Taking the planet by storm with their catchy songs, distinctive look and powerful personalities, the Spice Girls were true 1990s pop culture icons who are unlikely to be forgotten any time soon.
And if you wannabe more knowledgeable about one of the most successful music acts of all time, below are ten facts about Sporty, Scary, Baby, Ginger and Posh that are one hundred percent guaranteed to spice up your life.
10. Geri Halliwell missed the group’s first audition after getting sunburnt
Geri Halliwell actually missed the band’s very first audition after getting severely sunburnt on a skiing trip to Spain.
Thankfully the future Ginger Spice was given a second chance by Bob Herbert, the group’s manager at the time, and the rest is history.
9. They originally went by the name Touch
Around 400 women auditioned for the group in March 1994, at which time it was planned that the five successful candidates would record songs under the name Touch.
The band’s eventual name – which was initially Spice before being lengthened to Spice Girls on Geri Halliwell’s suggestion after they changed management – was taken from Sugar and Spice, one of the first tracks they ever recorded.
8. Emma Bunton joined after another member was sacked
Baby Spice Emma Bunton was the last to join the group, and was only given the opportunity after another member got the sack.
Victoria Beckham would later claim that singer and TV presenter Michelle Stephenson, the original fifth Spice, was fired because she “just couldn’t be a**ed” to put in the same amount of work as the rest of the girls – although that doesn’t seem to be the whole story.
Stephenson herself would later claim it was nothing to do with her work ethic, and that it was her own decision to leave the group after her mother was diagnosed with breast cancer. Original Spice Girls manager Bob Herbert, meanwhile, gave his own reason: “she just wasn’t fitting in… she would never have gelled with it and I had to tell her to go”.
Whatever the truth, Stephenson has since said she has no regrets about how her Spice Girls experience turned out.
7. Their debut album was the biggest selling ever by a female group
The Spice Girls’ debut album Spice sold a staggering 23 million copies, making it the biggest selling album ever by an all-female group.
This massive global success began when the girls’ 1996 debut single Wannabe – which was reportedly written in just ten minutes – became a worldwide smash hit, hitting the number one spot in an impressive 37 countries. Interestingly the girls had to fight for Wannabe to be their first single, with their record company apparently pushing for Love Thing to be released as their debut instead.
6. Their video for Wannabe was banned in several countries
Despite it being an uproariously uplifting slice of pop music fun, the video for Wannabe was actually banned in some parts of Asia.
This was due to Mel B’s lime green top, which some believed left very little to the imagination and should be removed from their country’s TV screens.
5. They released their own critically panned movie
The unprecedented success of the Spice Girls led to them starring in their own movie alongside the likes of Richard E. Grant, Alan Cumming and Meat Loaf.
The 1997 film brought in a healthy $100 million at the worldwide box office, but Spice World was not a hit with critics, with Gene Siskel describing it as “an entertainment free dead zone.”
4. Victoria Beckham’s microphone would often be turned off during live performances
Victoria Beckham was the only Spice Girl not to have her own line in their debut single Wannable, and as the years progressed she accepted that she was probably the worst singer in the group.
In 2016 Posh also revealed that she often could not be heard during the girls’ live performances, saying “they used to turn my microphone off and just let the others sing. Luckily because I used to wear heels I just used to jig about a bit and I got away with it.”
3. They are the most successful British band since the Beatles
The Spice Girls are the best-selling girl group of all time with 90 million records sold, and were the youngest ever recipients of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.
Their phenomenal worldwide success has led to them being regarded as the most successful British band since the Beatles, with Rolling Stone journalist David Sinclair writing that “Scary, Baby, Ginger, Posh, and Sporty were the most widely recognised group of individuals since John, Paul, George and Ringo.”
2. Failing to sign them is Simon Cowell’s biggest regret
Simon Cowell has revealed that failing to sign the Spice Girls is his biggest regret, with the pop music mogul and TV presenter once saying that he “offered them a deal but they didn’t want to sign for me, so that kind of hurt at the time.”
Victoria Beckham remembers things differently, however, having been quoted as saying that Cowell is “the only man in the music industry who turned down the Spice Girls.”
1. At their peak the band were bringing in as much as $800 million a year
In addition to their impressive record sales, Spice Girls’ manager Simon Fuller managed to mould the group into a slick business empire.
By 1998 it was estimated that the girls and their associated marketing enterprises were bringing in between $500 and $800 million every single year.