With the Spice Girls, this British pop phenomenon that changed the world

Arte is programming a special evening tonight Girl Powerr with an unpublished documentary then a live concert recorded in Istanbul in 1997.

Considered the biggest British pop phenomenon since Beatlemania, the Spice Girls took the world by storm in 1996 with their debut single "Wannabewhich topped the charts in over 30 countries and sparked a wave of success that no other girl band has achieved before or since.

The first auditions: real nuggets!

Notice to the curious or fans of the Spice Girls, the unpublished documentary that broadcasts art tonight at 10:25 p.m. has several nuggets! From the outset, in Spice Girls - Girl power: these girls who changed the world we discover the first auditions of Geri Halliwell and Victoria Adams. The latter was only 19 years old and she went to London in 1994, with Geri, to audition for the film adaptation of the comic strip. tank girl. It's very touching and refreshing to see the faces of Geri, and especially that of Victoria, natural, daring and mischievous. To introduce herself to the camera, Victoria launches “ this role is not for me but I am an actress ". As for Geri, she is already as we will know her later, the same hair and the same flamboyant attitude.

The documentary also reveals the auditions for the formation of the group the Spice Girls, we see Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Adams. Emma Bunton was found later in a school of actors. " I'm looking for a female version of Take That, but I wish it was more popular", manager Chris Herbert confides to a camera, thehe first to impress me was Mel B. She is indeed already very sure of herself, displaying a mixture of nonchalance and confidence. They all know how to sing!

The Spice Girls Everett Collection Inc/Alamy S

An astonishing and indestructible faith in oneself

What is very striking when looking at these archive images is the invincible faith in themselves and in their future success that drive these five young women, even before they have released their first single. It doesn't sound like arrogance, it's more like they already knew they were going to trigger this " Spicemania » from July 1996. They control everything, their look, the lyrics, the contracts, etc. And, as unity is strength, they do not hesitate, as we see in a video, to mess up an advertising shoot to denounce the sexism they suffer there. They were asked, for example, to show more chest. We see them belittle the caquet to the interested parties, without blushing and with virulence. They are the ones who define the rules and not the other way around, it is the " girlpower ". They were the only ones at the time to take offense at inappropriate remarks about women, because generally, it was fashionable to say that it was " normal in show business. It will be necessary to wait metoo for it to become a problem to be solved, a "topic", as they say. The documentary also recalls the fierceness of the British celebrity press against the Spice Girls accused of all evils.

Between success, departure and comeback

Their first album, spice, released in 1996, is the best-selling album by a girl group of all time. It is also the first girl band British singer to top the charts in the United States with a single and an album. In 1997, they dismiss their manager Simon Fuller (shocking !) to gain independence. Their success is crescendo and the tours are ultra-lucrative. One evening, however, Geri breaks down on stage and bursts into tears. She later announces through the press that she is leaving the group. The third album sold less well and solo careers developed in parallel. In 2007, Geri is back and the Spice Girls go on a triumphant tour. In August 2012, their performance at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London was memorable and the whole world took up the titles of their medley. This is the last appearance of Victoria Beckham with the Spice Girls. Without her, the group successfully reformed on stage in 2019 to the delight of fans.

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