Victoria Beckham rose to fame as "Posh Spice" in the British pop group the Spice Girls. The group released their debut album, Spice, in 1996, a smash success that sold more than 20 million copies worldwide. After the group split up in 2000, Beckham embarked on a solo musical career and later explored her love of fashion, developing a line of jeans called VB Rocks in 2004. In 2007, Beckham went on a reunion tour with the Spice Girls, but she ultimately focused her career on fashion, launching her own fashion line in 2008. Beckham also makes headlines because of her high-profile marriage to soccer star David Beckham.
Victoria Adams was born on April 17, 1974, in Hertfordshire, England. Since achieving success as a pop singer in the 1990s, Beckham has become one of the most photographed women in the world. Tabloids seem to follow nearly every move that she and her husband, soccer star David Beckham make. Capitalizing on her broad exposure, Victoria Beckham has built her own brand, consisting of clothing, perfume and sunglasses.
Raised in an affluent family, Beckham started studying ballet at a young age. She pursued her interest in dance at the Laine Arts Theatre College in Surrey when she was 17. After three years there, Beckham moved to London to try to make it as a dancer. Her lucky break came when she answered a casting call seeking energetic and hard-working female performers in 1993. Out of the 400 women who applied, Beckham was chosen to become part of a new all-female pop music group.
Created by manager Chris Herbert, the band that would become known as the Spice Girls started rehearsing together. The final line-up came together by mid-1993 and included Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Beckham. The group wanted more creative control and soon broke off with Herbert. They later signed with manager Brian Fuller and landed a contract with Virgin Records.
Each of the five members of the Spice Girls developed their own persona: Melanie Brown was known as "Scary Spice"; Melanie Chisholm was "Sporty Spice"; Geri Halliwell was "Ginger Spice"; Emma Bunton was "Baby Spice"; and Beckham was "Posh Spice." They released their debut album, Spice, in 1996 and reached the top of charts with the catchy dance-pop song "Wannabe" the following year. The follow-up single, "Say You'll Be There," climbed as high as number three on the Billboard 200 chart. The album eventually sold more than 20 million copies worldwide.
The group's "girl power" message attracted a substantial audience, especially young teenage girls. In 1997, the group released their second album titled Spiceworld and starred in a film of the same name early the following year. While they scored a hit with the song "2 Become 1," Spice Girls failed to duplicate the success of their debut recording. The film featured cameos by such performers as Elvis Costello, Bob Geldof and Elton John, and had some success at the box office, netting close to $30 million.
In 2000, the Spice Girls released the album Forever, which was recorded without Halliwell who had left the group during an earlier tour. After the group drifted apart to pursue other projects, Beckham soon went solo, releasing a self-titled album in 2001. She also wrote her autobiography, Learning to Fly (2001), which became a best seller in Britain.
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!, written by Jennifer Saunders and named after the group's 1998 No. 1 single. The show opened in 2012 and was critically panned, forcing it to close after only seven months.
In August 2012, Beckham performed along with other members of the Spice Girls at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London.
Marriage to David Beckham
Beckham met soccer star David Beckham at a game in 1997, and the two soon became one of Britain's most popular couples, known in the tabloid as "Posh" and "Becks." They became engaged in 1998 and welcomed their first child together, son Brooklyn, on March 4, 1999. That summer, the couple wed in a lavish ceremony at a castle in Ireland. The Beckhams have two other sons — Romeo, born on September 1, 2002, and Cruz, born on February 20, 2005 — and daughter Harper, born on July 10, 2011.
Beckham invited television audiences inside her life with the reality special Victoria's Secrets, which aired on British television in 2000. She has been the focus of several other television programs since then including Being Victoria Beckham, The Real Beckhams, Victoria Beckham - A Mile In Their Shoes and Victoria Beckham: Coming to America.
All of Beckham's success has also attracted its share of unwanted attention. In 2002, authorities uncovered a plot to kidnap Beckham and hold her for ransom. The following year Beckham moved to Madrid, Spain. After 14 years with the Manchester United team, her husband had signed a lucrative deal to play for the Real Madrid team.
Stepping away from the music scene, Beckham explored her love of fashion. She developed a line of jeans called VB Rocks for the Rock & Republic brand in 2004. In 2006, Beckham shared her fashion tips in the book That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between. One year later, Beckham launched her own line of sunglasses called dVb Eyewear and a line of jeans soon followed.
That same year, Beckham and her family moved to Los Angeles where David Beckham had joined the American soccer team the LA Galaxy. The arrival of the Beckhams to L.A. created quite a media frenzy. Beckham's friend and neighbor, model and TV personality Heidi Klum, told Harper's Bazaar. "Under all that glam and glitz is a really lovely person who is genuine, funny, sexy, and such a great mother."
Although Beckham returned to the music world for the Spice Girl reunion tour in 2007, she has said several times that her main focus is fashion. She expanded her clothing line in 2008, introducing a new line of dresses. "Everything that I design I would wear myself," Beckham once said. Her business empire also includes a line of fragrances.
In 2009, Beckham became the model for the Emporio Armani underwear line for women. Her husband had previously been featured in ads for their men's line. Beckham explained that she took the job because "when I'm 50, I can look back and say, 'Hey, Mommy didn't look too bad after having three kids,'" Beckham told Time magazine
Beckham maintains a light-hearted attitude about being the target of frequent tabloid news stories. "I've had so many ludicrous things written about me and my family and my friends that it's almost like a joke," she told Allure magazine. For right now, Beckham is focused on her work as a designer. "I'm so grateful to the fashion industry for accepting me and giving me a chance."
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