The Spice Girls were a British pop girl group formed in 1994. The group consisted of Victoria Beckham (née Adams), Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Halliwell. They were signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single, “Wannabe” in 1996, which hit number-one in more than 30 countries and helped establish the group as a “global phenomenon“. Credited for being the pioneers that paved the way for the commercial breakthrough of teen pop in the late 1990s, their debut album, Spice, sold more than 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by a female group in music history. They have sold over 100 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling female group of all time.[1] Measures of their success include international record sales, a 2007–2008 reunion tour, merchandising, record-breaking achievements, iconic symbolism such as Geri Halliwell’s Union Jack dress, representing “Girl Power,” a box-office film, Spice World, and their internationally recognized nicknames.

Under the guidance of their mentor and manager Simon Fuller, the group embraced merchandising and became a regular feature of the British press. In 1996, Top of the Pops magazine gave each member of the group aliases, which were adopted by the group and media. According to biographer David Sinclair, “Scary (Brown), Baby (Bunton), Ginger (Halliwell), Posh (Beckham) and Sporty (Chisholm) were the most widely recognized group since John, Paul, George and Ringo”.[2] They are the biggest cultural icons of the 1990s, according to a survey carried out by Trivial Pursuit, winning by 80 percent in a poll of 1,000 people, stating that “Girl Power” defined the decade. They are cited as part of the ‘second wave’ ’90s British Invasion of the USA.[3] They are one of the most commercially successful acts in contemporary music history.

On 31 May 1998, Halliwell unexpectedly left the group in the middle of numerous rumours. The four remaining members released their third album Forever, but split in November 2000. On 28 June 2007, all five reformed before the launch of their Reunion Tour in December, alongside the release of their Greatest Hits album. In December, a new documentary Giving You Everything aired on television. The tour is estimated to have grossed US$100 million. The tour won the Billboard 2008 Touring Award for Top Boxscore for a 17-night stand at London’s O2 Arena.

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