Spice Girls World Famous Timeline
Spice Girls Facts and Figures from 1994+
Before the Spice Girls became THE Spice Girls, they were just ordinary women looking for ways to make their lives more meaningful. And look at where they are now. The group's Cinderella story is probably the most compelling rise to stardom ever seen in the entertainment industry. Pretty impressive given this was before the world wide web and wireless communication became mainstream. Imagine if during the Spice Girls' heyday the Internet culture and mobile phone medium had been as big as they are right now. Imagine if their songs could have been downloaded to your phone - rather than just being the biggest girl band of all time they would have been totally unstoppable.
It was a hard climb but by the time the 90's queens of pop were on top of the world, everything seems to go their way. Here's a timeline of the Spice Girls' colourful history:
January: Chris Herbert distributes advertisements looking for 5 "lively girls" for a musical group ("R. U. 18-23 with the ability to sing/dance? R.U. streetwise, outgoing, ambitious, and dedicated?"). The adverts were placed in pubs, dance studios as well as in 'The Stage'.
March: 400 applicants audition at London's West End dance studio 'Danceworks'. After very strong competition the finalists were selected, and the group 'Touch' was formed.
May: The group leave the Herbert's management and sign up with 19 Management, run by the renowned Simon Fuller.
July: Michelle Stephenson quits the band for family and personal reasons.
September: Emma Bunton takes her place in the line up. Simon Fuller later closes their deal with Virgin Records, reported to be for 2 million UK pounds, this was then followed by a further deal with Windswept Pacific.
The group work from Trinity Studios in Woking Surrey, putting together their infamous 'Girl Power' style and full-on personas. They live in a rented house in Kent. Their name changes from 'Touch' to 'Spice' (the name is normally accredited to Geri H.) and finally to The Spice Girls. During this time they produce some poorly received songs including 'Take Me Away' and 'We're Going To Make It Happen' - which is a very aptly named track.
April: The Spice Girls shoot their debut video for their single 'Wannabe'.
June: Promotional machine is in full swing with a very carefully managed publicity campaign. This promotes their ground breaking feminist 'Girl Power' message, which somehow appeals to both women and men.
July: 'Wannabe' is released and jumps straight in at number 3 in the UK charts, two places behind Gary Barlow's 'Forever Love'. The following week it takes the top spot and stays there for 7 weeks, and spends 26 weeks in the Top 75. This achievement makes it the fastest and biggest selling single by an all female group in the UK to date. The girls first national newspaper interview appears in the Daily Star.
September: 'Wannabe' tops the charts in 22 countries, 31 by Christmas, selling an unstoppable 4 million copies. The video for their next single 'Say You'll Be There' is filmed in the Mojave Desert, after which they fly to Hong-Kong.
October: 'Say You'll Be There' enters the charts at number 1, staying there for 2 weeks, and holding a place in the charts for 17 weeks. Many praising reviews are published, although unwarranted backlash against this 'manufactured' band starts appearing.
November: Debut album 'Spice' is released and instantly enters the UK charts at number 1 staying there for 9 weeks, and selling in excess of 1.8 million units in the UK by Christmas, making it 6x platinum. By the end of March 1997 it will have worldwide sales approaching 20 million. The Spice Girls are rumoured to be offered £1 million pounds to appear on a late night adult cable channel - they never did appear. The Oxford Street lights are turned on by the band, which must have come to a shock to the older generation.
December: The Smash Hits awards honour the girls with the following titles: Best British Group, Best New Act and Best Pop Video (Say You'll Be There). The band are interviewed for 'Spectator' magazine. Geri dubs Lady Thatcher, previously the UK Prime Minister, as 'the first Spice Girl' - presumably due to her Girl Power attitude.
'2 Become 1' goes straight to the top of the Christmas chart, holding the number one slot for 3 weeks, and staying in the charts for 19. The special Christmas Day edition of the BBC's TOP of the POPs is presented by the band.
They are now endorsing over 35 products and have 8 sponsorship deals - totally over £5.5 million, including Asda, Sony Playstation, Walkers Crisps and Pepsi each signing them for £1 million.
January: The girls take the US by storm with their #1 single Wannabe hitting the Top 40 and debuting at #11 on the Billboard Hot 100. The band gets more press than the Royal Family and start to symbolise a 'Cool Britannia'. They are nominated for 4 Brit Awards - Best British Group, Best British Newcomer, Best British Single (Wannabe) and Best British Video (Say You'll Be There). Absolute (Paul Wilson and Andy Watkins) and Stannard & Rowe are nominated for Best Producer for their work. 20,000 members of the American public vote for the girls winning them Favourite New Pop Band, Favourite Band and Favourite Album at the 25th Annual American Music Awards.
February: The Brit Awards ceremony at Earl's Court, London, is opened by the band performing 'Who Do You Think You Are'. They go on to wind Best British Single (Wannabe) and Best British Video (Say You'll Be There). After this success their LP 'Spice' returns to it's #1 chart position. In the US their debut LP 'Spice' is released, spawning two #1 US hit singles - 'Wannabe' and 'Say You'll Be There'; '2 Become 1' also reaches the Top 10. 'Who Do You Think You Are' video is filmed for Comic Relief featuring the hilarious Spice wannabes 'The Sugar Lumps'. The next serious video Mama is filmed. The Spice Girls shared their thoughts about fame with MTV: Melanie B said "You can do what you want in this group, it's great! You can be as mad as you want, as normal as you want or as loud or as proud as you want!" "And be whoever you wanna be!" bandmate Emma added. Victoria added, "Just be happy, have a laugh so if you want you can run up and down with no clothes on, but if you do feel the need to all of a sudden do that... feel free."
March: The release of the double A-side single 'Mama' and 'Who Do You Think You Are?' is released, and storms to the top position for 3 weeks. This makes the girls record breakers as the first act in British Pop history to have their first 4 singles all reach #1. The single stays in the charts for 15 weeks. Sales from 'Who Do You Think You Are' go to Comic Relief. 'Wannabe' is certified gold and platinum in the US. The girls launch the new terrestrial UK TV channel 'Channel 5'. The Spice Girls' official book 'Girl Power' is published in the UK; the initial run of 200,000 prints are instantly sold out - it is eventually translated into over 20 languages.
April: 'Spice - The Official Video, Volume 1' is released, this video will sell over half a million units in the UK alone. The girls upset Maori Tribal leaders by performing a ritual dance which is culturally only to be performed by men. It is not know how this effected their sales in New Zealand. The LP 'Spice' is certified double platinum (2 Million units) in the US. 'Say You'll Be There' hits the Top 40.
May: London's Grosvenor House Hotel hosts the Ivor Novello awards, 'Wannabe' is sited as Best Selling British-Written Single and wins International Hit of The Year. The Spice Girls' are accused over being 'flirtatious' and 'over familiar' at the Prince's Trust Royal Gala Show. Prince Charles confessors to being 'a bit of a fan', something the girls never forget.
June: Production beings on the Spice Girls' full length feature film 'Spice World'. 'Spice' is certified 3x platinum! Pepsi give away the single 'Step To Me' in exchange for 20 Pepsi can ring-pulls.
July: 'Spice' goes 4x Platinum, and is nominated for the 1997 Mercury Music Prize, which they fail to win.
September: At the MTV Video Music Awards in New York the girls win Best Dance Video for 'Wannabe'. They perform 'Say You'll Be There' in honour of the late Diana, Princess of Wales. 'Spice' LP is certified 5x platinum! Poloroid cameras feature the girls in yet another commercial. '2 Become 1' is certified gold.
October: The Spice Girls entertain 85000 fans in a live concert just outside Istanbul, Turkey. 11,000 Pepsi prize winners are privileged to attend the extravaganza. The girls have a deodorant named after them, and British TV airs the 'Impulse Spice Body Spray'. The first single from their next album 'Spice World' is delayed to allow Elton John's 'Candle in the Wind' to reign at the charts top spot - in honour of Princess Diana. The group launch the Royal British Legion's Poppy Appeal, reading exerts from the poem "The Fallen" by Laurence Binvon.
November: Their second album, 'Spice World', was released exactly 12 months after their first. By the end of the year it will have achieved the position of fifth best selling album, with 'Spice' coming in third. At the Smash Hits Poll Winners' Party at London Arena they win the 'Best Band' award, and also walk away with the 'Worst Band' award! Geri Halliwell wins worst dressed female.
December: The Queen samples the delights of the Spice Girls at the Royal Variety performance in London
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