Emma Bunton Biography

Radio Personality, Singer(1976–)
Emma Bunton was known as "Baby Spice" in the all-girl, British pop group the Spice Girls. She became engaged to R&B singer Jade Jones in 2011.

Synopsis

Emma Bunton was born on January 21, 1976 in Finchley, North London. She attended the Sylvia Young Drama School in London before becoming a member of the all-girl, British pop group the Spice Girls. Emma was known as "Baby Spice," named for her young age and girly personality. Bunton's solo album, A Girl Like Me, reached No. 4 on the U.K. Albums Chart.

Early Life

Emma Lee Bunton was born on January 21, 1976 in Finchley, North London, and grew up in Woodside Park. Brought up in a Catholic household, Bunton's mother, Pauline, was a karate instructor, and her father, Travor, was a milkman. When Bunton was 11, her parents divorced, and she lived with her mom afterward. She has a younger brother, P.J., with whom she is close.

At a young age, Bunton modeled for products like Mothercare, Mentadent P toothpaste and Polly Pocket. She attended the Sylvia Young Drama School in London, and auditioned for several TV parts, landing minor roles in the British shows EastEnders and The Bill.

Commercial Success

Bunton joined the all-girl pop group the Spice Girls in 1993, after Michelle Stephenson parted ways. Bunton, along with Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm, signed with Virgin Records in September 1995, and released their debut single, "Wannabe," in 1996. The song hit No. 1 in more than 30 countries, and instituted the Spice Girls as a global phenomenon. Bunton was known as "Baby Spice" because she was the youngest girl in the group; wore her hair in long, blonde pigtails; and was known for having a "girly" personality.

In November 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album, Spice in Europe, which was enormously successful. "Wannabe" soon became the best-selling single by an all-female group.

After drifting apart in the late '90s to pursue other projects, the Spice Girls reunited for a series of concerts in 2007 and 2008. In June 2012, the group reunited again, this time to announce the creation of a new musical about the rise and fall of the Spice Girls. Viva Forever!, named after the group's 1998 No. 1 single, is slated to open in London by the end of 2012.

In August 2012, the Spice Girls, including Bunton, performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which were held in London.

Solo Career

Bunton signed a solo deal with Virgin Records, and her debut album, A Girl Like Me, was released in the UK in April 2001. The album reached number four on the UK Albums Chart, and was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for selling more than 100,000 copies. Despite this, the record had overall disappointing sales, and Bunton left Virgin to sign with 19 Entermainment/Universal Records. Her second album, Free Me, was released in 2003, with four singles: "Free Me," "Maybe," "I'll Be There" and "Crickets Sing for Anamaria." The record found success in the United States, reaching No. 4 on the Club Play Singles chart.

In 2005, Bunton filmed cameo roles in the Bollywood films Pyaar Mein Twist and Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets. In October 2008, she made an appearance on the U.K. version of The X Factor to judge the best over-25 acts. In 2010, she was a judge on iTV's Dancing on Ice. Additionally, she hosts Heart FM's Saturday afternoon drive-time slot.

Personal Life

Bunton is engaged to her longtime partner, Jade Jones, the former lead singer of R&B bands Damage and CherryBlackStone. The couple has two sons, Beau Lee Jones (born in 2007) and Tate Lee Jones (born in 2011). Bunton has spoken publicly about her fear of an inability to conceive since being diagnosed with endometriosis at age 25, and her subsequent relief with two healthy pregnancies.

Jones proposed to Bunton on January 21, 2011, her 35th birthday, and the proposal was announced on an episode of Dancing on Ice.

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