Ahhh to be a teenager in the 90’s when the era of Boy Bands and Girl Bands came to a head. This time was the epitome of angsty, feelings-inspired music that was performed by a group of equally angsty, feelings-inspired people. The groups were talented and they were beautiful. And one of the most popular, well-known, and worshipped among them was the Spice Girls. Made up of five gorgeous ladies, this ensemble broke records with their dance-pop lyrics and duets. There was enough Spice that every girl out there could relate to one, making them successful with a broad range of female fans.
The Spice Girls hit the music scene in 1994 with top hits like “Wannabe”. They sold 85 million copies of their debut album “Spice” and took the nation by storm, making them the best-selling female groups of all time. Boys dreamed of dating them and girls dreamed of being them. But like many stories, there is a shadier side to the world of Spice. It was not all rainbows and unicorns. There are health concerns, bickering, and fights with management. There were original cast members no one has heard of.
Come, take a closer look at the darker side of the Spice Girls…
15 They Didn't Choose Their Names
You would assume that girls go to choose their own names but no. Apparently a story was being written about the group and writer Peter Loraine dubbed some members of the group by their personality and physical features.
Lorraine told MTV news that "Posh was the first one to be thought up because Victoria looks pretty sophisticated. The rest were pretty easy really because the girls' characters were already really strong. The names jumped out at us. We laughed the most when we came up with Scary. Jennifer Cawthron, who was also from Leeds, came up with that one because Mel B was so loud and had tried to take over our whole photo shoot."
I bet that journalist had no idea what an impact his nicknames would have on the group!
14 Sporty Spice Battled With Depression
It is hard to imagine someone rich and famous suffering from depression but unfortunately, it can strike anyone. Mel C. (Sporty Spice) was very young when the Spice Girls hit it big and the burden of touring, performing and game in general is a heavy one to bear. There is so much stress when the spotlight is turned on you, and that coupled with the fact that Mel was so young did not help quell her depression.
When speaking the The Guardian she explained, "I wouldn't say being in the band depressed me. I would say having such a dramatic life change at such a young age and all the pressures that come along with that, the way I handled it and what I put myself through, resulted in my being exhausted and depressed."
13 They Had To Take Out A Group Loan
You would think that once you become a part of a successful band that your time for worrying about money would be over. But it ain’t so, folks. The girls were so unhappy with their management that they actually had to go take out a loan to pay off their managers, just so they could shop around for one that they liked. Their previous directors had them dressing in matching outfits and putting out an image that the girls did not feel was representative of their label. With the money borrowed from the bank, the Spice Girls started out anew with a manager who saw their vision.
The ensemble chose Simon Fuller who helped propel them into full-blown stardom, but also created more drama in the years to come. (More on this later…)
12 Posh Spice Wasn't Always So... Posh
If you are at all familiar with the modern Victoria Beckham (also known as Posh Spice) than you know that her persona is that of class and elegance. She is married to soccer star David Beckham, who is legitimately one of the hottest men alive, and has made a name for herself in fashion. Her posture is stick straight and her stilettos are high. She took the notion of Posh and made it a label. But she was not always so refined.
Like any young woman, Victoria went through a rebellious stage that included behavior that would not be up to par with the sophisticated, tasteful Victoria of today. But hey, she was young. Who didn’t take off their undies in a taxi ride through London when they were a teenager?
11 The Controlling Manager
The Spice Girls left their first management team and went in the direction of Simon Fuller who is credited with helping them become so successful. Although his pushing made them famous, it hit the wrong note for many of the members.
Between disorders and depression, the group was riddled with stress and anxiety. Rumor has it that they parted ways with Fuller because his controlling nature was taking a detrimental toll on the girls. Together they had picked up a lot of knowledge about the music industry and felt that they would have their best interests in mind as their own managers.
Simon Fuller went on to bring in more success for himself including producing hit shows like American Idol, Australian Idol, and So You Think You Can Dance.
10 Two Spice Girls Were Pregnant On Tour
Am I the only one who didn’t know this little tid bit? Two members of the Spice Girls were pregnant on the Spice World tour; Mel B and Victoria Beckham.
In the spring of 1998, Mel B and Victoria were both pregnant with their first children. As if touring was not stressful enough, the morning sickness and fatigue were extra draining. Anyone who has been pregnant can attest that even the easiest of pregnancies leave you tired, bloated, and needing some extra down time. Luckily, the two girls had each other to lean on. If you’re going to be pregnant on tour, mine as well do it with a friend!
In late February of 1999 Mel B gave birth to her daughter, Phoenix. In March Victoria welcomed her son, Brooklyn.
9 Baby Spice Didn't Land The Gig... At First
Baby Spice sort of made the Spice Girls who were they were (sorry other members, but she was the most popular). But did you know that she was not an original member of the band?
The original five members included a woman named Michelle Stevenson who ended up leaving the group. Producers claimed that Michelle had commitment issues, but she has a different take on the situation.
In the documentary Raw Spice she told interviewers, “I was not happy in the band…It was not the kind of music I wanted to be doing. It was very, very pop.” Um, yeah. That is what made them so fantastic.
So entered Baby Spice, AKA Emma Bunton. Reportedly Emma was friends with Victoria Beckham (nay Victoria Adams) who made the introductions and eventually got Emma into the group.
8 Ginger Spice Got Physical With Prince Charles
Geri (aka Ginger Spice) was a bit rowdy during her Spice Girls days. But no one expected the spunky and outgoing member to hit on a member of the Royal Family!
Apparently Price Charles was a huge fan of the group and stopped by the premier of their movie, Spice World to say hello. While everyone was lined up for a photo, Geri allegedly took a moment to pinch to booty of one of England’s most powerful men. Geri later cleared up this rumor saying that it was not a pinch, merely a pat…like somehow that makes a difference.
Only a Spice Girl could get away with groping a member of the Royal Family. Anyone else would have been banished to Timbuck Two, but not Ginger. She got a smile.
7 Two Spice Girls Developed Eating Problems On Tour
There is a price to fame, though when we are merely onlookers it does not seem real. But unfortunately the pressure to look perfect and beautiful can be detrimental to young people, especially women.
Two members of the Spice Girls battled with a serious order, bulimia. Geri Halliwell and Mel C.both admitted years later they had both suffered from bulimia, though at the time no one was discussing it. The girls were constantly being ripped apart by the tabloids and the burden to stay fit and skinny was too much to bear.
For Geri (Ginger Spice), her condition only worsened after the band broke up. She told Piers Morgan, 'I was worried I'd get fat. I would binge and then felt fatter and would make myself sick. It was awful.”
6 Their Original Name Wasn't So Pretty
The Spice Girls were not always named so. When the group was first created, management went back and forth between a couple of titles. The one that stuck was “Touch”.
There are a couple of rumors about the Spice Girls officially changed their name but the most concrete is that it was actually Geri who coined it. Allegedly the band had already written a song called “Sugar and Spice” and Geri remarked that “Spice” fit them better because each of them was boisterous and different. There was, however, a band already named “Spice” so “Girls” was added to complete it. From there, each member was given their nickname based on their personality and what they brought to the group.
The infamous end results being: Sporty, Baby, Scary, Posh, and Ginger Spice.
5 Geri Quit The Band
Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice) left the band in May of 1998. The group was on tour, and played two whole shows before it became clear that Geri was not just on a hiatus.
Geri had planned to give an interview regarding breast cancer to spread awareness. She was told by management that because they were on tour she was not allowed to do so.
In an interview with Vanity Fair she explained, “I just got really angry, very emotional about it, because it was something very close to my heart,” she said. “. . . I was meant to be the advocate of girl power, and I felt like a hypocrite if I couldn’t do something . . . for empowering women. So, I had to go. I had no other choice, really.”
4 One Spice Girl Was A Little Dramatic
Rumor has it that one member of our favorite girl band was a little on the dramatic side. I will give you one guess—yup, that’s right—it was Geri. Geri (aka Ginger Spice) was known to be outgoing, funny, and loud which are great traits for performing. But the other members of the bands were constantly surrounded by her dramatic behavior and sources say that it was not always easy.
Though many thought that a reunion was on the horizon, Geri herself has admitted that probably won’t happen for the girls any time soon.
In an interview with The Daily Mail she said, "We all talked about it, but Victoria didn't want to do it because she has a whole different life now, and Mel C didn't feel it was right."
3 Posh Was Engaged Pre-Beckham
It seems as if Victoria and David Beckham have an almost fairytale-esque romance; they are both beautiful, successful and their children together are absolutely adorable. But as with most people, there was darkness before the light.
Victoria was engaged before Beckham to a man named Mark Wood. Apparently her friends and family were not his biggest fans and rumors swirled of bad blood between the two. The couple was engaged for a year but broke up in 1994. Shortly after Wood, Victoria dated actor Corey Haim.
Thankfully, in 1997 Victoria met David Beckham after locking eyes during a charity soccer match. The two were married in 1999 and are one of the few famous couples that have managed to stay married for any length of time (they have married for nineteen years now!).
2 Baby Spice Isn't So Wholesome
Baby Spice’s image was built around the idea that she was a good girl. In hindsight, her school-girl look, coupled with the fact she was always sucking on a lollipop, is a little creepy. But maybe that is because Baby Spice (also known as Emma Buntun) had previous career ventures that were a little…spicier.
Emma had acted before her musical career and had been shows like EastEnders, a British soap opera in which she played a beggar and To Play The King which was a BBC drama where Emma played a woman of night.
Since then, Emma has kept up a pretty wholesome image. She has continued to pursue a music career, releasing both albums and singles in the UK. Though successful, it cannot compare to that of her days as Spice Girl.
1 Victoria Was Not An Original
That’s right—our Posh was not an original pick for the group. Her spot was held by singer Mel Coloma, whom management decided to drop due to the quality of her voice. Apparently She was “too good” and producers felt that she would upstage the rest of the band. Management went back to the drawing board and looked back at previous auditions. Victoria was plucked from there and made an official member of pop group (THANK YOU GOD).
I am not sure what that implies about Victoria’s voice, or the rest of the group’s, but I don’t care. The Spice Girls would not have been the same without Posh. She brought class, vivaciousness and fun.
(Fun fact: Mel Coloma is now part a group called The Decanters and works for the NHS.)
Sources: Wikipedia, TheTalko, Useless Daily, Vanity Fair, Daily Mail, MTV News, The Gamer