Saturday, September 27, 2008

Spice Girls

Spice Girls
Spice Girls performing in Cologne, Germany, 20 December 2007
Spice Girls performing in Cologne, Germany,
20 December 2007
Background information
Origin London, England
Genre(s) Pop, dance-pop, Europop, pop rock, dance, Eurodance, R&B, funk, Teen pop
Years active 1994–2001
Label(s) Virgin , EMI
Former members
Victoria Beckham 1994-2001, 2007-2008
Melanie Brown 1994-2001, 2007-2008
Emma Bunton 1994-2001, 2007-2008
Melanie Chisholm 1994-2001, 2007-2008
Geri Halliwell 1994-1998, 2007-2008

The Spice Girls are a BRIT Award-winning English pop girl group formed in 1994. Consisting of Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, and Melanie Chisholm. According to the BBC, they are the best selling girl group of all time.[1][2][3][4].

They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, "Wannabe", in 1996. The song spent seven weeks at the top of the UK Singles Chart, become number one in 31 nations and helped establish the group as an Global phenomenon.[5][6] The Spice Girls have sold more than 55 million records worldwide [5] with only three albums (the first two with Geri), landing them the title for fastest selling girl group ever. The demand for their first two albums was unprecedented, making it the most successful British band since the Beatles [7][8]. Their first album, Spice, sold more than 23 million copies worldwide [9][10][11], ranked #41 in the list of 100 Most Successful Albums in music history,[12], become the best-selling album by a female group of the all time. Measures of their success include international record sales, a 2008 reunion tour, merchandising, record breaking achievements such as "Wannabe" becoming the biggest single released by a female group and iconic symbolism such as the union jack dress, "Girl Power", and their nicknames.

Under the guidance of their long time mentor and manager Simon Fuller, the group embraced merchandising and became a regular feature of the British press. Each member of the group was given an alias by Top of the Pops Magazine in 1996, which were adopted by the group and media alike. According to biographer David Sinclair, "Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh and Sporty were the most widely recognized group of individuals since John, Paul, George and Ringo" [13]. In 1997, the Spice Girls released a movie called Spiceworld: The Movie.

The members went their separate ways in 2001 (although a break-up was never formally announced) to focus on their solo careers. On 28 June 2007 all five re-formed before the launch of their Reunion Tour in December, alongside the release of their Greatest Hits album. In December 2007 a new official documentary Giving You Everything aired on various television networks around the globe, the documentary showed the group talking frank about their rise to fame and the current reunion. In February 2008, the Spice Girls announced that they were ending their tour in Toronto on 26 February 2008.



[edit] Band history

[edit] 1994–1995: Early years

In the mid-1990s, father-and-son management team Chris Herbert/Bill Storey and Bob Herbert set about creating an all female group that could compete with the onslaught of equally popular boy bands that dominated the pop music scene in the mid- to late 1990s: "The whole teen-band scene at the time was saturated by boy bands like 'N Sync and the Backstreet Boys. That was all a bit of a yawn for me, and only appealed to female audiences... I felt if you could appeal to the boys as well, you'd be laughing."[14] In February 1994, Heart Management – which comprised the Herberts together with financier Chic Murphy – placed an advertisement in "The Stage" trade magazine asking "are you street smart, extrovert, ambitious and able to sing and dance?"[15] Hundreds of girls responded and the applicants were whittled down to a final five that included Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell and Michelle Stephenson.[15] The group was given the name Touch,[15] and moved into a house together in Maidenhead, Berkshire, (owned by Murphy) where they were subsidised by Heart Management and each was claiming unemployment benefit. However Lianne Morgan was axed from the line-up due to her age and was replaced by Melanie Chisholm who was the same age as the other girls. During the first two months the group worked on demos and dance routines at the Trinity Studios in Knaphill. According to Stephenson the material the group was given was "very, very young pop" and included the song "We’re Gonna Make It Happen", a record that never came to light.[16] It soon became apparent that Stephenson did not have the drive and belief that the rest of the group had, so the decision was made to fire her from the group. Bob Herbert stated that "she just wasn't fitting in... she would never have gelled with it and I had to tell her to go".[17] However, Stephenson stated that it was her decision to leave the group, because of the illness of her mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer. Victoria later dismissed this claim, saying she "just couldn't be arsed" to put in the work the rest of the group was doing.[18] The Herberts searched for a replacement and first came across Abigail Kis, who did not impress, and then were led to eighteen-year-old Emma Bunton at the suggestion of vocal coach Pepe Lemer. Bunton instantly impressed the Herberts and was invited to meet the group in July 1994, who welcomed her with open arms: "Straight away I knew she was the one," stated Halliwell.[18]

The group felt insecure about the lack of a contract and were frustrated by the direction in which Heart Management was steering them. In October 1994, armed with a catalogue of demos and dance routines, the group began touring management agencies. They persuaded Bob Herbert to set up a showcase performance for the group in front of industry writers, producers and A&R men in December 1994 at the Nomis Studios in Shepherds Bush where they received an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction.[19] Due to the large interest in the group, the Herberts quickly set about creating a binding contract for the group. Encouraged by the reaction they had received at the Nomis showcase, the five girls delayed signing contracts on the legal advice from, amongst others, Victoria's father Tony Adams. In March 1995, because of the group's frustration at their management's unwillingness to listen to their visions and ideas, they parted from Heart Management. In what biographer David Sinclair calls an "incredibly self-serving and underhand" ploy, the group stole the master recordings of their discography from the management offices in order to ensure they kept control of their own work.[20] That same day the girls tracked down Sheffield-based producer Eliot Kennedy, who had been present at the showcase, and persuaded him to work with them.

The group was introduced to record producers Absolute, who in turn brought them to the attention of Simon Fuller of 19 Management. The girls began a relationship with Fuller and finally signed with him in March 1995. During the summer of that year the group toured record labels in London and Los Angeles with Fuller and finally signed a deal with Virgin Records in September 1995. From this point up to the summer of 1996 the girls continued to write and record tracks for their debut album while extensively touring the west coast of America, where they had signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific.

[edit] 1996–1997: Spice

Main article: Spice

On 8 July 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut single "Wannabe" in the United Kingdom. In the weeks leading up to the release, the video for "Wannabe", (directed by Johan Camitz and shot in April at St Pancras Chambers in London), got a trial airing on The Box music channel. The video was an instant hit, and was played 70 times a week. The first music press interview appears in Music Week. In July 1996, the group conducted their first interview with Paul Gorman, the contributing editor of music industry paper Music Week, at Virgin Records' London headquarters. His piece recognised that the Spice Girls were about to institute a change in the charts away from Britpop and towards out-and-out pop. He wrote: "Just when boys with guitars threaten to rule pop life, an all-girl, in-yer-face pop group has arrived with enough sass to burst that rockist cherry!!"[cite this quote] The song entered the charts at number 3 before moving up to number 1 the following week and staying there for seven weeks. The song proved to be a global hit, hitting number 1 in 31 countries and becoming not only the biggest selling debut single by an all-female group but also the biggest-selling single by an all-female group of all time.

The Spice Girls featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. When the Spicemania came to America.
The Spice Girls featured on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine. When the Spicemania came to America.[21]

Riding a wave of publicity and hype, the group released their next singles in UK and Europe, in October "Say You'll Be There" was released toping the charts at number one for two weeks, in December "2 Become 1" was released, becoming the first Christmas Number 1) and sold 500,000 copies in its first week, making it the fastest selling single of the year. The two tracks continued the group's remarkable sales by topping the charts in over fifty-three countries[22] and cementing the group's reputation as the biggest pop act in the world.

In November 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album Spice in Europe. The success was unprecedented and drew comparisons to Beatlemania due to the sheer volume of interest in the group.[23] In just seven weeks Spice had sold 1.8 million copies in Britain alone,[24] making the Spice Girls the fastest selling British act since the Beatles. In total, the album sold 3 million copies in Britain[24], the biggest-selling album of all time in the UK by a female group[25] certified 10x Platinum[26] and peaked at number one for fifteen non-consecutive weeks. In Europe the album became the biggest-selling album of 1997 and was certified 8x Platinum by the IFPI for sales in excess of 8 million copies.[27]

That same month the Spice Girls attracted a crowd of 500,000 when they switched on the Christmas lights in Oxford Street, London.[9] At the same time, Simon Fuller started to set up million pound sponsorship deals for the Spice Girls with Pepsi, Walkers, Impulse, Cadbury’s and Polaroid.[9] In December 1996, the group won three trophies at the Smash Hits awards at the London Arena, including best video for "Say You'll Be There".[9]

In January 1997, the group released "Wannabe" in the United States. The single also proved to be a catalyst in helping the Spice Girls break into the notoriously difficult U.S. market when it debuted on the Hot 100 Chart at number 11. At the time, this was the highest-ever debut by a British (or non-American) act in the US, beating the previous record held by the Beatles for "I Want to Hold Your Hand". "Wannabe" reached number one in the US for four weeks. In February 1997, Spice was release in U.S., became the biggest-selling album of 1997, peaking at number one and being certified 7x Platinum by the RIAA[28] for sales in excess of 7.4 million copies.[29] In total, the album sold 23 millions copies worldwide[10][11] become the best-selling album by a female group in the history, ranked #41 in the list of 100 Best Selling Albums Of All Time [12]

Later that month, the Spice Girls win two Brit Awards for Best Video, "Say You’ll Be There" and Best Single for "Wannabe",[30][9] The girls performed "Who Do You Think You Are" to open the show with Geri Halliwell wearing a Union Jack mini-dress, causing it to become one of pop history’s most famed outfits.[31]

In March 1997, a double A-side of "Mama"/"Who Do You Think You Are" was release in Europe, the last from Spice, which once again saw them at number one,[32] making the Spice Girls the first group in history to have four consecutive number one hits.[9] Girl Power!, The Spice Girls' first book and manifesto was launched later that same month at the Virgin Megastore. It sold 200,000 copies within a day, and was eventually translated into more than 20 languages. In April, Spice: the Official Video Volume One, was released, and sold half a million copies.[9]

In May, Spice World was announced by the Spice Girls at the Cannes Film Festival. The group also performed their first live British show, for the Royalty of Great Britain. At the show, they breached royal protocol when Mel B and then Geri Halliwell planted kisses on Prince Charles' cheeks and pinched his bottom, causing controversy.[9]

At the Ivor Novella Awards, the group won International Hit Of the Year and Bestselling British Single awards for "Wannabe". In June 1997, Spice World began filming and wrapped in August. In September, the Spice Girls performed "Say You’ll Be There" at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards, and win Best Dance Video for "Wannabe".

[edit] 1997–1998: Spiceworld

Main article: Spiceworld

In November 1997, the Spice Girls released their second album, Spiceworld. Preceded by the single "Spice Up Your Life", the album proved to be an instant global best seller. It set a new record for the fastest-selling album when it shipped seven million copies over the course of two weeks. Gaining favourable reviews,[33] the album went on to sell over 10 million copies in Europe,[34] Canada,[35] and the United States[28] combined. Criticised in America for releasing the album just nine months after their debut there, and suffering from over-exposure at home, the Spice Girls began to experience a media backlash. The group was criticised for the number of sponsorship deals signed – over twenty in total – and they began to witness diminishing international chart positions. Nevertheless, the Spice Girls remained the biggest-selling pop group of both 1997 and 1998. Further singles released from the album included "Too Much", "Stop" and "Viva Forever," with "Stop" being the only track not to hit number one in Britain (it entered and peaked at number two). The track, along with their first single after their June 2007 reunion, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)," remain their only two singles not to go to number one in the UK. "Viva Forever" was scheduled to be released as a double A-side with "Never Give Up on the Good Times," but these plans were scrapped due to Geri Halliwell's departure from the group in May 1998.

On 7 November 1997, the Spice Girls fired their manager Simon Fuller. The firing was reported on the front page of the Sun and around the world. Many commentators speculated that Fuller had been the true mastermind behind the group, and that this was the moment when the band lost their impetus and direction. According to their various autobiographies, it was mainly Geri and Melanie B who pushed for Fuller’s dismissal, claiming that he had become too controlling by restricting their personal and artistic freedom.[citation needed] The group quickly found the burden of managing themselves time consuming, so they assigned various responsibilities to each member of the group: Melanie B. was responsible for tour control; Geri for sponsorship; Emma Bunton for personnel, schedule, and charities; Victoria Adams for merchandising and finance; and Melanie C. for the record company, singles, and formats. They later built their own team, headed by Nancy Phillips, to deal with their affairs. Two of the Spice Girls, Emma Bunton and Victoria Adams, later returned to Fuller's stable once it was clear that the impetus behind the group was starting to disappear.

In early 1998 the Spice Girls embarked upon the world tour that Fuller had set up for them covering Europe and North America. The Spiceworld Tour kicked off in Dublin, Ireland on 24 February 1998 before moving on to mainland Europe and then returning to Britain for fourteen gigs at Wembley Arena with 150,000 fans every night [36] and Birmingham’s NEC Arena. It was here that recordings were made for a planned live album, which was confirmed by the group: "We've shown everyone we can do the business on stage, so now we want to do a live album for fans".[cite this quote] Despite masters of the recording being made, the idea was eventually dropped.

Later that year, the Spice Girls were invited to sing on the official England World Cup song "How Does It Feel (To Be on Top of the World)."

[edit] 1998: Halliwell leaves the group

On 31 May 1998, Geri Halliwell announced her departure from the Spice Girls. Through her solicitor she issued the following statement: "Sadly I would like to confirm that I have left the Spice Girls. This is because of differences between us. I'm sure the group will continue to be successful and I wish them all the best."[37] Halliwell claimed that she was suffering from exhaustion and wanted to take time out. Halliwell's departure from the group shocked fans and became one of the biggest entertainment news stories of the year, making news headlines the world over.[38] The four remaining girls were adamant though that the group would carry on and that their approaching North American tour would continue as normal; however, Halliwell's departure threw most of the group's plans into disarray. It was cited as the reason the planned live album was cancelled. It also meant that most of the material the girls had recorded throughout the first half of 1998 at Dublin's Windmill Lane Studios with long-time collaborators Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe was eventually scrapped. A rumoured animated venture by Disney also failed to materialise.

"Viva Forever", was the last single taken off Spiceworld. The video for the single was made before Geri's departure and features the girls in animated form – a decision made because there was no time to produce a video due to the heavy world tour schedule. Originally planned as a double A-side with "Never Give Up on the Good Times", the idea was dropped for several reasons, mainly due to time restraints (since there was no time to re-record and edit out Halliwell's vocals or make a video for the track).

While on tour in America, the group continued to record new material and they released a new song, "Goodbye", in Christmas 1998. The song was seen as a tribute to Geri and when it topped the British chart it became their third consecutive Christmas number one – equalling the record previously set by the Beatles. The song also became one of the most successful songs of the 1990s in Canada, where it stayed at number one for sixteen weeks.

[edit] 1999–2001: Forever

Main article: Forever

The Spice Girls returned to the studio in August 1999, after an 8 month recording break to start work on their third album. The album's sound took a mature direction when American producers like Rodney Jerkins, Jimmy Jam, and Terry Lewis came on to collaborate with the group.

In December 1999 they performed live for a UK-only Christmas tour, named Christmas in Spiceworld, in London and Manchester, also showcasing new songs from the third album.

The Spice Girls came back at the 2000 BRIT Awards, and it was announced that they had received the Outstanding Achievement In Music Award. Despite being at the event, Geri Halliwell did not join her former bandmates on stage. In November 2000 the group released Forever. Sporting a new edgier R&B sound, the album received a lukewarm response[39] and achieved only a fraction of the success of its two best-selling predecessors, selling three million copies.

The Spice Girls as a Four-Piece with "Holler" in Cologne
The Spice Girls as a Four-Piece with "Holler" in Cologne

In an attempt to cover more ground, the girls split up and covered different countries separately; for example Victoria Adams and Emma Bunton headed to North America while Melanie B. and Melanie C. concentrated on Europe. In the US, the album peaked at number thirty-nine on the Billboard 200 albums chart. In the UK the album was released the same week as Westlife’s Coast To Coast album and the chart battle was widely reported by the media, where Westlife won the battle reaching number one in the UK, leaving the Spice Girls at number 2. The lead single from Forever, the double A-side "Holler"/"Let Love Lead The Way", did enjoy some success – it became the group's ninth number one single in the UK. However the song failed to break onto the Billboard Hot 100 Singles Chart stateside, instead peaking at number seven on the Bubbling Under chart. "Holler" did peak at number thirty-one on the Hot Dance Music/Club Play in 2001.

The only major performance of the lead single came at the MTV Europe Music Awards in November 2000 and, a few TV performances aside, the group did little meaningful promotion: their last performance was in December 2000. Further planned single releases off the album never materialised. Promo singles of "Tell Me Why", "Weekend Love", and "If You Wanna Have Some Fun" came into circulation, but to fans' dismay the Forever project was abandoned as the girls each began to concentrate on solo careers.

In 2001, the group announced that they were having a break and would be concentrating on their solo careers in regards to their foreseeable future, although they pointed out that the group was not splitting.

[edit] 2007–2008: The return of the Spice Girls

On 28 June 2007, the group held a press conference at The O2 in London, formally announcing their intention to reunite.[40] The plan to reform had long been speculated by the media,[41] but the group now confirmed their intention to embark upon a world wide concert tour, starting in Vancouver on 2 December 2007.[42] Filmmaker Bob Smeaton, directed an official documentary on the reunion. It was entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything and was first aired on Australia's Fox8 on 16 December 2007,[43] followed by BBC One in the UK, on 31 December.[44]

The Spice Girls in concert at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.
The Spice Girls in concert at Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

Ticket sales for the first London date of "The Return of the Spice Girls" World Tour sold out in 38 seconds.[45] It was reported that over one million people signed up in the UK alone and over five million worldwide for the ticket ballot on the band's official website.[45] Sixteen additional dates in London had been added[46] and sold out. In America, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and San Jose shows also sold out, prompting additional dates to be added.[47] It was announced that the Spice Girls would be playing dates in Chicago and Detroit (Auburn Hills) and Boston, as well as additional dates in New York to keep up with the demand. On the very first concert in Canada, they performed to an audience of 15,000 people, singing twenty songs and changing a total of eight times.[48]

Along with the tour sell-out, the Spice Girls licensed their name and image to Tesco's UK supermarket chain.[49] The band have reportedly been paid £5 million for their appearances in Tesco advertisements.[50]

The group's comeback single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)", was announced as the official Children in Need charity single for 2007 and was released 5 November. The first public appearance on stage by the Spice Girls was made at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, where the group performed at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. They performed two songs, 1998 single "Stop" and the lead single off their greatest hits album, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)". The show was filmed by CBS on 15 November 2007 for broadcast on 4 December 2007.[51] They also performed the song live for the BBC Children in Need telethon on 16 November 2007 from Los Angeles,[52] in Roberto Cavalli gowns.[52] The release peaked at number 11 on the UK Singles Chart, making it the groups lowest charting British single to date. However, the album fared better, peaking at number two on the UK Albums Chart behind Leona Lewis' record breaking debut album Spirit.[53] Australia was the only country for the album to debut and reach number 1.[54] This is the first Spice Girls album to reach number 1 in Australia. To date, their Greatest Hits album has been declared platinum in Australia and the UK, and gold in the United States, Canada, Brazil and New Zealand.

On 22 December 2007, the Spice Girls pre-recorded a performance of "2 Become 1" on the finale of Strictly Come Dancing.[55]

On 1 February 2008, it was announced that due to personal and family commitments their tour will come to an end in Toronto on 26 February 2008, meaning that tour dates in Beijing, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Sydney, Cape Town and Buenos Aires have been completely canceled.[56] The demand for tickets was unprecedented, the Girls ended up performing 47 sell out shows, when they had originally planned to perform only 11. This however, did not fare well with the international fans. A statement read "Really sorry if we didn't get to see you this time round. We all have other commitments in our lives now, but who knows what will happen next."[56]

[edit] 2008–present: recent developments

During one of the Spice Girls' concerts at Madison Square Garden, Melanie Chisholm revealed that the girls would "be delighted" to perform for Nelson Mandela at his 90th birthday party this summer, but had yet to be formally asked.[57] Melanie C recently stated that she had mixed feelings now that the tour has ended but also stated that "the tour may be over but the Spice Girls are very much still united."[cite this quote]

Although there were rumors of a DVD release of the concert, the group's official website stated on 2 April 2008 that there would be no release.[58] Because of this numerous sites such as Facebook, Bebo, and YouTube have held a petition to get a release on DVD.[59]

While the Spice Girls said goodbye to their fans on their website, they also stated on their official blog, "Who knows what will happen next!"[60] The Spice Girls have been formally asked to sing for Prince Charles' 60th birthday. They have not given a reply to the royal prince.[61]

The Spice Girls Reunion Tour had netted £16.5 million (US$33 million) for the London dates alone, making them the highest-grossing concert act of the year 2008 [62][63]. In total the world tour banked more than $70 million in gross ticket sales.[64][65].

The Spice Girls rank #50 in the World's Most Powerful Celebrities 2008, according to business magazine Forbes.[66]

On the 20th of March 2008, the Spice Girls won the coveted Icon Award at the 95.8 Capital Awards. Emma (Baby) and Mel C (Sporty) were there to collect the award.

On the 3rd of June 2008, the Spice Girls won "Best Band" at the Glamour Awards. Emma (Baby), Mel B (Scary) and Geri (Ginger) were there to receive the award.

On the 19th of September 2008, the Spice Girls won the Best Live Return Award at the 2008 Live Vodafone Music Awards, beating acts such as Led Zeppelin and the Sex Pistols. Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) was there to collect the award.

[edit] Cultural impact

[edit] British music scene

After being shut out by the Brit Pop revolution that occurred in the early 1990s when bands like Oasis, Pulp and Blur dominated the charts, pop music found a voice again. The image of the Spice Girls was deliberately aimed at young girls, an audience of formidable size and potential; reinforcing the range of appeal within the target demographic were the bandmates' five distinctive personalities, which encouraged fans to identify with one member or another. This marketing was helped in no small way by the aliases assigned to each member of the group. Shortly after "Wannabe's" release, the group appeared in Top of the Pops magazine where each member was given a nickname based upon their image: Victoria became "Posh Spice", Emma became "Baby Spice," Melanie B was named "Scary Spice", Geri was named "Sexy Spice" (quickly changed to "Ginger Spice" due to issues with the word "sexy" on children's television), and Melanie C became "Sporty Spice".[67]

[edit] "Girl Power"

Main article: Girl Power

The "Girl Power" has put a name to a social phenomenon,[68] the slogan was met with mixed reactions. The phrase was a label for the particular facet of feminist empowerment embraced by the band: that a sensual, feminine appearance and equality between the sexes need not be mutually exclusive. This concept was by no means original in the pop world; both Madonna and Bananarama had employed similar outlooks, and the phrase was most likely first coined by Welsh indie band Helen Love in 1993 and was the title of an album by British pop duo Shampoo in 1995. However, the Spice Girls' version was distinctive. Its message of empowerment appealed to young girls, adolescents and adult women, and it emphasized the importance of strong and loyal friendship among females .

In all, the focused, consistent presentation of "girl power" formed the centrepiece of their appeal as a band.[69] Some critics dismissed it as no more than a shallow marketing tactic, while others took issue with the emphasis on physical appearance, concerned about the potential impact on self-conscious and/or impressionable youngsters. Regardless, the phrase became a cultural phenomenon, adopted as the mantra for millions of girls and even making it into the Oxford English Dictionary.[70] In summation of the concept, author Ryan Dawson said, "The Spice Girls changed British culture enough for Girl Power to now seem completely unremarkable."[71]

[edit] "Cool Britannia"

The term "Cool Britannia" became prominent in the media and represented the new political and social climate that was emerging with the advances made by New Labour and Tony Blair. Coming out of a period of 18 years of Conservative government, Tony Blair and New Labour were seen as young, cool and very appealing, a main driving force in making Britain look fashionable again. Although by no means responsible for the onset of "Cool Britannia", the arrival of the Spice Girls added to the new image and re-branding of Britain, and underlined the growing world popularity of British, rather than U.S., pop music. This fact was underlined at the BRIT Awards in 1997. The group won two awards[72] but it was Geri Halliwell's Union Flag dress that appeared in media coverage over the world and eventually became a symbol of "Cool Britannia".

[edit] 90s iconic status

Geri Halliwell in a Roberto Cavalli remake of her famous Union Jack dress during the Return of the Spice Girls tour.
Geri Halliwell in a Roberto Cavalli remake of her famous Union Jack dress during the Return of the Spice Girls tour.

The Union Jack dress Halliwell wore has acquired something of an iconic status, and sold at a cancer charity auction for £36,000 after interest from a frenzy of bidders.[73] The dress was one of many items of Spice Girls memorabilia sold at the auction, where total sales reached £146,511 for charity.[73]

The iconic symbolism of the Spice Girls in the 90s is also down to their merchandising and willingness to be apart of a media driven world. They advertised for many brands and even parodied themselves in the video for the song "Spice Up Your Life" in which the band fly in a space ship surrounded by billboards and adverts featuring them. Because of their regularity being seen in adverts and in the press and media the band solidified themselves as a phenomenon, an icon, of the decade and for British music. The Spice Girls ranked #10th in The Reasons the '90s Ruled, special for tv channel E!.[74]

The Spice Girls are revered as gay icons, especially in the UK. In a survey in which more than 5,000 gays and lesbians from the UK voted, Victoria Beckham placed 12th and Geri Halliwell placed 43rd in the Top 50 gay icons of all time.[75]Halliwell joked at the Video Music Awards in 1998 about her appearance as Ginger Spice: "As you have noted, I am no longer dressed like a drag queen."[cite this quote] During an interview, Emma Bunton explained why the Spice Girls have so many gay fans: "We were really flattered with having such a huge gay fan base because they know about fashion and they know about songs... I'm so flattered that we've got such a huge gay following, it's amazing."[76]

Ten years after the release of their debut single the Spice Girls were voted the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s by 80% in a UK poll of 1,000 people carried out for the board game "Trivial Pursuit", stating that "Girl Power" defined the decade.[77]

[edit] Non-musical activities

[edit] Film

Main article: Spice World (film)

In June 1997, the group began filming their movie debut, Spiceworld: The Movie, with Absolutely Fabulous and Fawlty Towers director Bob Spiers. Meant to accompany the album, the comical style and content of the movie was in the same vein as The Beatles' films in the 1960s such as A Hard Day's Night. The light-hearted comedy, intended to capture the spirit of the Spice Girls, featured a plethora of stars including Roger Moore, Hugh Laurie, Elton John, Jennifer Saunders, Richard E. Grant, Elvis Costello, and Meat Loaf. Released in December 1997, Spiceworld: The Movie proved to be a hit at the box office breaking the record for the highest-ever weekend debut for Super Bowl Weekend (25 January 1998) in the US, with box office sales of $10,527,222. This record has since been beaten by The Butterfly Effect in 2004.[78] The movie took in total $70 million dollars at the box office worldwide,[79] $100 million combining cinema tickets and DVD Sales,[22] including $30 million in America and £11 million in Britain. Despite being a commercial success, the film was widely panned by critics; the movie was nominated for seven awards at the 1999 Golden Raspberry Awards where they "won" the award for "Worst Actress".[80]

[edit] Television

The first television special for Spice Girls are One Hour of Girl Power in 1997, it's a film diary of their experiences over 1996-1997. [81] Later, it was released Girl Talk, special television where the Spice Girls speak individually about themselves and the group.[82] In April 1997, The Spice Girls Appearance in the American most popular TV show Saturday Night Live with Rob Lowe[83], singing Wannabe and Say You'll Be There, the first time in live.[84] In November 1997, An Audience With The Spice Girls is screened for British channel ITV [85], the show attracts 11.8 million viewers in UK, one fifth of the population.[9] In December 1997, is release the first US television documentary Too Much Is Never Enough, focusing on their reaction to their sudden rise to fame around the world.[86] In January 1998, The Spice Girls Appearing on The Oprah Winfrey Show, singing two songs, and interviewed by Oprah.

In 1999, is screened the new TV Especial, The Spice Girls in America: A Tour Story follows the Spice Girls exploits and adventures in America focusing on their tour of the USA,[87] when Geri halliwell left the Spice Girls. In 2003 the television series on VH1 Behind the Music devoted a chapter to tell the story of the Spice Girls,[88] as well as E! True Hollywood Story, the TV documentary series on the E! Entertainment Television cable.

The first public appearance on stage by the Spice Girls Reunion was made at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood, where the group performed at the Victoria's Secret Fashion Show. They performed two songs, 1998 single "Stop" and the lead single off their greatest hits album, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)". The show was filmed by CBS on 15 November 2007 for broadcast on 4 December 2007,[89] the show attracts averaged 7.4 million total viewers.[90]

In December 2007, the Official documentary, Spice Girls: Giving You Everything that made its world première in Australia on FOX8, It later aired in Canada on 19 December 2007 (on the CTV), and on the BBC in the United Kingdom on 31 December 2007. The film features narrative insight and commentary from the five girls themselves. The title of the documentary comes from chorus lyrics from their UK #1 single "Say You'll Be There". The episode attracted 3.6 million viewers in the UK. [91]

[edit] Appearances in media

In February 1997 in the Brit Awards Geri's union jack dress from Spice Girls live performance which created phenomenal attention and subsequently made all the front pages the next day.[92] During the ceremony Geri's breasts were exposed twice causing controversy.[9]

In May 1997, in The Prince's Trust 21st anniversary concert, Mel B and Geri breached royal protocol when they planted kisses on Prince Charles's cheeks. Ginger Spice also pinched his bottom and told him "you're very sexy".[93]

In November, The Royalty of Great Britain were considered fans of the Spice Girls, including the Prince Charles and his son Prince Harry.[94][95]. That month, the South African President, Nelson Mandela, said "These are my heroes,"[96] in an encounter organized by Prince Charles.

[edit] Merchandise and sponsorship deals

Main article: Spice Girls Dolls
Spice Girls Dolls. The best-selling dolls testified.
Spice Girls Dolls. The best-selling dolls testified.[97]

In 1997 the Spice Girls capitalising on their fame through a multi-million dollar phenomenon of merchandise with over twenty in total official products, included Chupa Chups, Walkers Crisps, Cadbury Chocolate, Polaroid, Impulse Deodorant, Aprilia Scooters, Domino Sugar, Spice Girls Dolls, a PlayStation video game, Channel Five (UK), and signed contract with Pepsi for earned over £5 millions (US$10 million) for the all group.[98] The Spice Girls has produced over £300 million worldwide (US$ 600 million) for merchandise in 1997.[99]

At the height of the 90's Spicemania, stores could not keep up with the demand for products. In addition, endorsed by the group, were created several official and unofficial products by numerous low-end manufacturers hoping to capitalize on the phenomenon, including clothes, stickers, postcards, pens, bags, shoes, watches, caps, cosmetics, toys, food products, mugs, backpacks, magazines, books, videos, etc.[100]

The group was greatly criticized by the press for selling out to a number of worldwide brands in the Summer of 1997, they were accused of over-exposure and of signing too many sponsorship deals with big businesses.[101] The Spice Girls launched the video of Spice Up Your Life where they parody the number of sponsorship deals signed, in clear reaction to the press who criticized the group.

  • Cadbury Chocolate: Several chocolate bars, assorted boxes and holiday confectioneries featuring the girls individually or as a group were produced.
  • Chupa Chups: Different tins filled with assorted lollipops featuring a different girl were among the many products released, but the most widely produced was the "Fantasy Ball" Chupa Chups with six different packages each featuring a collectible sticker. In addition, Pushpops, Crazy Dip, and toy microphones were also produced.
  • Walkers Crisps: In this promotion, over 51 different packaging designs created, with 10 for each member, plus a group package.In addition, the girls starred in two different television adverts for the products.
  • Pepsi Cola: In early 1997, the Spice Girls signed a multi-million sponsorship deal with Pepsi, for earned over £5 millions (US$10 million) for the all group.[98] The girls were featured on several cans and bottles of Pepsi throughout Europe. Promotional give-aways included collectible drinking glasses and a music single, "Step to Me". In addition, the girls also starred in three different television adverts for Pepsi all featuring the song "Move Over (Generation Next)".
  • Spice Girls Dolls: Were released by Galoob Toys in 1997, became a huge hit during the Christmas seasons become best-selling dolls testified.[97]
  • Polaroid: A regular Polaroid instant camera with a pink-and-purple shell and Spice Girl badging was produced along with a Spice Girls branded disposable Polaroid camera and flashlight. Each of the girls filmed a television advert promoting new types of Polaroid-brand film (i.e. black & white, writable, etc.), in addition to making a group advert.
  • Impulse: The girls launched a fragrance known as "Impulse Spice", In addition deodorant and shower gel products were also produced. One television advert was made for the product.
  • PlayStation: "SpiceWorld", a video game featuring computer-animated cartoons of the girls was developed in 1998.
  • Aprilia Scooters: 5 different scooters, each promoting a Spice Girl, were created and marketed as the "Spice Sonic Effect"
  • ASDA Supermarkets: British supermarket chain ASDA, created over 40 different Spice Items for Christmas 1997 developing goods such as party supplies, official merchandise, and even Spice Girl branded kids meals in the stores' restaurants. Signed contract with ASDA for earned over £1 millions (US$2 million)[102]
  • Tesco Supermarkets: A two-part television ad campaign celebrating Christmas with the Spice Girls aired in 2007, been paid £5 million (US$10 million).[103]
  • Channel Five (UK): The girls appeared in promotional print ads, recorded a song (1,2,3,4,5!), filmed a music video and launched Britain's fifth terrestrial television network in 1997.
  • Domino Sugar: The Girls promoted the sugar with a sponsor of their North American tour, with clips being played before shows and during intermission on video screens.
  • Target Stores: American discount retailed was one of the largest suppliers of official Spice Girls merchandise in the United States, usually devoting an aisle to products such as bikes, school supplies, party supplies, and toys.

[edit] Career records and achievements

  • Total record sales in the region of 55+ million. As of February 2008, the Spice Girls had certified sales of over 37 million albums and 18.2 million singles:[citation needed]
  • Certified sales of 13 million albums in Europe,[27] 11 million in the US[28] and 2.2 million in Canada.[35]
  • Total of nine number one singles in the UK - tied with ABBA behind Take That (ten), The Shadows (twelve), Madonna (thirteen), Westlife (fourteen), Cliff Richard (fourteen), Elvis Presley (seventeen), and The Beatles (twenty-one).
  • Three consecutive Christmas number one singles in the UK for: ("2 Become 1," 1996; "Too Much," 1997; "Goodbye," 1998)[104]
  • "Wannabe" is the most successful song released by an all female group. Sales are in the region of 6 million copies.[105] The United World Chart ranked as the #45 Most Successful Song in Music History.[106]
  • Spice is the 18th biggest-selling album of all time in the UK with over 3 million copies sold, topped the charts for 15 weeks (non-consecutive) the most by a female group in the UK[107]
  • Spice is the biggest-selling album of the all time by a girl group with sales of 23 millions copies worldwide [9][10], ranked #41 in the list of 100 Best Selling Albums Of All Time [12]
  • First act (only female act) to have their first six singles ("Wannabe", "Say You'll Be There", "2 Become 1", "Mama/Who Do You Think You Are", "Spice Up Your Life" and "Too Much") make number one on the UK charts. (Their run was broken by "Stop", which peaked at number two in March 1998.)
  • Wannabe debuted on the US Billboard Hot 100 Chart at number 11, the highest-ever debut by a British band in the US, beating the previous record held by The Beatles for "I Want to Hold Your Hand" and the joint highest entry for a debut act beating the Alanis Morissette.[9]
  • The first British band since the Beatles to have two albums in the US Chart Top Ten at the same time, Spice and Spiceworld.[9]
  • The Spice Girls achieved the highest ever annual earnings by an all female group in 1998 with an income of £49 million (approximately US$100 million).[108]
  • Highest international debut on the Billboard Hot 100 at number five with "Say You'll Be There", (This record still holds to date.)
  • "Spiceworld" shipped 7 million copies in just two weeks, including 1.4 million in Britain alone - the largest-ever shipment of an album over 14 days.[109]
  • Spiceworld: The Movie broke the record for the highest-ever weekend debut for Super Bowl Weekend (25 January 1998) in the US, with box office sales of $10,527,222. This record has since been beaten by The Butterfly Effect in 2004.[78]
  • Spiceworld: The Movie topped the UK video charts on its first week of release, selling over 55,000 copies on its first day in the shops.[110]
  • Received several awards including four BRIT Awards, three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Awards and three World Music Awards.
  • 23,000 tickets for Spice Girls reunion shows in London sold out in 38 seconds.[45]
  • On August 2008 The Spice Girls Reunion Tour was announced as the Highest Grossing Concert Act of 2008 with netted £16.5 million (US$33 millions) for the band.[111][112]. In Total the Tour took more than $70 million.[113]

List of Spice Girls awards

The Spice Girls are a British pop group that released 3 studio albums and 12 singles globally between July 1996 and November 2000. The group, with members Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Victoria Beckham, sold more than 55 million records and topped every major albums chart around the world including Britain, United States, Australia, Japan, Canada, France and Germany. They have reunited in 2007 for a greatest hits album and a world tour.



[edit] American Music Awards

  • 1998: Favourite Band, Duet or Group(Pop/Rock)
  • 1998: Favourite Album (Pop/Rock)- Spice
  • 1998: Favourite New Artist (Pop/Rock)

[edit] Billboard Music Awards

  • 1997: Album of the Year: Spice
  • 1997: New Artist: Spice Girls

[edit] Billboard End Of Year Music Charts

  • 1997: Top Pop Artist – Duo/Group (Singles and Albums)
  • 1997: Top New Pop Artist
  • 1997: Top Billboard 200 Albums: Spice
  • 1997: Top Billboard 200 Album Artist – Duo/Group
  • 1997: Top Hot 100 Singles Artist – Duo/Group
  • 1997: Top Pop Artist (Singles and Albums): Spice Girls #2
  • 1997: Top Billboard 200 Albums Artist: Spice Girls #2
  • 1997: Top Hot 100 Singles Artist: Spice Girls #2
  • 1998: Top Billboard 200 Album Artist – Duo/Group
  • 1998: Top Billboard 200 Album Artist: Spice Girls #3
  • 1998: Top Pop Artists – Duo/Group: Spice Girls #4

[edit] Brit Awards

  • 1997: Best video: "Say You’ll Be There"
  • 1997: Best single: "Wannabe"

Also nominated for Best British Group, Best Breakthrough Act and Best Producer

  • 1998: Best Selling British Album Act Around The World

Special Recognition Award for global album sales.
Also nominated for Best Video ("Spice Up Your Life")

  • 2000: Outstanding Contribution To The British Music Industry

Special Recognition Award recognising outstanding talent. Previous winners include Elton John, Annie Lennox, u2, The Beatles and Queen

[edit] British Academy of Composers and Songwriters Ivor Novello Awards

  • 1997: International Hit Of The Year ("Wannabe")
  • 1997: Best British-Written Single: ("Wannabe")

[edit] British Phonographic Industry Sales Awards

Silver Awards (Awarded for shipments of 60,000 albums / 200,000 singles in Britain)

  • "Wannabe" (July 1 1996)
  • "Say You’ll Be There" (Oct 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) (Nov 1 1996) (Awarded for Advanced Orders)
  • "Who Do You Think You Are"/"Mama" (Mar 1 1997)
  • "Spice Up Your Life" (Oct 17 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) (Nov 7 1997)
  • "Too Much" (Dec 19 1997)
  • "Stop" (Mar 13 1998)
  • "Viva Forever" (Jul 24 1998)
  • "Goodbye" (Dec 18 1998)
  • "Holler"/"Let Love Lead The Way" (Oct 27 2000)
  • Forever (Album) (Nov 17 2000)
  • "Greatest Hits" (Album) (Nov 11 2007)

Gold Awards (Awarded for shipments of 100,000 albums / 400,000 singles in Britain)

  • "Wannabe" (July 1 1996)
  • "Say You’ll Be There" (Oct 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) (Nov 1 1996)
  • "Who Do You Think You Are"/"Mama" (Mar 1 1997)
  • "Spice Up Your Life" (Oct 17 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) (Nov 7 1997)
  • "Too Much" (Dec 19 1997)
  • "Viva Forever" (Jul 24 1998)
  • "Goodbye" (Dec 18 1998)
  • Forever (Album) (Nov 17 2000)
  • "Greatest Hits" (Album) (Nov 25 2007)

Platinum Awards (Awarded for shipments of 300,000 albums / 600,000 singles in Britain)

  • "Wannabe" (Aug 1 1996)
  • "Say You’ll Be There" (Oct 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) (Nov 1 1996)
  • "Who Do You Think You Are"/"Mama" (Mar 1 1997)
  • "Spice Up Your Life" (Oct 17 1997)
  • Spicworld (Album) (Nov 7 1997)
  • "Too Much" (Jan 9 1998)
  • "Viva Forever" (Aug 13 1998)
  • "Goodbye" (Dec 18 1998)
  • Forever (Album) (Nov 17 2000)
  • "Greatest Hits" (Album) (Dec 1 2007)

Multi-Platinum Awards (Awarded for shipments for every 300,000 albums / 600,000 singles in Britain)

  • Spice (Album) 2xPlatinum (Nov 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) 3xPlatinum (Nov 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) 4xPlatinum (Dec 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) 5xPlatinum (Dec 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) 6xPlatinum (Dec 1 1996)
  • Spice (Album) 7xPlatinum (Jan 1 1997)
  • Spice (Album) 8xPlatinum (Mar 1 1997)
  • Spice (Album) 9xPlatinum (Apr 1 1997)
  • Spice (Album) 10xPlatinum (Aug 1 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) 2xPlatinum (Nov 7 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) 3xPlatinum (Nov 7 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) 4xPlatinum (Nov 7 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Album) 5xPlatinum (Dec 19 1997)

[edit] Canadian Recording Industry Association (CRIA) Sales Awards

Gold Awards (Awarded for shipments of 50,000 albums or singles in Canada)

  • Spice (Jan 10 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Nov 04 1997)
  • "Goodbye" (Jan 12 1999)
  • Forever (Dec 14 2000)

Platinum Awards (Awarded for shipments of 100,000 albums or singles in Canada)

  • Spice (Jan 17 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Nov 04 1997)
  • "Goodbye" (Jan 12 1999)
  • Forever (Dec 14 2000)

Multi-Platinum Awards (Awarded for shipments of every 100,000 albums or singles in Canada)

  • Spice 2x Platinum (Feb 28 1997)
  • Spice 3x Platinum (Mar 31 1997)
  • Spice 4x Platinum (Apr 22 1997)
  • Spice 5x Platinum (May 23 1997)
  • Spice 6x Platinum (Jul 14 1997)
  • Spice 7x Platinum (Aug 18 1997)
  • Spice 8x Platinum (Oct 26 1997)
  • Spiceworld 2x Platinum (Nov 04 1997)
  • Spiceworld 3x Platinum (Nov 04 1997)
  • Spiceworld 4x Platinum (Nov 04 1997)
  • Spiceworld 5x Platinum (Jan 15 1998)
  • Spiceworld 6x Platinum (May 28 1998)
  • Spiceworld 7x Platinum (May 28 1998)
  • Spiceworld 8x Platinum (Jul 07 1998)
  • Spice 9x Platinum (Jul 07 1998)
  • Spiceworld 9x Platinum (Aug 28 1998)
  • "Goodbye" 2x Platinum (Jan 12 1999)
  • Forever 2x Platinum (Dec 14 2000)

Diamond Awards (Awarded for shipments of 1million albums or singles in Canada)

  • Spice (Jul 07 1997)
  • Spiceworld (Oct 23 1998)

[edit] Capital FM Awards

  • 1997: London’s Favourite Female Group
  • 2008: Capital Icon Award

[edit] Channel V Music Awards (India)

  • 1997: Best International Album (Spice)

[edit] Disney Awards

  • 1998: Best Pop Star

[edit] Glamour Women of the Year Awards

  • 2008: Best Band

[edit] International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Sales Awards

Issued for albums sales within Europe (Platinum status = 1million copies shipped)

  • 1997: Spice - 8xPlatinum Award
  • 1998: Spiceworld - 5xPlatinum Award

[edit] Irish Recording Music Association (IRMA)

  • 1997: Best International Pop Album (Spice)

[edit] Juno Awards (Canada)

  • 1998: International Album Of The Year (Spice)

[edit] MTV Europe Music Awards

  • 1997: Best Group

Also nominated for Best Break Through and Best Dance

  • 1998: Best Group
  • 1998: Best Pop Act

[edit] MTV Video Music Awards

  • 1997: Best Dance Video ("Wannabe")

Also nominated in the Viewers Choice Award for "Say You'll Be There"

[edit] National Association of Retail Merchandisers (NARM) (US)

  • 1998: Best-selling Recording (Spice)
  • 1998: Best-selling Chartmaker Recording of the Year (Spice)

[edit] Online Music Awards

  • 1998: Album Of The Year (Spice)

[edit] Recording Industry Association Of America (RIAA) Sales Awards

Gold Awards (Awarded for shipments of 500,000 albums or singles)

  • 1997: "Wannabe"
  • 1997: "Say You'll Be There"
  • 1997: "2 Become 1"
  • 1997: Spice (Album)
  • 1997: Spiceworld (Album)
  • 1998: "Spice Up Your Life"
  • 1998: "Goodbye"
  • 2007: Greatest Hits (Album)

Platinum Awards (Awarded for shipments of 1,000,000 albums/singles and for 100,000 long-form music videos)

  • 1997: "Wannabe"
  • 1997: Spice (Album)
  • 1997: Spiceworld (Album)
  • 1999: Live At Wembley
  • 1999: Girl Power! Live In Istanbul
  • 2007: Greatest Hits (Album)

Multi-Platinum Awards (Awarded for every shipment of 1,000,000 albums)

  • 1997: Spice 2xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1997: Spice 3xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1997: Spice 4xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1997: Spice 5xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1997: Spiceworld 2xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1997: Spiceworld 3xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1998: Spice 6xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1998: Spice 7xPlatinum (Album)
  • 1998: Spiceworld 4xPlatinum (Album)

[edit] Smash Hits! Awards

  • 1996: Best British Group
  • 1996: Best New Act
  • 1996: Best Pop Video ("Say You’ll Be There")
  • 1997: Best Band

[edit] The Sun Bizarre Awards

  • 2007: Best Comeback

[edit] Vodafone Live Music Awards

  • 2008: Best Live Return

[edit] World Music Awards

  • 1997: Best Female Newcomers
  • 1998: Worlds Best Selling Pop Artist/Group
  • 1998: Best Selling British Artist/Group

[edit] Discography

[edit] Albums

[edit] Singles

[edit] Tours

No comments: