The Spice Girls made their debut over two decades ago in 1994. And for those of you who were born near then (and even if you weren't), you probably don’t remember much about the iconic pop group beyond their hit singles, including “Wannabe." From meeting the Queen and Prince Charles multiple times to the story behind their formation, ahead 50 surprising things you never knew about the Spice Girls.
The Spice Girls were originally called "Touch."
They changed the name in September 1995 after switching management.
The group was originally created to "compete with boy bands."
They were managed by Bob and Chris Herbert of Heart Management.
The first auditions took place in 1994.
The girls chose the following songs to sing: Melanie Chisholm sang "I'm So Excited" by the Pointer Sisters, Melanie Brown sang "The Greatest Love of All" by Whitney Houston, Victoria Adams (AKA Victoria Beckham) sang "Mein Herr" by Cabaret, and Michelle Stephenson sang "Don't Be a Stranger" by Dina Carroll. (Don't recognize all these names? More on that...)
If you're wondering why Emma Bunton is missing from the lineup...
...it's because she wasn't apart of the original group. 😮
Bunton took Stephenson's place in 1994.
After Stephenson left to take care of her sick mother.
Geri Halliwell also missed the first auditions.
Because she was visiting her grandmother in Spain.
Victoria Beckham wasn’t one of the original Spice Girls either.
Posh Spice took the place of Melanie Laccohee when the group was still called "Touch."
The Spice Girls have an airplane named after them.
They named it "Spice One" in 2007 (opens in new tab).
They released a movie called 'Spice World.'
It premiered (opens in new tab) in 1997.
The movie came back to select theaters this September...
...to celebrate (opens in new tab) its 20th (!) anniversary.
"Wannabe" was written in 10 minutes...
Mel B revealed (opens in new tab),"We were listening to an old Shaggy reggae song and we were like, ‘Oh my God, we have to do something annoying like that song.’”
The video was filmed in one shot.
Just one question: how?
They asked former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair to be in the "Wannabe" music video.
But he reportedly (opens in new tab) refused.
Victoria was the only one who didn’t have her own line in the hit song.
People across the world are still inspired by the song.
In 2016, women in India recreated a video shoot inspired by "Wannabe" for the Global Girls campaign, which is part of a broader initiative to highlight the United Nations' Global Goals for Sustainable Development.
They would often turn Beckham's mic off while she performed.
Beckham revealed (opens in new tab) in a 2016 interview, "They used to turn [my mic] 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, but it never came easily. I was always much more reserved than the other girls.”
Geri Halliwell left the Spice Girls in 1998.
Her verses were then performed by Victoria Beckham during live performances of "Wannabe."
Geri's iconic Union Jack dress sold for a ton of money.
41,300 euros, to be exact. She wore it (opens in new tab) to perform at the 1997 Brit Awards. 🇬🇧
Halliwell recently apologized for leaving the group.
19 years later. (opens in new tab)
They actually didn't make up their nicknames themselves.
The British magazine Top of the Pops gave it to them (opens in new tab) (and it clearly stuck). Incase you forgot (from left to right): Posh Spice, Baby Spice, Scary Spice, Ginger Spice, and Sporty Spice.
At one point they decided to run the group themselves...
After their performance at the 1997 MTV Europe Music Awards.
...so they fired their manager Simon Fuller.
He signed them in 1995 and was known to widely contribute to the Spice Girls' success.
The Spice Girls met Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela...at the same time.
And Mel C wore a DKNY cutoff tank top to the occasion.
Oh, and she also wore sneakers.
Just take a moment to observe VB's bra too.
Despite the fashion choices, Mandela loved meeting the girls.
He called (opens in new tab) the Spice Girls his "heroes."
He also said meeting them was "one of the greatest moments of his life."
And of the Spice Girls proceeded to yell, "Wicked! (opens in new tab)”
The Spice Girls also met Prince Charles on multiple occasions...
"Throwin' up the deuce with the Prince, holla."✌️
...and he clearly loved every minute of it.
Vote 1 for the fake laugh candid photo-op, vote 2 if they're all genuinely this happy to see each other.
They also met Prince Harry in 1997 when he was 13 (!) years old.
Oh, and the Queen too.
Definitely lookin' a little nervous at the Royal Command Performance in December 1997.
They were activists.
In honor of Red Nose Day (opens in new tab) in 2016, Emma Bunton pretended to be a flight attendant and fans were freaking out (opens in new tab).
Victoria met David during her Spice Girls prime.
And Beckham (opens in new tab) had no clue who she was.
They become the most "recognizable faces" of the "Cool Brittania" era...
...According to Time (opens in new tab). This period is otherwise known as an era of increased pride for the United Kingdom throughout the 1990s. (Also peep Ben Affleck behind Geri.)
They’re responsible for bringing the “buffalo platform shoes” to life.
Making a true statement.
Mel B and Victoria found out they were both pregnant at the same time.
On the final leg (opens in new tab) of their American tour.
They had toy dolls modeled after them called Spice Girls Dolls.
And they made over $11 million in sales.
Victoria and Emma are godmothers to Geri's daughter.
Her name is Bluebell Madonna Halliwell and she's 11 years old.
Mel B wanted to change her name...
...to Mel G after she married her husband, Jimmy Gulzar, in 1998. (Good thing she didn't because they divorced.)
The Spice Girls performed at the 2012 Olympics.
This was the last time they performed "Wannabe" together.
It was also one of Emma Bunton's favorite memories.
"It felt really special representing our country,” she revealed to US Weekly (opens in new tab).
Bunton kept all of her Spice Girls dresses.
And the shoes. Iconic (opens in new tab).
They never won a Grammy.
They did win five Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards, one MTV Video Music Award, and three World Music Awards.
Despite how close they were, there was often a lot of fighting going on.
In a 2014 interview (opens in new tab) Mel B admits,"we fought like cats and dogs."
And Mel C says she was bullied.
She told (opens in new tab) Attitude,"I'm not going to name names. But yes. It's been addressed, they were aware of what they'd done. They apologized...now I'm older, I'm a lot more confident and I will not be shat upon." 👏
The Spice Girls reunited altogether at the 2007 Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
Nine years after Geri left.
Mel B is now a judge on 'America's Got Talent.'
Channeling her inner Scary Spice.
And Mel C is a judge on 'Asia's Got Talent.'
The group *may* get back together.
Rumors (opens in new tab) have been swirling amid their 20-year anniversary, and we'd probably die of happiness.
Rachel Epstein is a writer, editor, and content strategist based in New York City. Most recently, she was the Managing Editor at Coveteur, where she oversaw the site’s day-to-day editorial operations. Previously, she was an editor at Marie Claire, where she wrote and edited culture, politics, and lifestyle stories ranging from op-eds to profiles to ambitious packages. She also launched and managed the site’s virtual book club, #ReadWithMC. Offline, she’s likely watching a Heat game or finding a new coffee shop.
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