The Spice Girls at 25: Here’s the story from A to Z
Released 25 years ago, on 8 July 1996, Wannabe spent seven weeks at number one in the UK and four in the US. In the process, it made five unknown girls – Victoria Caroline Adams, Melanie Janine Brown, Emma Lee Bunton, Melanie Jayne Chisholm and Geraldine Estelle Halliwell – global superstars.
So here’s a story from A to Z of how the band started, rose to fame, fell apart and put themselves back together again. Because which member of our LGBT+ Community does not love the Spice Girls?!?
L is for Licensing
Pop stars were often cautious about sponsorship deals. But the Spice Girls had no such qualms.
In the first two years of their career, they put their names to more than 100 products including Walker’s crisps, Polaroid cameras, Benetton, Fabergé, Chupa Chups lollipops, Asda supermarkets, BT phonecards (ask your mum), Cadbury’s chocolate and even Impulse body spray (lavender and vanilla scented for Baby Spice; paduk wood for poor old Scary Spice.)
They made a reported £500,000 for recording an advertising jingle for Channel 5 and had their own ranges of pyjamas, beach towels, dolls, playing cards, bean bags, sponge cakes, beach towels and businessmen’s ties.
Modern pop artists, starved of income by the economics of streaming, often subsidise their careers by following the Spice Girls’ example – but for Simon Fuller, it wasn’t about the money.
“The sponsorship deals were far more about exposure than the money,” he explained. “My thinking was if we can get Pepsi to spend $40m basically running what was a commercial for my group, then Hallelujah!”
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