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Girl Power: Spice Girls’ ‘Wannabe’ turns 25

By PINKY S. ICAMEN Published Jul 09, 2021 6:34 pm

It’s been a quarter of a century since Spice Girls released its debut single Wannabe that forever changed pop culture and pop music. Feeling old yet?

When millennials and preceding generations reference the ‘90s, it always feels like, for a split second, that decade is just 10 years ago. Quick reality check, it is not.

So when members of the phenom UK girl group Spice Girls each posted on their Instagram page to celebrate Wannabe’s 25th year, it all got too real.

Wannabe, the debut single for the group’s debut album Spice, burst into the scene in the UK on July 8, 1996. Not long after, it shot straight to No. 1 at the UK charts and sat there for seven weeks, while it topped the Billboard Hot 100 in the US for four weeks.

The song eventually hit No. 1 in almost 40 countries, with its album Spice selling 23 million copies worldwide. Then came the platforms, glitter, eye shadow and more earworm-inducing tunes.

This feel-good anthem catapulted to fame five virtual unknowns who would later on establish a “personality” and become one of the bestselling female groups in history—Melanie Brown (Mel B, Scary Spice), Melanie Chisholm (Mel C, Sporty Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Victoria Adams (now Beckham, Posh) and Geri Halliwell (now Horner, Ginger Spice).

The ubiquitous hit has become an emblem of the group’s “Girl Power” philosophy that inspired and empowered (and continues to empower) a generation of kids, who know that they are capable of doing anything, aware of the value of friendship, and who embrace their individuality.

“Feeling very emotional, what an amazing 25 years it has been,” said Emma Bunton, who thanked the fans for making the groups’ dreams come true. She also tagged the rest of the group and called them “the best girl squad ever!”

Mel B. posted ahead of the anniversary, saying the group has the “best fans in the world.”

“We wouldn’t be anywhere without you and can’t thank you enough for all the love we’ve had from all of you for two-and-a-half decades. We’ve all grown up together and we’ve shared so much,” she wrote on Instagram.

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In her post, Mel C. made a shout out to Matt Rowe and Biff Stannard, who were the group’s songwriting collaborators for Wannabe. “Happy birthday, Wannabe! Can’t wait until we zig-a-zig ahh again!!!” she said.

Victoria Beckham posted on her Instagram Stories a photo of the group with the caption, “I can’t believe it’s been 25 years since Wannabe was released! This song that changed everything.”

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Geri Horner, who left the group in 1998 to pursue a solo career but joined back for the 2012 London Olympics performance, penned a heartfelt message for the rest of the members.

“I bought a gold ring for each of the girls when we first got together, as a symbol of our friendship. It’s a special bond that continues to stand the test of time. I’m so proud of everything we have achieved together, girls,” she wrote and lovingly signed “Love, Ginger.”

For the song’s 25th anniversary, the group is releasing today, June 9, a four-track EP titled Wannabe25, which features the original Wannabe song, a remix by American DJ Junior Vasquez, the original demo of Wannabe, and an unreleased track Feed Your Love.

Cheers to Wannabe's 25th! Watch the song's official video below: