Bunton at Britain's Pride Event 2011
|Birth name||Emma Lee Bunton|
|Also known as||Baby Spice, Baby|
21 January 1976 |
Finchley, London, England, UK
|Genres||Pop, pop rock, adult contemporary, soul, motown|
|Occupations||Singer-songwriter, actress, presenter|
Universal Music (2003–07)
|Associated acts||Spice Girls, Steve Lee, Tin Tin Out|
Emma Lee Bunton (born 21 January 1976) is a British pop singer/songwriter, actress, model and TV and radio presenter. She is a member of the girl group the Spice Girls formed in the 1990s, in which she is known as Baby Spice as she is the youngest member. She is currently a radio presenter on Heart FM.
Her debut solo album, A Girl Like Me, was released in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2001 by Virgin Records. The album debuted and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart. On 7 September 2001, A Girl Like Me was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 100,000 copies, ultimately becoming the 147th best-selling album in the UK for 2001. The album brought the UK number-one "What Took You So Long?" as well as top five hits "What I Am" (a cover of a 1988 song by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians) and "Take My Breath Away" and the top 20 hit "We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight". The album sold 125,000 copies in the UK.
Bunton's second album, Free Me, was released in 2004 through 19 Entertainment/Universal Records. Four singles were taken from it: "Free Me", "Maybe", "I'll Be There" and "Crickets Sing for Anamaria". Bunton reunited with the Spice Girls in 2007 for an international tour and greatest hits album. From 2003 to 2012 Bunton had a recurring role on the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous. Bunton performed at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony on 12 August with the Spice Girls.
Music career 
1976–92: Early life and career beginnings 
Bunton was born in Finchley, North London, brought up as a Catholic, and grew up in Woodside Park. Her parents, Pauline, a karate instructor, and Trevor, a milkman, split up when she was 11, after which she stayed with her mother. She has a younger brother, Paul James. Bunton went to St. Theresa's Primary School in Finchley, then to Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone. She appeared briefly in the BBC series EastEnders in 1992 as a mugger. In 1993, she appeared in the ITV1 police series, The Bill, and also made a brief appearance as a prostitute in the BBC drama series To Play the King. After appearing on the show she was offered a temporary role as a troubled prostitute trying to kick her drug habit, but she turned it down because she wanted to maintain a wholesome image. Bunton also appeared in a public information film for the British government concerning fire safety.
1993–2000: Spice Girls 
She joined the Spice Girls (then called Touch) in 1993 after Michelle Stephenson left. Bunton was called Baby Spice because she was the youngest, had long blonde pigtails, wore babydoll dresses and had a girly girl personality.
The debut single Wannabe was the first of nine number ones in the United Kingdom for the Spice Girls, and reached the top in 37 countries. As a songwriter, Bunton set the shortest time to achieve six No.1 UK singles, one year and five months from Wannabe to Too Much. In 1999, she presented Emma on VH1. She recorded "(Hey You) Free Up Your Mind" for the film Pokémon: The First Movie.
2001–02: A Girl Like Me 
Her debut solo album A Girl Like Me, released in the United Kingdom on 16 April 2001 by Virgin Records. The album debuted and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart, with 21,500 copies sold in its first week. Although initial success was promising, A Girl Like Me fell down the chart quickly. However, singles "What Took You So Long?", "Take My Breath Away", and "We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight" helped the album stay on the UK Albums Chart for several weeks. On 7 September 2001, A Girl Like Me was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry for sales in excess of 100,000 copies, ultimately becoming the 147th best-selling album in the UK for 2001. Lacklustre sales may be partially explained by the fact that the album was not released in Latin America (except in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile) and North America. The album brought the UK number-one "What Took You So Long?" as well as top five hits "What I Am" (a cover of a 1988 song by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians) and "Take My Breath Away" and the top 20 hit "We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight". The album sold 125,000 copies in the UK. Disappointing sales led to Bunton's leaving Virgin in 2002.
2003–05: Free Me 
Bunton's second album, Free Me, was released in 2003 through 19 Entertainment/Universal Records. Four singles were taken from it: "Free Me", "Maybe", "I'll Be There" and "Crickets Sing For Anamaria". After success in the American dance charts the album was sold in North America. The American edition included remixes and a different cover. The album was the second to follow her 2001 release, A Girl Like Me, and spent over twelve weeks inside the UK Albums Chart, peaking at number seven and selling over 141,712 copies, earning gold award status. The album was widely acclaimed by critics as being the "one of best solo Spice records ever" due to its catchy and fun use of sounds from the Motown and the 1960s era. The album was largely produced by Mike Peden and Yak Bondy, who have produced tracks for S Club 7 and Lucie Silvas, to name a few. Other contributions on the album courtesy of Cathy Dennis, Henry Binns and Puerto Rican singer Luis Fonsi. "One Thing I Know", an unreleased track co-written by Bunton for Free Me, was recorded by another 19 Management act, S Club 8, for their album Sundown. Bunton's original vocals can clearly be heard on S Club 8's version.
The lead single, "Free Me", was released in the spring of 2003. The song immediately picked up airplay, and the single sold well in the UK, peaking at number five on the UK Singles Chart. "Maybe" was released as the second single in the autumn of 2003, and also gained extensive airplay throughout the UK, peaking at number six, one position lower than its predecessor.
In the spring of 2004, the album and its third single, "I'll Be There", were released. The single, like its two predecessors, performed well on the charts, peaking at number seven, one position below "Maybe", and two positions below "Free Me". The album sold more copies in its first week then her debut solo record had, and would ultimately go on to outsell it by 25,000 copies. With this, Bunton became the only Spice Girls member to have sold more copies of her second album than her first in UK. Later in the year, the fourth single, "Crickets Sing for Anamaria", was released. Despite its harder beat and grittier sound, by now the impact of Free Me was beginning to wear off, and the song only came in at number fifteen on the UK Singles Chart, totalling 25,000 copies, and becoming Bunton's lowest-selling single.
In the U.S., both "Free Me" and "Maybe" were dance club regulars, reaching number four and number six on the U.S. Billboard Hot Dance Club Play respectively. In 2005, Bunton filmed guest roles in two Bollywood films: Pyaar Mein Twist and Chocolate: Deep Dark Secrets.
2006–08: Life in Mono and return of the Spice Girls 
In November 2006, Bunton released the charity single for the BBC Children in Need appeal, recording Petula Clark's 1960s song "Downtown". It reached number three on the UK Singles Chart and was followed by her third studio album, Life in Mono on 4 December. The album was originally set for a November release in the UK, however it was later pushed back to 4 December 2006. Life In Mono, much like her previous album, Free Me, experimented with elements of 1960s pop music. For this particular album the musical arrangement was more directed towards the 1960s French pop music, with some elements of British 1960s pop and Motown. The first single taken from the album was a cover of Petula Clark's 1964 hit single "Downtown", released on 13 November. "Downtown" is the 2006 BBC Children in Need official charity single and reached No.3 in the UK singles chart. "All I Need to Know" was released as second single.
Bunton had been working on her third release since winter 2004. The album's title track is a cover version of the hit "Life in Mono" by 1990s trip hop band Mono, best known through its usage in the 1998 film Great Expectations. The track "Take Me to Another Town" contains a sample from Herb Alpert's 1965 "Green Peppers". Due to Emma’s pregnancy all forms of promotion were cancelled after a few months. Rumours of a third single surfaced through sites after Emma stated she was thinking of releasing a third single, however this never came. The songs I Wasn’t Looking (When I Found Love), Perfect Strangers and Take Me To Another Town were rumoured.
Although it sold almost 13,000 copies in its first week, the album was Emma's first not to reach the UK Top 10. It debuted on the UK Albums Chart at No.65 on 10 December 2006 falling to No.75 in its second week and dropped out of the chart the following week. On the whole, the album sold around 60,000 copies in the UK. The album entered the UK Albums Chart at 65, selling 13,000 copies in its first week. The second single from it was "All I Need to Know", on 12 February 2007, intended for Valentine's Day. Bunton shot the video around Old Street in East London, in the week before Christmas 2006. Entering the UK Singles Chart at 60, "All I Need to Know" became the lowest-charting single of Bunton's solo career.
2009–present: Radio and television work 
On October 2009, reports suggested that the Spice Girls are to star in a reality show in which they will cast female actors to play their roles in a musical. Melanie Brown denied this claim, stating that all members of the group were already accounted for and planning "something exciting". Next year of 2010, Judy Craymer has teamed up with the Spice Girls and Simon Fuller to start developing a Spice Girls musical entitled Viva Forever. Although the girls are not to be in the show, they are to influence the show's cast and production choices in a story which uses their music but bears no relation to their personal story; similar to that of ABBA's music in Mamma Mia!. On 28 August 2010, it was reported that Jennifer Saunders would pen the script for the Spice Girls' musical, Viva Forever. Saunders had twice previously worked with the group: the first time, appearing in the Comic Relief version for the "Who Do You Think You Are" video, the second, making a cameo appearance in the 1997 feature film, Spice World. On 26 June 2012, all five Spice Girls were in attendance at a press conference in London to promote the launch of Viva Forever: The Musical. The press conference was held at St. Pancras Renaissance London Hotel, the location where the Spice Girls filmed the music video for their breakthrough hit "Wannabe", sixteen years earlier, to the day. The musical is due to open at the West End's Piccadilly Theatre on 11 December 2012.
On 12 August 2012, after much speculation, Bunton and the Spice Girls performed a medley of "Wannabe" and "Spice Up Your Life" at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, reuniting solely for the event. Their performance was the most tweeted moment of Olympics closing ceremony with over 116,000 tweets on Twitter per minute. Bunton also worked with Spice Girls groupmate Melanie C's album, Stages for the album track "I Know Him So Well". The song was released as a single on 11 November 2012.
Other work 
In February, and again between May and June 2009, she starred as guest presenter on Heart London's Heart Breakfast alongside Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott. Bunton began hosting her own pre-recorded Saturday drive time  radio show on Heart in the Saturday afternoon slot 4pm – 7pm starting on Saturday 13 June 2009. Bunton provided maternity leave cover for Heart Breakfast co-presenter Harriet Scott from 3 October until 23 December 2011 on Heart London. On January 2012, Bunton reprised her role as one of fictional PR manager Edina Monsoon's disgruntled clients in a revival of the BBC's Absolutely Fabulous. Following Harriet Scott's departure from Heart Breakfast in November 2012, it was announced Bunton would succeed her as co-host along with Jamie Theakston from 7 January 2013.
Bunton has been seen in a television commercial for the supermarket chain Tesco. She also had a cameo role on the Australian soap opera Neighbours on the episode titled "What's a Spice Girl Like You...?", aired on 19 March 2007 in Australia, and on 25 May 2007 in the UK. Bunton returned to US screens with a nationwide commercial for Prego in May 2007.
In July 2008, Bunton stood in as co-presenter alongside Richard Madeley on the UK television show Richard & Judy while Judy Finnigan was recovering from a knee operation. In October 2008, Bunton appeared on the UK series of The X Factor to assist judge Dannii Minogue in choosing the three best over-25s acts to take to the live X Factor finals. In December 2008, Bunton debuted as a member of the panel on Loose Women on ITV.
In January 2010, Emma joined the "Ice Panel" on ITV dancing show Dancing on Ice replacing former judge Ruthie Henshall. She stepped down from this role on 2 December 2011 in order to pursue new projects. In February 2010, Bunton appeared in a UK National Television campaign first aired during Coronation Street, showing her in the Heart Radio studios at the start and the end of the advert. In summer 2010, she presented the Five program Don't Stop Believing.
Personal life 
Bunton's long-term partner since 1997 is singer Jade Jones. The couple have two sons: Beau Lee Jones (born 10 August 2007) and Tate Lee Jones (born 6 May 2011). She is also a godmother, alongside Victoria Beckham, to Geri Halliwell's daughter Bluebell Madonna Halliwell.
|1992||EastEnders||Mugger||"18 August 1992" (Episode 66; Season 8)|
|1993||The Bill||Janice||"Missionary Work" (Episode 22; Season 9)|
|To Play the King||Prostitute||Supporting role; TV mini-series|
|2003, 2005, 2012||Absolutely Fabulous||Herself||"Cleanin'" (Episode 1; Season 5)
"Huntin', Shootin', Fishin'" (Episode 4; Season 5)
"Comic Relief Special" (Episode 10; Season 5)
"Job" (Episode 2; Season 6)
|2006||Neighbours||Herself||"What's a Spice Girl Like You...?" (Episode 5171; Season 1)|
|Strictly Come Dancing||Contestant/Herself/Competitor||Season 4; Finalist-Third Place|
|2008||Richard & Judy||Presenter||Season 2008; While Judy Finnigan was recovering from a knee operation.|
|The X Factor||Mentor/Herself/Judge||Episode 9; Season 5
Episode 10; Season 5
|American Idol||Mentor/Herself/Judge||Episode 30; Season 7|
|2008, 10, 11, 12||Celebrity Juice||Team Captain/Panellist|
|2008—2009||Loose Women||Co-presenter/Panellist||September 2008 — January 2009|
|2009||Eurovision: Your Country Needs You||Mentor/Herself/Judge||Episode 4; Season 1|
|Let's Dance for Comic Relief||Mentor/Herself/Judge||Episode 1; Season 1|
|2010||GMTV with Lorraine||Guest Presenter||Season 2010|
|Don't Stop Believing||Presenter|
|2010—2011||Lorraine||Guest Presenter||8 October 2010-7 January 2011|
|2010—2012||Dancing on Ice||Mentor/Herself/Judge||Season 5
|2012||The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever||Herself||Documentary about the Spice Girls|
|2013—||I Heart Glee||Herself/Presenter||Documentary about Glee|
|1993||Thatcherworld||Josie Jenkins||Main role; TV movie|
|1997||Spice World||Baby Spice||Razzie Award for Worst Actress
Nominated — Razzie Award for Worst New Star
Nominated — Orange Blimp Award for Favorite Movie Actress
Nominated — Blockbuster Entertainment Award for Favorite Actress - Comedy
|2001||Yes You Can||Pop Angel||Main role|
|2004||Pyaar Mein Twist||Kylie Milligan||Bollywood film|
|2005||Chocolate||Tabetha Gagoh||Bollywood film|
|2007||Giving You Everything||Herself||Documentary|
|2009||Ant & Dec's Christmas Show||Evil Stepmother||TV movie|
|2012||Keith Lemon: The Film||Herself||Supporting role|
|2009–present||The Saturday Show||Heart FM||Presenter||Global Radio' programming|
|2013–present||Weekday Morning Slot||Heart FM (London Only)||Presenter||Local radio programming with Jamie Theakston|
- "BPI Certified Awards". British Phonographic Industry. 7 September 2001. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- "UK Year-End Charts 2001". Official Charts Company. ChartsPlus. Retrieved 27 December 2010.
- Hattenstone, Simon (18 November 2006). "Bye-bye Baby". The Guardian (London). Retrieved 11 June 2010.
- "Secrets Of The Square". Highbeam.com. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- A public information film on the dangers of fireworks and alcohol at YouTube
- "Spice Girls dismiss comeback plan". BBC News. 13 February 2003. Retrieved 25 April 2008. "...her album A Girl Like Me sold poorly and she lost a contract with Virgin Records."
- "'All I Need To Know' – Emma Bunton". EntertainmentWise.com. 31 January 2007. Archived from the original on 2 March 2007. Retrieved 16 February 2007.
- Jon says: (23 October 2009). "The Truth about the Spice Girls Reunion". OK!. Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- Mendoza, Nadia (13 October 2009). "Mel B has confirmed that the Spice Girls will reform". The Sun (London). Retrieved 6 April 2011.
- Bamigboye, Baz (21 January 2010). "Spice Girls musical gets green light at last". Daily Mail (London).
- Hoyle, Ben (22 January 2010). "Viva Forever Mamma Mia creator creates Spice Girls musical". The Times (London). Retrieved 23 May 2010.
- "West Jen Girls Saunders pens Spice musical". The Sun (London). 28 August 2010.
- "Spice Girls unveil West End show". BBC. Retrieved 26 June 2012
- "Reunited... and it feels so good: Spice Girls are back together as they unveil details of new West End musical". Daily Mail. Retrieved 26 June 2012
- Sinclair, David (2004). Wannabe: How the Spice Girls Reinvented Pop Fame. Omnibus Press. p. 75. ISBN 0-7119-8643-6
- Baby Spice to star in new Keith Lemon film, Digital Spy, retrieved 2012-08-19
- Dadds, Kimberley. "It's back on! Spice Girls (including a reluctant Victoria Beckham) are confirmed to perform at Olympics closing ceremony". Daily Mail. Retrieved 21 July 2012.
- "Spice Girl Mel B Dishes on New Musical". 27 July 2012. ABC News. Retrieved 29 July 2012.
- Anker, Jonathan (2012-08-13). "Bolt's fast, but he can't outrun the Spice Girls!". HLNtv.com. Retrieved 2012-09-28.
- "Melanie C featuring Emma Bunton - 'I Know Him So Well' - Out November 11th". MelanieC.net. 2012-10-15. Retrieved 2012-12-10.
- "Emma Bunton joins Heart". Radio Today. 19 May 2009.[dead link]
- Westfield, Hannah (5 March 2011). "Emma Bunton protects bump at Heart FM fundraiser". News.carrentals.co.uk. Retrieved 2011-09-30.
- Emma Joins Heart.
- Bunton covers Harriet on Heart Breakfast Radio Today, 29 September 2011
- "Emma Bunton joins Jamie Theakston at Heart". Radio Today. 10 December 2012. Retrieved 10 December 2012.
- "Emma Bunton Video".[dead link]
- Pixie Lott performs on Lorraine Lorraine, ITV.com, 8 October 2010
- Dionne Warwick & Mica Paris Lorraine, ITV.com, 7 January 2011
- "Emma Bunton’s Baby Beau", 13 August 2007, MTV.co.uk.]
- "Bunton celebrates birth of second child" 6 May 2011, RTE.ie
- "Little man Tate: Emma Bunton gives birth to 'beautiful' second son", 9 May 2011, Mail Online.
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