Spice Girls: All you need to know about the Girl Power pioneers

The Spice Girls will return for their first tour in a decade, although as a four-piece without Victoria Beckham.

The group will begin with six UK dates, kicking off in Manchester in June 2019.

As they prepare to make their comeback, here is a run-down of all you need to know about the pop group that was so pivotal to the culture of the 1990s.

– Starting out

Spice Girls at a film festival
Spice Girls in the early days (PA)

The group burst onto the scene in 1996 with their debut single, Wannabe.

The track topped charts all over the world and propelled the five-piece to global stardom.

Soon after, a Top Of The Pops magazine feature gave the girls their nicknames – Victoria Beckham was Posh, Emma Bunton was Baby, Mel B (Brown) was Scary, Mel C (Melanie Chisholm) was Sporty and Geri Halliwell, now Horner, was known as Ginger.

– Biggest hits

Geri Horner at the Brits
Geri Horner at the Brits in 1997 (PA)

The girls followed Wannabe with a string of number one singles including Say You’ll Be There, 2 Become 1 and Spice Up Your Life.

Their debut album, Spice, made them the fastest-selling British act since The Beatles.

To date they have sold more than 85 million records.

Their impact on popular culture was as big as their impact on the charts, as the group took their empowering brand of Girl Power all over the globe.

During the height of their fame they met royalty, were pictured with Nelson Mandela – who called the girls “my heroes” – and performed with operatic heavyweight Pavarotti.

They also provided iconic moments such as their performance at the 1997 Brits, when Horner wore a dress emblazoned with the Union Jack during their set.

The Spice Girls plugged into the trend for Cool Britannia, and used their star power to endorse everything from deodorant to dolls.

A movie, Spice World, was released in 1997 and despite earning the Spices a joint Razzie award for Worst Actress, it was a box office hit.

– Geri leaves the group

Geri Horner on the red carpet
Geri Horner (PA)

While the group was still going strong, change was on the horizon.

Horner, aka Ginger Spice, shocked the world when she left in 1998, citing “differences between us”.

She left the others to complete their North American tour without her.

Later that year the remaining Spices released the song Goodbye, which was widely seen as a tribute to Horner. It gave the group their third Christmas number one.

But without the flame-haired singer, a vital ingredient appeared to be missing and the band split in 2000.

– Solo careers

Spice Girls at an awards show
The Spice Girls at an awards show (PA)

Horner wasted no time in launching a solo career, with tracks such as Mi Chico Latino and Lift Me Up making it to the top of the charts in the UK in 1999.

Meanwhile, her former bandmates had a quiet couple of years.

They returned to the scene in 2000 with a double A side, Holler/Let Love Lead The Way.

It went to number one, but it was to be the last Spice Girls single until 2007.

In December 2000, the group went their separate ways.

While there was no formal split, the girls announced an “indefinite hiatus” and all indicated that they would be concentrating on their solo careers.

Horner’s ex-bandmates followed in her footsteps with their own solo singles.

Chisholm, said to be the most talented singer of the group, enjoyed hits like Never Be The Same Again and I Turn to You.

Beckham’s single Out Of Your Mind was famously beaten to the top spot of the UK charts by a track featuring the then little-known Sophie Ellis Bextor, despite a huge publicity campaign. She later launched her fashion career.

Bunton, now a radio host, enjoyed a number one with What Took You So Long? and also released a cover of Downtown, while Brown, who became a judge on The X Factor, had a chart-topper with I Want You Back, featuring Missy Elliott.

– Reunions

Spice Girls on stage
Spice Girls on stage (PA)

After much speculation, in 2007 the group announced a reunion tour.

They unveiled a Greatest Hits album and a single, Headlines (Friendship Never Ends).

In 2012 they emerged once more to perform at the 2012 Olympics closing ceremony in London.

They also gathered together to launch a stage musical inspired by their songs called Viva Forever.

– New opportunities

Things went quiet until early in 2018 when Horner shared a picture on Instagram of the group together at her home, saying “girl power is alive and well”.

They then confirmed that they were planning to work together on new projects.

A statement from publicist Jo Milloy on behalf of the group said: “We have enjoyed a wonderful afternoon catching-up and reminiscing about the amazing times we have spent together.

“We are always overwhelmed at how much interest there is across the whole world for The Spice Girls.

“The time now feels right to explore some incredible new opportunities together.”

– Feud

Yipppppeeee NY Halloween party is ON

A post shared by Scary Spice Mel b (@officialmelb) on Oct 31, 2018 at 8:27pm PDT

There have been reports of tension between Brown and Beckham, after Beckham apparently indicated that she did not want to do a reunion tour.

Earlier this year Brown said on Loose Women that a reunion was going ahead but that one person had been holding things up.

“There’s one that’s been a bit difficult. But she’s getting roped in,” she said.

And she recently appeared to have a dig at Beckham when she and a friend dressed up as Posh and Becks for Halloween.

The singer wore a mask of Beckham’s face and held a sign reading: No I am not going on tour.

Speaking on Loose Women on Monday, ahead of the official Spice Girls comeback tour announcement, Brown said that she thinks Beckham thought her costume was funny.