In 1993, five wannabes - Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Adams - saw a small ad in The Stage newspaper. "Do you want to be famous?" it asked.
Did the five girls who eventually became the Spice Girls realise quite how famous they would become? Probably not. In the few years after they burst onto the scene with their warcry of "Girl Power" they amassed worldwide fame and personal fortunes of over £20 million each. More importantly, they transcended the music scene to become pop culture icons.
However, some icons are more, shall we say, iconic than others. When Victoria announced her engagement to Manchester United and England footballer David Beckham
at the beginning of 1998, the press went wild. Then, when the midfielder was red-carded during the football World Cup, and it later emerged that the couple were expecting their first child, the interest turned into a veritable frenzy. They married in July 1999 in opulent style in a stately home just outside Dublin, where they presented their four-month-old son Brooklyn Joseph Beckham to the public for the first time.
Victoria's Scary bandmate Mel B
is also a mother, and her daughter Phoenix Chi was born just two weeks before Brooklyn. She too tied the knot, to dancer Jimmy Gulzar, but the relationship didn't last and the couple separated barely 15 months after the nuptials.
While bemoaning her lack of success on the boys front, Melanie Chisholm
, or Sporty, enjoyed the most success with her solo career, although all of the band members, including Ginger Geri, who sensationally quit the band in early summer 1998, have had solo hits. Mel C's debut album, Northern Star,
sold two million copies in the UK, as she struggled with a very public battle with depression. Bouncing back, in 2003 the singer released a well-received follow-up disc, Reason
, aka Baby Spice, is the most low-key of the five, living a quiet life in London. A solo career was derailed after she was dropped by record label Virgin in 2002, but she returned the next year with a new single, Free Me.
Late in 2000, the girls regrouped and released their third album, Forever
. While the accompanying single went to Number One, the album peaked at Number Two and slipped out of the charts several weeks later. With the four remaining members going in increasingly different directions, the Spice Girls have more or less been laid to rest. But forgotten? Doubtful...