what it means to them — that can often make me cry. Which is a pain, because crying and singing don’t really work well together. That’s my excuse for any bad vocals — I was totes emosh.”
Melanie C also noted the difference between British and American fans who dressed up as Sporty Spice: “When we toured the U.K., all the kids would come dressed as their favorite Spice Girl, and then we came to the U.S., it was all the adults.” She then recalled her first time performing a song onstage in front of an audience, when she was 15. Her song choice was a Whitney Houston powerhouse ballad, and it did not go as planned.
On Wednesday, Melanie C released a new solo single, “High Heels,” accompanied by a glittery music video.