|Spice Girls Crossword||The A to Z of The Spice Girls|
The A to Z of The Spice Girls: N-Z
A is for... Victoria Adams Beckham
The least likely of the girls to smile is pouting Posh Spice, Victoria Adams Beckham. Born in Goff's Oak in Hertfordshire in April 1975, her much-publicised marriage to footballer David Beckham in July 1999 was the entertainment event of the year. Almost exclusively in black (a point she sent up herself in the Spice World movie) Victoria has always been the best dressed of the girls although she is perhaps a better dancer than singer. In March 1999 she gave birth to a son, Brooklyn, named after New York where he was conceived. David and Victoria have appeared in many magazines and newspaper articles since their marriage and were listed as the most influential young couple in the UK in 1999. A new unauthorised biography detailing the couple's rise to fame Posh and Becks has just been published in the UK, portions of which they tried to prevent publication of by going to court. It is written by Princess Diana biographer Andrew Morton.
B is for... Mel Brown
Scary Spice may intimidate some but when not playing up to her Spice role she is an articulate and warm individual. Born simple Melanie Janine Brown in Leeds in May 1975, she attended Drama School before meeting the other girls at various auditions in London. The first member of the group to score a "solo" number one, the scorching I Want You Back with Missy Elliot in September 1998, she has released a solo album called Hot. Mel has worked with a variety of famous producers on the record including Sisqo, and admits that the album "deals with real living, looking at myself and surroundings, telling a story and facing up to a marriage that went wrong". She also says her break-up with husband Jimmy Gulzar at the start of 2000 has been the best thing for all the family including her daughter Phoenix Chi. To herald the album, the new single Tell Me was released debuting at no 4 in the British chart, and featuring withering lyrics that leaves little to the imagination as to whom they are directed:
you made me think I wasn't worth anything
C is for... Melanie Chisholm
Despite her sometimes tough exterior Sporty Spice AKA Melanie Jayne Chisholm is perhaps the shyest of the girls and is easily the one with the best voice. She was born in Widnes near Liverpool in January 1974 and is a massive Liverpool football club supporter. She also loves tattoos and has a variety of celtic and chinese symbols including a flaming phoenix across the whole top of her back. She has always wanted to be a pop star and sings most of the soaring harmonies at the end of each song. Her first non-Spice track was the duet with Bryan Adams "When You're Gone" which reached no 3 in December 1998. Her solo album Northern Star has also produced four hits and she is currently tied on 10 with Geri and Madonna as the female with the most number ones in the UK. Recently she has been linked romantically with J from the boyband Five.
D is for... Debut Album
The debut album from the group, simply called Spice was an instant smash. The superior tracks were all released as singles but the whole album is upbeat, sassy and while not a vocal triumph, is a perfect mood-grabber while preparing for a night out. Pundits around the world were bemused by the girls' success, endlessly saying that they were a manufactured group and wouldn't last but in fact they have been major trend-setters. Girl bands are now as popular as boybands had been since the early nineties and danceable pop is now much more popular than rock or "indie" music. Spice hit no 1 in the UK in November 1999 and stayed in the chart for over 70 weeks.
E is for... Emma Bunton
In a band not known for keeping their collective mouths shut, Emma Bunton is a sweet home-loving girl who rarely says anything remotely controversial. Born in Barnet in January 1976, Emma's parents seperated when she was eleven but she insists that the split didn't really affect her in a bad way. Her mother runs a Karate club and Emma is trained in the art to a high level. Currently guest presenter on CD:UK and with her own VH1 series, Emma is recording her own solo album. A child star of advertisements and modelling, she also had a minor role in Eastenders before joining the Spice Girls. Her boyfriend Jade is a member of maturing boyband Damage.
F is for... Forever
The first release in two years from The Spice Girls will be a double-A side single, Holler
Holler and Let Love Lead The Way. The first song is an uptempo dance number while the other
is a classic Spicy-ballad. The single was released in the UK on October 23rd and went straight to
number one. This will be followed by
the album Forever on November 6th. The four-piece group have been busy writing and recording for over
14 months in London, Miama and LA. Guest producers will include Rodney Jenkins, Jimmy
Jam and Terry Lewis.
G is for... Geri Halliwell
The most outspoken Spice while she was with the group, Geraldine Estelle Halliwell AKA Ginger Spice was born in August 1972 in Watford, London. She was the youngest of five children and as the press delighted in revealing to the public, had a variety of careers before she joined the Spice Girls including nude modelling, game show hostess and bar work. Her sudden departure from the band in 1998 stunned everyone including the other members of the group. Very quickly she disposed of her former image - gone was the big hair and trashy clothes - in came minimal make-up, almost too-sensible outfits and a brace of charity engagements including a high-profile breast cancer awareness campaign. In 1999 she released her first solo album Schizophonic and although sales were slow to start with, the album has produced three British number ones - Mi Chico Latino, Lift Me Up and Bag It Up. The video for the latter showed there was still some Ginger left in her. Bunny-boys pranced around on a pink set while Geri with cleavage dusted them with Girl Powder... Recently Geri has been linked with Robbie Williams but like her trysts with Chris Evans in 1999, these may be more publicity generating meetings than love affairs...
H is for... Bob and Chris Herbert
The birth of the Spice Girls began with an idea of father and son team Bob and Chris Herbert. They believed that an all girl band could dominate the charts in the same way that Take That were doing. So they held a mammoth audition of 400 girls on March 4th 1994 and from the ten best the Spice Girls came together. However, soon after rehearsals began the girls decided they didn't like the deal that was being put together for them and for the next two years they searched for a better one. This lead them to Virgin and manager Simon Fuller who they would later sack as well. Bob Herbert, who had been previously involved with Bros went on to create Five and was rumoured to be about to launch another girl group when he sadly died in a car crash in August 1999.
I is for... What I Am
What I Am, a collaboration between Emma and Tin Tin Out reached no 2 in the now famous battle of the spices of November 1999 when Geri's Lift Me Up took no 1. What I Am was originally a hit for Eddie Brickell and the New Bohemians in 1989.
J is for... Jimmy Gulzar
Marrying in September 1998 after a whirlwind romance, Mel B and Jimmy Gulzar spent only 14 months together before breaking up officially after a New Year row in 2000. During the marriage Melanie became known as Mel G. The pair had met when Jimmy joined the girls' 1998 World Tour as one of the dancers. Within weeks, Mel was pregnant, Jimmy proposed and an exclusive wedding was arranged. Despite the birth of their daughter Phoenix Chi in February, 1999 rumours of arguments and break-ups surrounded the couple for most of that year leading to the eventual split.
K is for... United Kingdom
One of the lasting images from the Spice Girls is Geri's Union Jack outfit from the Brits - one of the items she sold for charity after she split from the band. There is no doubt the girls sound British when they talk and rap but are The Spice Girls a particularly British band? In a way not since their brand of pop has many US R&B influences. However it's their attitude, to the press, the public and the music industry, that really marks them as being more American than British. They knew what they wanted from the very start and have jolly well gone out and got it. Their success too was groundbreaking. Apart from Bananarama who are the exception that proves the rule, only a few British girl bands had been successful in Britain prior to Wannabe. Eternal, Mel and Kim, the Beverley Sisters and the Kaye Sisters are the few that spring to mind, the latter pair way back in the fifties! Since the Spice Girls hit the big time there's been plenty, All Saints, Atomic Kitten, Precious, Madason to name but a few. So the Spicies have made it British to be in a girlband but it took a lot of guts to do it, and do it their way...
L is for... Spice Up Your Life
One of my favourite singles and perhaps the best Spice video is Spice Up Your Life. Set in a futuristic world the girls fly over a city landscape like heralds of a new age. The song is fast and a great dance number with plenty of exciting vocals. Another UK number one, it debuted in October 1977 and stayed in the chart for 15 weeks.
M is for... Multi-Millionaires
Following the success of the group, it's no surprise to see that the Top 10 entertainment rich list of the under-30s as published by the Observer newspaper had the girls in the top 4 positions with only ex-Take That Gary Barlow seperating them from ex-Spice Geri Halliwell at no 6. The individual fortunes were listed in March 2000 as Victoria (£25.5m), Mel C (£22.5m), Emma (£22m), Mel B (£22m) and Geri (£19.6m). Luckily for baby Brooklyn daddy Daddy Beckham also appears in the sport list with a fortune of £7m.
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|© 2000, Compiled by Alan J Stuart|