Geri Halliwell

Geri Halliwell Biography

Singer (1972–)
Geri Halliwell was known as "Ginger Spice" in the all-girl, British pop group the Spice Girls. Halliwell has the most No. 1 singles of any female musician in U.K. history.


Geri Halliwell was born on August 6, 1972 in Watford, England. In 1994, she became "Ginger Spice" in the all-girl, British pop group the Spice Girls. Halliwell quit in 1998 to pursue her solo career, starting with her single, "Look At Me," which sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Since her run with the Spice Girls, Halliwell has authored a series of children's books and started a swim. Additionally, she has been has the most No. 1 singles of any female musician in U.K. history.

Early Life

Geraldine Estelle Halliwell, known as "Geri," was born on August 6, 1972 in North Watford, England. She was raised by father Laurence Francis Halliwell, of English and Swedish descent, and half-Spanish mother Ana Maria, from Huesca. Halliwell speaks fluent Spanish and English. She attened the Watford Grammar School for Girls, and took her A-Levels at the Camden School for Girls. In college, she studied English literature and finance.

After college, Halliwell worked odd jobs, including as a topless model, a cage dancer at a club in Majorca and a presenter on the Turkish TV show Let's Make a Deal.

Commercial Success

In 1994, Halliwell became a member of the British, all-girl pop group the Spice Girls. She replaced Suzanne Tinker, who couldn't make it to the last audition. Signed to Virgin Records in September 1995, along with Halliwell, the group was comprised of Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm. The Spice Girls released their debut single, "Wannabe," in 1996, which hit No. 1 in more than 30 countries, and instituted the girls as a global phenomenon. The song became the biggest-selling single by an all-female group. In November 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album, Spice in Europe, which was so successful it has been compared to Beatlemania.

Halliwell was dubbed "Ginger Spice" by Top of the Pops magazine in 1996, and became known for her outrageous, sexually suggestive outfits, platform heels and red hair.

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 Halliwell, performed at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London.

Solo Career

On May 30, 1998, Halliwell publicly announced that she would be leaving the Spice Girls due to differences within the group. The announcement generated much controversy, and the other members were forced to complete their North American tour without her.

Not long after, in 1999, Halliwell released her first solo single, "Look at Me," from her album, Schizophonic, which sold more than 1 million copies worldwide. Her second album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, and its hit single, "It's Raining Men," won the International Song of the Year Award at the 2002 NRJ Music Awards. With 11 No. 1 singles—seven as a member of the Spice Girls and four as a solo artist—Halliwell has the most No. 1 songs of any British female singer in U.K. chart history.

Halliwell wrote two autobiographies, If Only (1999) and Just for the Record (2002), both chronicling her rise to fame. She also wrote a series of children's books called Ugenia Lavender, which follows the adventures of a 9-year-old narrator.

Halliwell is expected to release her fourth studio album, Putting On The Bling, in 2012. In addition to her music career, she has appeared as a guest judge on The X Factor, released a series of yoga DVDs and started a bathing suit line.

Personal Life

Halliwell gave birth to her first child, daughter Bluebell Madonna Halliwell, on May 14, 2006. Bluebell's father is Halliwell's ex-boyfriend, Sacha Gervasi; her godmother is Victoria Beckham.

Halliwell suffered from anorexia and bulimia, until she sought help in 2002. She has said that her hero is Margaret Thatcher.

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