Geri Halliwell (Courtesy Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia)
Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell (born August 6, 1972) is an English pop singer and songwriter, television personality and sometime actress. Halliwell became famous (under the nickname of "Ginger Spice") in the late 1990s as a member of the girl group the Spice Girls. She was born and grew up in Watford, in the county of Hertfordshire to a Spanish-born mother (Ana Marķa) and a father (Lawrence) of Swedish, English and French descent.
Before starting her music career, Geri had worked as a nightclub dancer in Mallorca, a model and presenter on the Turkish version of Let's Make A Deal, and as a nude model. Following her rise to fame with the Spice Girls, nude photos of Halliwell were re-published in a number of top-shelf magazines, including Club International in the UK.
Halliwell first found fame as one of the five members of the girl group the Spice Girls and was dubbed Ginger Spice because of her red hair with blonde highlights. She wore sexy outfits and attracted much attention to herself and the group, and she became renowned for her independent and feminist attitude. The group joined the most successful musical artists of the 1990s selling over thirty-five million albums with the studio releases Spice and Spiceworld. Their debut single "Wannabe" became the first of a string of number-ones in the United Kingdom (nine in total) and reached the top position in thirty-seven countries around the globe, including Australia, Canada and the US Other successful releases followed, including "Say You'll Be There" and "2 Become 1" from Spice, and "Spice Up Your Life", "Too Much" and "Stop" from Spiceworld.
On May 30 1998, Halliwell left the Spice Girls to pursue a solo career. Her action aroused controversy, her former band being due to embark on a North American tour, which they eventually completed without her. Although she had already left the group, the Spice Girls released "Viva Forever", the final music video to feature Halliwell. After she left, the other girls wrote a few songs about her which appeared on their album Forever, notably "Goodbye", "Let Love Lead the Way" and "Tell Me Why".
Solo career: Schizophonic
Shortly before launching her solo career, Halliwell appeared in the fly on the wall documentary Geri, a 90 minute piece for the UK television channel Channel 4 by Molly Dineen.
In 1999 Halliwell released her debut solo album Schizophonic, with lead single "Look at Me", produced by co-writers and old friends, Absolute. The single reached number two in the UK, just 700 copies behind Boyzone's "You Needed Me". The single would go on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. Further singles from the album, "Mi Chico Latino" and "Lift Me Up", became UK number ones with the latter outselling Halliwell's former bandmate Emma Bunton. The fourth single, "Bag It Up", also reached number one. Demonstrating her flair for outrageous promotion, Halliwell performed "Bag It Up" during the Brit Awards ceremony in 2000, emerging between giant inflatable legs, ripping off her shirt and walking in stiletto heels over the backs of topless pink-haired men whilst singing the song.
"Look at Me" was released to radio in the United States in late 1999, receiving limited airplay. Even more surprisingly, with only a radio single, Schizophonic debuted at number forty-two on The Billboard 200 before dropping out within the next month. This is still the highest charting by a solo Spice album in the US (Emma Bunton's Free Me peaking at #230 and Melanie C's Northern Star peaked at #208 on The Billboard 200). The album was eventually certified gold, shipping over 500,000 copies (however, actual sales remain much lower). "Mi Chico Latino" did not have a big impact on US radio, and no further singles from Schizophonic or LPs were released in the United States. 'Schizophonic' would go on to sell over 2 million copies, and the combined sales of its singles were over 3 million. Some feel the album should have been marketed sharply at the Stateside Dance and AC music markets where her music would have found more of an audience.
Halliwell had a high-profile, but short-lived relationship with Chris Evans during this time. In America, Halliwell has also pursued a TV career, re-uniting with former Spice Girls manager, Simon Fuller, to appear as a judge on the flop reality show All American Girl and as a guest reporter on celebrity based series such as Extra. She has also made appearances in the television show Sex and the City and a film, Fat Slags (2004), based on characters from Viz Magazine.
Second album: Scream If You Wanna Go Faster
In 2001 Halliwell followed up with her second album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster. It also included her cover version of the Weather Girls' 1983 hit, "It's Raining Men", used on the Bridget Jones's Diary film soundtrack, and the video game, DDRMAX2: Dance Dance Revolution 7thMIX. The song also won her the International Song of the Year award at the 2002 NRJ Music Awards.
The song became a huge hit, selling close to 4 million copies worldwide, in the United World Chart it hit number-two (behind "Lady Marmalade" by Christina Aguilera, Lil' Kim, Mya & Pink) based on Sales, Airplay and Votes, it become the second best selling single of 2001. The song had been added to the album at the last minute; another song, "Feels Like Sex", had already been slated as the lead single. (This song remained an album-only track. "Circles Round the Moon" was rumoured to be a single as Halliwell performed it on .
Geri has released two best-selling autobiographies in If only (1999) and Just for the record (2002), detailing her rise to fame, and her turbulent celebrity lifestyle. She has also released two hit Yoga DVDs Geri Yoga and Geri Body Yoga.
In 2002, Halliwell was featured alongside Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh as a judge on the reality TV show Popstars: The rivals which created Girls Aloud.
After the stress of releasing all those projects, Halliwell announced she might not return to music. It would be another few years before she was heard from again.
Third album: Passion
In 2004, Halliwell began a period of collaboration with channel Five, as was one of the hosts of the Party in the park event for the Prince's Trust, the presenter of the Tickled Pink Girls' night in Live! event and an appearance in a documentary There's something about Geri.
In late 2004, Halliwell made a return to music with the single "Ride It", which reached #4 on the UK charts and #1 on the dance charts. The single was not promoted abroad, but still sold well throughout Europe reaching high positions, such as #3 in Spain. This was the first single from her third album, Passion which was at that stage slated for a spring release after a second single. However, several months elapsed before another single was released, during which time she was apparently ordered to record some new tracks for the as-yet unreleased album by her record company, which was unhappy with the setlist. Halliwell was planning her first solo tour around the UK and Ireland, but a bad management and tour schedule plus the label's pressure to record more songs and low ticket sales made her cancel the tour. "Desire" reached # 22 in the UK. Released shortly after, Passion similarly received little attention from the public or critics, and stalled at #41 in the UK Charts. It was rumoured that "Love Never Loved Me" would be released as the third single from Passion, but it was not. To this day, Passion has only sold 10,000 copies in the UK and around 20,000 worldwide.
In 2005, Halliwell guest presented the music show Popworld.
Since 2003, Halliwell has been in contact with the rest of the Spice Girls, and a reunion has been rumored, especially since all five members have now had singles success of some degree. Rumours indicated that they might perform together again in 2005, at the Live 8 concert in Hyde Park, London. Initially organisers axed the idea, but after the publicity surrounding the cut, Bob Geldof stated that they would reconsider their possible attendance. However, in the end the Spice Girls were not present for the Live 8 show, as Melanie Brown had claimed prior work commitments.
In October 2005, after Passion was a failure, and the Spice Girls reunion never materialized, Geri fired her managers, the husband and wife team Paul and Katie Conroy, and went to Los Angeles, California, to work on unnamed projects. Soon after, she was photographed by the paparazzi, having put on weight and looking exhausted. The tabloids reported that Halliwell was pregnant, which was subsequently confirmed. British scriptwriter and former drummer with the band Bush, Sacha Gervasi, is reported to be the child's father; he made a statement saying he wished Halliwell and child the best shortly after the rumours came out. On March 7, 2006, Hello! magazine published an interview with Halliwell which did not confirm the father's identity. Geri stated, "It is tacky to kiss and tell, I would never deprive a child of the right to know its father."
In April 2006 it was revealed that Halliwell invited all four of her former Spice Girl colleagues to be godmothers at the christening of her baby. Victoria Beckham had already phoned her to thank her and accept the invitation. Former bandmate Emma Bunton was photographed going to Halliwell's baby shower in early May, and Melanie C was rumoured to be there as well. Melanie B was not present due to projects in America.
On May 14, 2006, Halliwell gave birth to a daughter, Bluebell Madonna, by caesarean section at London's Portland Hospital with her sister by her side. Explaining her name choice, she said, "What really clinched it for me was my mother telling me that the bluebell is increasingly rare – so it's a precious flower, which seems just right for my daughter." Her daughter's middle name came from two of Geri's's heroines, singer Madonna and the Virgin Madonna.
It has been reported that Halliwell plans to release a new tell-all book about her time in America and her plans to succeed as an actress. She may also return to the recording studio, hoping to add four new tracks to a 'greatest hits' album. "I really plan to tour at some point this year," Halliwell was quoted. "Not an arena tour but somewhere small and intimate, as a thank you to fans who have stuck by me. Being a mother has made me even more focused and I like the idea of creating a whole new sound. I still have a record deal, you know."
However, in a November 2006 interview with Britain's OK! magazine, Halliwell said she had no musical ambitions and no desire to record another solo album. "As far as music is concerned, I feel like I've given it my best. When I see how desperate people are for that chance, I realize I've had my turn, and now I have to let it go." Although with Geri saying that, this doesn't mean she has cancelled all her plans to return to music.
Halliwell has stated that the Spice Girls would have reunited for the 2005 Live 8 concert, but that bandmate Melanie B pulled out. "We were all ready, apart from Mel B," Halliwell said. It is now doubtful whether a reunion will ever happen, she added. "Victoria said maybe it's time to move on, and I think she's got a point," she said. "Maybe it's better to keep the Spice Girls as a memory, but never say never. A taxi driver said to me we could still do a reunion even if one of us didn't want."
It has recently been announced that Halliwell is to present a new reality TV programme for the ITV network in 2007, it will apparently involve surprising normal people who are down on their luck with visits from their favourite celebrities.
In March of 2007 Geri was photographed leaving a recording studio with a demo CD clutched in her hand. Speculation begun that Halliwell was working on new tracks and would indeed return to the music business. On March 13th Geri was again spotted at a studio,this time with a platinum record for 'Schizophonic'.
In 1999, after having left the Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell became a representative for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). As a goodwill ambassador, Halliwell toured the Philippines on a fact-finding trip. She visited with staff and clients of family planning clinics, women"s groups in slum areas, and college students.
In 2000, Geri Halliwell appeared in the two part documentary series Geri's World Walkabout for the BBC which followed her work with the UN and other travels. Geri met with kids in Rio de Janeiro and visited child piano-progedies in the United States, among other things.
Halliwell picked up UN work again in 2006, by visiting Zambia from November 14th to 16th, to promote greater international awareness of the urgent need to reduce maternal death and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. Both aims are contained in the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the world"s leaders in September 2000.
"Look at Me"
"Mi Chico Latino"
"Lift Me Up"
"Bag It Up"
"It's Raining Men"
Scream If You Wanna Go Faster
"Scream If You Wanna Go Faster"
1999 G.A.Y (Mi Chico Latino B-Side)
1999 Summertime (Mi Chico Latino B-Side)
1999 Live and Let Die (Lift Me Up B-Side)
1999 Very Slowly (Lift Me Up B-Side)
2000 These Boots Are Made For Walking (Bag It Up B-Side)
2000 Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps (Bag It Up B-Side)
2001 I Was Made That Way (It's Raining Men B-Side/Scream If You Wanna Go Faster album track)
2001 Brave New World (It's Raining Men B-Side)
2001 New Religion (Scream If You Wanna Go Faster B-Side)
2001 Breaking Glass (Scream If You Wanna Go Faster B-Side)