The Spice Girls are a British girl group formed in 1994. The group comprises Melanie Brown, also known as Mel B ("Scary Spice"), Melanie Chisholm, or Mel C ("Sporty Spice"), Emma Bunton ("Baby Spice"), Geri Halliwell ("Ginger Spice") and Victoria Beckham ("Posh Spice"). With their "girl power" mantra, the Spice Girls redefined the girl group concept by targeting a young female fanbase. They led the teen pop resurgence of the 1990s and became pop culture icons of the decade. They are cited as part of the Second British Invasion of the United States, and one of the greatest girl groups of all time. They were "arguably the most recognisable face" of Cool Britannia, the mid-1990s celebration of youth culture in the United Kingdom.
|Years active||1994–2000, 2007 –2008, 2012 , 2018 –present|
The Spice Girls formed after auditions held by managers Bob and Chris Herbert, who wanted to create a girl group to compete with the British boy bands popular at the time. They signed to Virgin Records and released their debut single "Wannabe" in 1996, which reached number one in the charts of 37 countries. Their debut album, Spice (1996), sold more than 23 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album by a female group in history. The follow-up, Spiceworld (1997) sold more than 14 million copies worldwide. Both albums encapsulated the group's dance-pop style and message of female empowerment, with vocal and songwriting contributions shared equally by the five members.
In May 1998, Halliwell left the Spice Girls, citing exhaustion and creative differences. Forever (2000), the only Spice Girls album without Halliwell, achieved weaker sales. At the end of 2000, the Spice Girls entered a hiatus to concentrate on their solo careers. They reunited for two concert tours, the Return of the Spice Girls (2007–2008) and Spice World (2019), both of which won the Billboard Live Music Award for highest-grossing engagements.
Measures of the Spice Girls' success include international record sales, iconic symbolism such as Halliwell's Union Jack dress, a major motion picture, Spice World (1997), and the highest-grossing concert tours by an all-female group from 2000 to 2020. Under the guidance of their mentor and manager Simon Fuller, their endorsement deals and merchandise made them one of most successful marketing engines ever, with a global gross income estimated at $500–800 million by May 1998. Their media exposure, according to Music Week writer Paul Gorman, helped usher in an era of celebrity obsession in pop culture.
The Spice Girls have sold 100 million records worldwide, making them the bestselling girl group of all time, one of the bestselling artists, and the most successful British pop act since the Beatles. Their awards include five Brit Awards, three American Music Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, three MTV Europe Music Awards and one MTV Video Music Award. In 2000, they became the youngest recipients of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music. According to Rolling Stone journalist and biographer David Sinclair, the Spice Girls were the most widely recognised group since the Beatles.