First a brief history of the legendary British girl group, the Spice Girls. Formed by audition in 1994, the quintet of Mel B, Mel C, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, and Victoria Adams broke into the big time two years later with hit 1996 singles “Wannabe,” “Say You’ll Be There” and “2 Become 1,” which form the nucleus of their debut album “Spice.” Their popularity surge was compared to the Beatles, and the group was hailed as bastions of “Girl Power” and Cool Britannia until the 1998 departure of Geri, which led to the Spice Girls going on hiatus until reunions in the 2000s and on.
For Spice Girls fans who felt that Geri pursuing a solo career led to the group’s technical dissolution, what she said last Saturday might be a welcome balm. BBC reports that on June 15, the final concert night of the UK-Ireland 2019 Spice World tour, the girls took time to make some statements to the crowd at Wembley Stadium, ranging from greetings to a teaser by Mel B about a Spice Girls concert tour in Australia next year. The now aged 46 Geri Halliwell-Horner however gave an apology for departing the group in 1998, a pronouncement that stirred the audience.
Stating that she had something she wanted to tell her band-mates and fans for a long time, and with Mel B and C and Emma standing at her sides, Geri said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry I left. I was just being a brat. It is so good to be back with the girls that I love.” While the original official line that “Ginger” Spice gave when it happened in 1998 was that she had become exhausted and was looking for a break, when interviewed for the 2007 Spice Girl reunion documentary “Giving You Everything,” Geri noted that her decision was born out of a growing emotional distance with her companions.
Geri embarked on a brief solo career starting in 1999 and lasting into the mid-2000s, at which point she settled down to become a mother and writer of children’s books up until she was called to the first Spice Girls reunion tour. The last time the group was able to perform with a whole roster was during their set at the closing ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympics. Subsequent reunion concerts with Geri involved tended to have one or two other band members absent.
Other heartwarming moments in the final Spice World 2019 concert at Wembley included an encore performance of “Mama,” with the Spice Girls’ parents and their own children present in a full-circle serenade. Emma Bunton also broke down earlier while singing “Viva Forever” due to the tour coming to an end.
Image courtesy of The Mirror