Sure, the Spice Girls were yet another example of manufactured, formula pop, but it worked. After coming together via an ad, the Spice Girls abandoned the instigating manager and pursued a record deal on their own. It took a while, but Virgin Records finally signed on.
When they took over the world in the mid-'90s on the heels of their debut, it was truly a whole other sort of British invasion. With nicknames/personas spawned from their “Wannabe” lead video, the Spice Girls were Geri Halliwell (Sexy Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Victoria Adams (Posh Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice), and Emma Lee Bunton (Baby Spice). The single debuted at number one in the UK and stayed there for seven weeks, replicating a similar success in more than 20 countries.
The Girls' second single, "Say You'll Be There," also debuted at the top of the British charts. By the end of 1996, the Spice album dropped and, of course, topped the charts, as did “2 Become 1.” With world domination underway, the Spice Girls set their sights on the U.S. in 1997 with “Wannabe” leading the charge. Victory was theirs in no time as they enjoyed the same sort of success in the States as they did everywhere else.
They timed their second album, 1997's Spiceworld, to be released alongside a film of the same name. Halliwell set out on a solo trek in 1998 with Schizophonic, but couldn't match the group's pace. Melanie B. also attempted a solo flight, “I Want You Back,” with help from Missy Elliot.
Meanwhile, the Girls issued “Goodbye” and added another knotch to their belt of hits. As several of the members chose to spend more time focusing of their personal lives, Melanie C. took her turn in the spotlight with 1999's Northern Star and actually did pretty well.
In 2000, the four regrouped in the studio with Terry Lewis and Jimmy Jam at the helm. The resulting R&B-tinged Forever dropped in the fall of 2000. It did okay in the UK thanks to “Holler”/”Let Love Lead the Way,” but that was about it. Within a few months, the Spice Girls were over.
Both Melanie C. and Bunton (with 2001's A Girl Like Me and 2004's Free Me) made headway on their solo careers while Victoria's star was dimmed in the brightness of her husband's, soccer phenom David Beckham. Halliwell, also continued working on her own.
In mid-2007, after six years of rumors, the Spice Girls announced a mini tour, their Greatest Hits collection, and a documentary of the reunion titled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything. The first London O2 Arena date for the Return of the Spice Girls Tour sold out in a mere 38 seconds. Another 16 shows were added for London – all of which sold out.
The reunion single, "Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)," helped things along. But, in the end, a number of tour stops had to be cancelled due to personal scheduling conflicts. Since then, more rumors have emerged and been quashed. A musical titled Viva Forever (akin to Mamma Mia!) is said to be in the works and will utilize the Spice Girls' music.