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Zig-A-Zig-Ah! A Look Back at When the Spice Girls Ruled the World

Zig-A-Zig-Ah! A Look Back at When the Spice Girls Ruled the World 

Ginger. Sporty. Scary. Posh. Baby.

Prior to 1996, that list of adjectives meant nothing. It was just a collection of words, vaguely British in origin—thanks to the inclusion of posh—but nothing worth knowing, let alone celebrating. 

But once the Spice Girls arrived on the scene with the release of their debut single “Wannabe” on July 8 some 24 years ago, that all changed.

The song wouldn’t make its way Stateside until January of 1997, but by then, its markedly pure pop—the antithesis of the decade’s alt-rock reign—had already turned the five women who’d only come together after answering an advertisement in a local newspaper into global sensations. Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Victoria Adams (not yet a Beckham), Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm, along with their feminist mantra of “Girl Power,” were suddenly everywhere you looked. 

Recorded in less than an hour with its iconic laugh intro and rapped bridge, “Wannabe” would go on to become not just the biggest-selling debut single of an all-female group, but the best-selling single from such a group of all-time. From there, the quintet would releases two of the three best-selling girl group albums of all-time worldwide, 1996’s Spice (No. 1) and 1997’s Spiceworld (No. 3), become a merchandising powerhouse, release a tongue-in-cheek cult classic film, and help usher in a second wave of British Invasion of the U.S.

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