It's 20 years since the Spice Girls' Wannabe topped the UK chart

20 years ago this week, a musical and social revolution was taking place.
Did you buy Wannabe?Did you buy Wannabe?
Did you buy Wannabe?

1996 may have seen the 20th anniversary of punk rock sweeping the UK. But it also heralded a new movement - Girl Power.

Posh, Baby, Scary, Sporty and Ginger could be seen as revolutionaries, promoting their own brand of feminism and dictated their own rise to stardom.

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Today marks 20 years since debut single ‘Wannabe’ hit no. 1 in the UK singles chart and kick-started a global phenomenon.

Initially formed from auditions intended to create a female answer to Take That, the quintet went it alone, supposedly stealing their own demo tapes and touting them to Pop Idol creator Simon Fuller.

They then secured a deal with Virgin Records, who released ‘Wannabe’, which reached the top of the charts in 37 countries.

This was just the start of a glittering career that saw them surpass the status of a pop group and become a global brand. Debut album Spice sold more than 31 million copies worldwide, the top-selling album by a female group. To date they have sold over 80 million records worldwide, including nine UK no. 1 singles.

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As with all bands the Spice Girls burned out, but the individual members didn’t quite fade away, with all five members having UK top ten singles. Victoria, now married to football superstar David Beckham, moved into fashion, while Geri also had solo success under her own name and is currently reportedly working on a solo country album.

The Spice Girls did reunite in 2007 for a world tour and greatest hits album, but musically things have been quieter - until now, with their 20th anniversary an obvious cause for celebration.

However, the reformed band are just a trio, Halliwell joining forces with Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm under the moniker ‘Spice Girls - GEM’. So it may be that this simply creates more nostalgia for the halcyon days of Girl Power.