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Melanie Chisholm, also known as "Sporty Spice" and "Mel C," became famous in the mid-1990s with the all-girl British pop group the Spice Girls.
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Chosen at an audition,the five members of the Spice Girls--nicknamed Sporty, Scary, Posh, Baby, and Ginger--grew to symbolize “girl power,” and their music’s message struck a chord with thousands of young women.
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Melanie Chisholm was born on January 12, 1974 in Whiston, Merseyside, England. In 1994, she became "Sporty Spice" in the all-girl British pop group the Spice Girls. In 1999, Chisholm released her first single, "When You're Gone," which reached number three on the U.K. charts. Chisholm was nominated for a "Best Actress" Laurence Olivier Award for her role in Blood Brothers.
"I think performing is my love, and if it wasn't in my life, I feel there would be a part missing."
"I'm a shy person, and sometimes I might not always say what I think, but I'm more straight-talking now. I don’t want to waste time and talk around things, because I want things to be how I want them to be.”
Melanie Jayne Chisholm was born on January 12, 1974 in Whiston, Merseyside, England. Her mother, Joan, was a singer in a rock band, and her father, Alan, organized travel for the Liverpool Football Club. They divorced when Chisholm was three. From a young age, Chisholm trained in ballet and karate, and at 16 she was accepted at The Doreen Bird Dance School in Kent, where she trained for three years and emerged with a qualification to teach ballet.
In 1994, Chisholm answered an ad in The Stage magazine looking for members for a new girl band. After almost missing her audition due to tonsillitis, Chisholm was chosen, along with Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell, to become a member of the British all-girl pop group the Spice Girls. The girls signed with Virgin Records in September 1995 and released their debut single, "Wannabe," in 1996, which hit No. 1 in more than 30 countries and instituted them as a global phenomenon. The song became the biggest-selling single by an all-female group of all time. In November 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album, Spice, in Europe, and it was enormously successful. Chisholm, or "Sporty Spice," was known for performing back flips across the stage, and was also considered the best singer of the five.
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 Chisholm, performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, which were held in London.
Chisholm's first solo undertaking was a duet with Canadian rock artist Bryan Adams. Their single, "When You're Gone," reached the top three in the U.K. Her first solo album, Northern Star, was released in 1999 and was certified triple platinum in the U.K. The single "Never Be the Same" reached number one on the U.K. charts, giving Chisholm her first No. 1 as a solo artist.
Chisholm released her second album, Reason, in March 2003. After a disappointing U.K. chart position, Chisholm was dropped by Virgin Records. In 2004, she set up her own record company, Red Girl Records, named after the team color of the Liverpool Football Club. In April 2005, Chisholm released her third album, Beautiful Intentions. The album was highly successful in Europe and was certified gold in Germany, Austria and Switzerland, and platinum in Portugal.
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The British all-female pop group the Spice Girls dominated the music charts in the 1990s with their catchy lyrics and fierce attitudes. The group began with five, young aspiring performers, and blew up into a '90s frenzy of platform shoes, choreographed dance numbers, and of course, "Girl Power." Under the personas of "Sporty," "Baby," "Scary," "Ginger" and "Posh," the five superstars sold 65 million records worldwide, making them the best-selling girl group of all time. To this day, their fan base still proves strong, as they reunited in 2007 for a sold out tour, the first since 1999. Explore this collection for full biographies, photos and videos, of the five girls who make up this iconic group.
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In the 1990s, London's artists and cultural tastemakers embraced their British roots. Pop acts like Oasis, Elastica and the Spice Girls dominated 90's music, and reinforced British pride with symbolic use of the Union Flag—Oasis member Noel Gallagher famously used a Union Jack guitar while "Ginger Spice" Geri Halliwell wore the symbol on her trademark, flashy dress. The period was also marked by influential designers like John Galliano and Alexander McQueen, whose unique designs established numerous fashion trends for the decade. Biography.com celebrates these prominent figures, and the many others who led the way for "Cool Britannia."
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