It’s hard to believe this week marks the 20-year anniversary of the Spice Girls’ debut single Wannabe – the biggest-selling song by a female group in history, shifting seven million copies.
The band would go on to sell 80 million records worrldwide, before forging successful solo careers in different arenas, while also all becoming mothers.
To mark the milestone, and to draw attention to feminist issues around the world, a dynamic remake of the original Wannabe video has been released by the United Nations initiative The Global Goals. The video has already received Twitter endorsements from Victoria Beckham, Mel C and Emma Bunton.
Amid continued rumours of a reunion in the coming year, we chart some of the girls’ – including Mel B’s and Geri Halliwell’s – gayest moments in their collective 20-year history…
Mel B’s repeated assertion that she’s kissed all the other girls
In a cover interview for a 2000 issue of Loaded, Mel famously said: ‘I’ve snogged all the Spice Girls…but I never shagged Geri.’ The subject’s come up many times since, including during a 2013 interview with Mel’s America’s Got Talent co-judge Howard Stern.
When asked if she was ever attracted to her bandmates, she replied ‘Always, yes, they’re my homies,’ adding, ‘I’ve kissed all of them, yes.’ When pushed as to whether things ever went further, Mel ups and leaves with a grin…
Mel C admitting she wishes she was gay
Sporty Spice’s lesbian fanbase has been with her since day one, and she’s always lovingly embraced them. However, that and her tomboy image led to inaccurate rumours about her sexuality back in the day. Tabloids linked to her personal assistant Ying (which Mel dismissed as lies) and her number one solo hit Never Be the Same Again was misinterpreted by some as an ode to sexual fluidity.
A fed up Mel told Marie Claire back in 2000: ‘I used to think it was funny, but I’ve got a lot of fans who are lesbians and sometimes I get them coming up to me and saying: “When are you going to come out?” I started feeling guilty because I wasn’t gay. I was thinking maybe I should be a lesbian. Sometimes I wish I was a lesbian because men are so crap.’
Victoria choice of song for her 1994 audition (‘Mein Herr’ from Cabaret)
She addressed the audition in a 2010 interview, also with Marie Claire, saying: ‘But does that surprise you? If nothing else, that alone proves I’m a gay man in a woman’s body.’
Also note Scary’s low notes in her version of The Greatest Love Of All by the late Whitney Houston (who we now know to be bisexual – see, it’s all coming together) and Mel C’s killer rendition of I’m So Excited by the Pointer Sisters.
Mel B’s openness about her past relationship with a woman…
She hosted this year’s LGBT Awards in London, and the day before Mel spoke to Gay Star News about her sexuality, saying: ‘It wasn’t experimentation, I fell in love with a woman for five years. An experiment doesn’t last five years. I was happy.’
A photo posted by Mel B (@officialmelb) on
…and her wish that one of her daughters will grow up to be LGBTI
In the same interview, Mel told us: ‘Between me and my husband we have four girls. What’s the ratio, one in five? So I’m hoping probably one of them will be LGBTI. It’s not something I’d push, but it’s not something I’d push under the carpet. Whatever my kids want to be, I would celebrate. Whether they were gay, bisexual, transgender, I wouldn’t care. I would love and support them as my daughters.’
The girls’ duet with Elton John
Try not to cringe too hard.
Geri’s revelation that she’s slept with a woman
Ginger revealed to Howard Stern (yes, him again) in 2003 that she once had a fling with a lady friend, before concluding lesbianism wasn’t for her.
She said: ‘I realized pretty quickly I was not a lesbian. I don’t mind boobs but the other bit is not my cup of tea. I could never say who it was. It was just one of those moments.’
Geri kissing Emma during a televised interview, just because
We think they mostly just bake when they hang out now.
AND she kissed Kylie Minogue on TV a few years later
How did we forget about this?! If this doesn’t make Geri deserving of gay icon status, we don’t know what does. In a classic 90s episode of TFI Friday, Ginger squares up to fellow guest Kylie Minogue for an arm wrestle – before inexplicably leaning in for a smooch, as you do.
The girls’ 1999 cover shoot for gay men’s mag Attitude (sans Geri), for which they apparently took style inspiration from the Village People
Note: Jocelyn Wildenstein’s name is also on the cover. Amazing.
Emma doing the Time Warp from the Rocky Horror Picture Show
Baby was joined on stage by the likes of Stephen Fry for a special gala performance of Rocky Horror in London last year, which was broadcast in cinemas around the world.
Cult Spice fans will be aware that the girls have notched up plenty of musical theater credentials between them. Mel B has appeared on Broadway in Rent, Mel C in the West End in Blood Brothers, where Geri has also guest-appeared in Singin’ In the Rain. Victoria has yet to make her stage debut – although it has been said that the trained dancer longed to appear in Cats when she was younger, and is obsessed with Mamma Mia!
Geri’s super gay performance of Bag It Up at the 2000 Brit Awards
Geri’s other iconic Brits performance had her emerging from a giant pair of inflatable legs, and featured topless men with pink hair covered in glitter almost kissing.
Victoria’s revelation that she’s a size queen (and the fact that she’s married to the lust object of gay men everywhere)
‘He does have a huge one, though. He does. You can see it in the advert. It’s all his. It is like a tractor exhaust pipe!’ Yes, VB actually said this about her husband, David Beckham.
See, she has plenty to smile about.
Mel B kissing herself in her For Once In My Life music video
Not content with kissing only four of the Spice Girls, Mel made it a full house when she locked lips with herself in the music video for her 2013 comeback single For Once In My Life. Subtle as always, Mel. Yes, that’s the Desperate Housewives set.
Every time Emma appeared in Absolutely Fabulous
As Edina Monsoon’s long-suffering PR client, Baby has repeatedly guest-starred in the iconic BBC series, and now the spin-off film. Her relationship with creator Jennifer Saunders dates back to the parody video of Who Do You Think You Are? they both appeared in, in which Saunders imitated an always-two-steps-behind Geri. Saunders would go on to write the book for the poorly-received Spice Girls-themed musical Viva Forever!
The time the girls were impersonated by drag queens on America’s Got Talent
Ignore the shade Simon Cowell throws at fellow judge Mel B when he calls the Spice Gurlz better than the originals. The band turned him down when they were looking for management before the release of Wannabe, and Simon has called failing to sign them ‘probably my biggest mistake.’ Oh well, at least he had the Teletubbies.
The time they dressed as drag queens themselves for the American Music Awards in 97′