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Revision as of 12:02, 29 July 2009

Geri Halliwell YOUR MUM
Gerihalliwell.jpg
Halliwell performing during the Return of the Spice Girls, February 2008
Background information
Birth name Geraldine Estelle Halliwell
Also known as Sexy Spice, Ginger Spice, Ginger
Genres Pop, dance pop, pop rock
Occupation(s) Singer, rapper, songwriter, actress, author, philanthropist
Years active 1994–present
Labels Virgin (1995–1998)
EMI (1999–2003)
Innocent (2004-2005)
Associated acts Spice Girls

Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell (born 6 August 1972) is an English popstar. Halliwell first became famous in the mid 1990s as a member of the girl group the Spice Girls.[1] As a solo artist, she has released four number-one singles in the UK.

Early life

Halliwell was born in Watford, Hertfordshire to Laurence Francis Halliwell, who was of English/Swedish descent, and his wife Ana María (née Hidalgo), who was of Spanish descent from Huesca, Spain. She grew up on on a council estate in North Watford, Hertfordshire.[2] For a brief time, Halliwell's mother tried to bring her up as a Jehovah's Witness. Halliwell took her A-Levels at Camden School for Girls, obtaining an A-level in English at A grade standard, having taken her GCSEs at Watford Girls Grammar School. Before starting her music career, Halliwell had worked as a nightclub dancer in Majorca (Spain),[2] a model and presenter on the Turkish version of Let's Make a Deal[2] and as a glamour model.[2] Following her rise to fame with the Spice Girls, nude photos[3] of Halliwell were re-published in a number of top-shelf magazines in the UK, as well as in Playboy and Penthouse.[4][5]

Career

Spice Girls

Geri first found fame as one of the five members of the girl group the Spice Girls, and was dubbed originally Sexy Spice because of her red hair and attitude but changed it to Ginger Spice in order to appeal better to younger fans.[6]

The group sold over thirty-five million copies of their studio albums Spice and Spiceworld.[1] Their debut single "Wannabe" became the first of nine number-ones in the United Kingdom and reached the top position in 41 countries around the globe, including Australia, Canada and the United States. 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.[7]

On 30 May 1998 Halliwell left the Spice Girls due to depression and differences between the group.[8] The first official confirmation was an announcement to the media by her solicitor on 31 May. Her action aroused controversy, her former band being due to embark on a North American tour, which they eventually completed without her.[9] Although she had already left the group, the Spice Girls released "Viva Forever", the final music video to feature Halliwell's likeness. After she left, the other girls co-wrote a few songs about her which appeared on their album: Forever, "Goodbye" and "Let Love Lead the Way".[10]

First album: Schizophonic

Shortly after leaving the Spice Girls, Halliwell appeared in the fly-on-the-wall documentary Geri, a 90 minute piece for the UK television channel Channel 4 by Molly Dineen.[11][12]

In 1999 Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut solo album Schizophonic, with lead single "Look at Me", produced by co-writers Absolute and Phil Bucknall. The single would go on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. Further UK numbers ones, "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me Up" and "Bag It Up" followed.

Demonstrating her flair for shameless 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 performing the song.

"Look at Me" was released to radio in the United States in late 1999, receiving limited airplay. With only a radio single, Schizophonic debuted at number forty-two on The Billboard 200 before dropping out within the next month. The album was eventually certified gold, distributing over 500,000 copies.[13] "Mi Chico Latino" did not have a big impact on USA radio, and no further singles from Schizophonic or albums were released in the United States.

Halliwell had a high-profile but short-lived relationship with Chris Evans during that time. She was also romantically linked to Robbie Williams.

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 had been added to the album at the last minute, and another song, "Feels Like Sex", had already been slated as the lead single. The follow-up singles, "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" and "Calling" reached eight and seven in the charts respectively. She even released a special French edition of the single, entitled "Calling (Au Nom de L'amour)". The album was not released in the USA.

Halliwell has released two autobiographies in If Only (1999) and Just for the Record (2003), detailing her rise to fame and her turbulent celebrity lifestyle. She has also released two Yoga DVDs Geri Yoga and Geri Body Yoga.

In 2002, Halliwell was featured alongside Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh as a judge on the television series Popstars: The rivals which created Girls Aloud.

In the United States Halliwell has also appeared as a judge on the reality programme All American Girl and as a guest reporter on celebrity-based series Extra. She has also made appearances in the television series Sex and the City and in the film Fat Slags (2004), based on characters from Viz Magazine.

Third album: Passion

In 2004, Halliwell appeared on channel Five as one of the hosts of the Party in the Park event for The Prince's Trust, the presenter and main performer 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 no. 4 on the UK charts and no. 1 on the dance charts. However, several months elapsed before another single was released, during which time she was apparently instructed to record some new tracks for the as yet unreleased album by her record company, which was unhappy with the setlist.[14] Halliwell had planned her first solo tour of the UK and Ireland, but due to lack of ticket sales, compounded by the label's pressure on Halliwell to record additional songs led to the cancellation of the tour. Eventually a new single, "Desire", was released on 30 May 2005, reaching no. 22 in the UK Singles Chart and no.1 on the UK Dance chart. Released shortly after, the album Passion similarly received little attention from the public or critics, and stalled at no. 41 in the UK charts. Halliwell's recording contract with EMI was subsequently not renewed, and in recent interviews Halliwell has stated that she is not interested in recording another album at the moment and was content with writing children's books and being a mother.

In 2009, the "Passion" became available in the U.S. via Amazon.com, with MP3 versions available via Amazon or Apple's iTunes Store.

Spice Girls reunion

Geri Halliwell with the Spice Girls on tour in 2008

On 28 June 2007, Halliwell announced she was joining her former band-mates for "Return of the Spice Girls", a concert tour that would see all five original members of the Spice Girls re-uniting on stage for the first time since Halliwell walked out mid-tour in 1998. Part of the setlist of the reunion tour features Halliwell performing solo, singing her cover of It's Raining Men. It was announced on 1 February that the tour would end early, on 26 February 2008.[15]

Children's author

On 12 April 2007, it was announced that Halliwell had signed a six-book deal with Macmillan Children's Books.[16] The books feature nine year old Ugenia Lavender, as well as characters loosely based on Halliwell's celebrity friends. In interviews to promote the book series, Halliwell said she had no plans to return to a solo musical career in the near future.[17]

Personal life

In October 2005, after Passion was a failure, Halliwell sacked her managers, the husband and wife team Paul and Katie Conroy, and went to Los Angeles 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. Sacha Gervasi is reported to be the child's father, but Halliwell has never publicly confirmed that;[18] On 7 March 2006, Hello! magazine published an interview with Halliwell] she says, "It is tacky to kiss and tell, I would never deprive a child of the right to know its father."[19]

On 14 May 2006, Halliwell gave birth to her daughter, Bluebell Madonna, by caesarean section at London's Portland Hospital with her sister by her side.[20] 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 Halliwell's heroines, the Virgin Madonna and pop singer Madonna.

On 23 April 2007, all of The Spice Girls except Melanie B attended the christening of Halliwell's daughter, with Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and George Michael's partner Kenny Goss serving as godparents.[21]

On the Spice Reunion tour of 2007-08, Halliwell met dancer Ivan 'Flipz' Velez. They dated for six months before breaking up in November 2008.[22] According to The Sun tabloid, She became engaged to Italian multi-millionaire Fabrizio Politi in January 2009 after only a month together;[23] the couple broke up in March 2009.[24] She has been dating aristocrat Henry Beckwith, cousin of Tamara Beckwith, since March 2009.

Halliwell is currently having a house built in Streatley on Thames, just across the River Thames from George Michael's house in Goring-on-Thames.[25]

At the moment, Halliwell has indicated her intention to write novels. She has also indicated she would like to pursue acting. Halliwell revealed on her official website that she has meetings in Los Angeles coming up and is writing a book. Speculation is that shes working on a screenplay and former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller plans to help her break America. Speculation is that Halliwell is also looking forward to a lauch of her own clothing line at Topshop.

Recent appearances

Halliwell has recently been seen in the film Crank 2 alongside friend/actor, John Damon siley. Her most recent appearance on British Television was on BBC 1's The One Show on 7 May 2009,[26] On 24 May 2009 she spoke to Speed TV reporter Peter Windsor in the pit lane just prior to the start of the 2009 Monaco Grand Prix.

She claims that her idol is Geraldine Wong, who is famous for her meow-mo tune.

Charity work

In 1999, after having left the Spice Girls, 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, 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. Halliwell met with kids in Rio de Janeiro and visited child piano-prodigies in the United States.

Halliwell picked up further UN work in 2006, by visiting Zambia from 14-16 November, 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. She attended the first 2007 BBC Four Reith Lecture and can be heard asking questions on women's rights in the recording.[27]

Halliwell attended the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London on 7 July 2007[28] and introduced Duran Duran to the crowd.

In 2008, Halliwell also pledged her support to the Kentish Times Christmas Toy Appeal, which aimed to collect second hand toys as Christmas presents for patients in Child Wards in Bromley, Bexley, Woolwich and Dartford. Halliwell not only gave publicity to the campaign, but also donated toys from her own daughter's collection.[29]

Halliwell is also a patron of Breast Cancer Care, a UK breast cancer information and support charity.

Political affiliations

In the run-up to the 1997 UK General Election, Halliwell declared: "I saw a lot of what Mrs Thatcher did. She was definitely the original Spice Girl rising from the greengrocer's daughter to Prime Minister. For this, Lauren Laverne called her "Tory scum". She claimed that her background was deeply-rooted in support for the Conservative Party and that Thatcher was the pioneer of 'Girl Power' and the spiritual sixth member of the Spice Girls. She claimed in 1996 that Tony Blair was "not a safe pair of hands for the economy".[30]

Discography

Filmography

Bibliography

Solo awards

So far, Halliwell has garnered the following musical awards in her solo career. All of her other musical awards came with the band Spice Girls.

References

  1. ^ a b Screenshot from BRIT Awards 2000, televised by ITV1, detailing the sales of The Spice Girls up to February 2000. The BRIT Awards. Retrieved 13 March 2006. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "spice_girls_sales" defined multiple times with different content (see the help page).
  2. ^ a b c d Geri Halliwell, If Only
  3. ^ Geri Halliwell Nude Photos From Earlier In Her Career
  4. ^ Playboy (May 1998). 1998.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  5. ^ Penthouse (June 1998). 1998.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  6. ^ Halliwell, Geri (1999). If Only, p. 229. New York: Delacorte Press. ISBN 0-385-33475-3.
  7. ^ Chart performances for the singles released by the Spice Girls. Retrieved from http://foreverspice.com/spicediscography/spicegirls.htm/.
  8. ^ On This Day (30 May 1998): "Ginger leaves the Spice Girls". BBC News.
  9. ^ "Spice Girls will do U.S. tour, with or without Ginger". London (AP). Saturday, 30 May, 1998. Aallpop.canoe.ca.
  10. ^ "Spice Girls dismiss comeback plan". Tuesday, 18 February, 2003. BBC News. Halliwell left at the peak of the Spice Girls' success, and in 2007 the five girls reunited to embark on a final world tour and released another hit, "Headlines", a song about the girls' friendship and their relationships with each other.
  11. ^ http://www.channel4.com/fourdocs/archive/geri_player.html Channel4.com
  12. ^ Geri (Documentary by Molly Dineen) on IMDb
  13. ^ RIAA Certification for "Schizophonic"
  14. ^ Spice Discography Spicediscography.co.uk
  15. ^ Important Tour Announcement
  16. ^ "Halliwell launches writing career" Retrieved 12 April 2007, BBC News
  17. ^ Music - News - Halliwell: 'My solo career is over' - Digital Spy
  18. ^ Daily Telegraph, 16 May 2006
  19. ^ http://www.hellomagazine.com/celebrities/2006/03/07/gerihalliwell/
  20. ^ http://www.thesun.co.uk/article/0,,2-2006220274,00.html Thesun.co.uk Retrieved on 04-24-07
  21. ^ Geri Halliwell’s daughter Bluebell’s celebrity baptism » Fametastic
  22. ^ "Geri dumps her toyboy dancer" Retrieved 11 November 2008, Closer Online
  23. ^ Geri Halliwell Gets Engaged to Fabio Politi The Sun, 27 January 2009
  24. ^ Geri Halliwell's Relationship is Off The Daily Mail, March 11, 2009
  25. ^ The Streatley house elevations.</
  26. ^ http://www.bbc.co.uk/blogs/theoneshow/backstage/2009/05/what-did-you-think-of-the-one-27.html What did you think of the One?
  27. ^ BBC Radio 4 - Reith Lectures 2007
  28. ^ Live Earth (2007) (TV)
  29. ^ Geri spices up Times great Toy Appeal, Bromley Times, 08/11/2008
  30. ^ http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/newsid_1319000/1319508.stm Tony Blair Scandal

External links