Geri Halliwell Biography
In 1999, Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut album Schizophonic, it spawned three number ones at the UK Singles Chart: "Mi Chico Latino," "Lift Me Up," and "Bag It Up," while the lead single, "Look at Me," peaked at number 2. In 2001, Halliwell followed up with her second album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster; the first single, "It's Raining Men," was a major hit worldwide, it peaked at number 1 in the UK and peaked in the top 10 in over 27 countries, becoming Halliwell's biggest hit to date. Halliwell released her third studio album, Passion, in 2005. Geri has been nominated for four Brit Awards (in 2000 and 2002). After a few years of relative obscurity, in April of 2010, Halliwell announced that she had started working on new music. In April 2013, the Nine Network announced that she would become the fourth judge on Australia's Got Talent. On 12 September 2013, it was announced that Halliwell would return to the music industry in Australia with the release of her first solo single in nearly eight years, "Half of Me".
Halliwell was born at Watford General Hospital to Laurence Francis Halliwell (1922–1993), who was of English and Swedish descent, and his wife Ana María (née Hidalgo), who is a Spaniard from Huesca. Halliwell grew up on a council estate in North Watford. She was educated at the Camden School for Girls. Before starting her music career, Halliwell had worked as a nightclub dancer in Majorca, a presenter on the Turkish version of Let's Make a Deal, and as a glamour model. At the age of 18, she appeared in The Sun as a Page 3 girl. Following her rise to fame with the Spice Girls, nude photos of Halliwell were re-published in a number of magazines in 1992 and 1995 including Playboy and Penthouse.
1994–98: Spice Girls
Halliwell, along with Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, and Victoria Adams responded to an advertisement in The Stage magazine. Around about 400 women who answered the ad went to Dance Works studios. Halliwell, Chisholm, Adams, Bunton and Brown were ultimately chosen as the members of the group. The group felt insecure about the lack of a contract and was frustrated by the direction in which Heart Management was steering them. In October 1994, armed with a catalogue of demos and dance routines, the group began touring management agencies. They persuaded Bob Herbert to set up a showcase performance for the group in front of industry writers, producers and A&R men in December 1994 at the Nomis Studios in Shepherd's Bush where they received an "overwhelmingly positive" reaction. Due to the large interest in the group, the Herberts quickly set about creating a binding contract for the group. Encouraged by the reaction they had received at the Nomis showcase, all five members delayed signing contracts on the legal advice from, amongst others, Adams' father Anthony Adams. In March 1995, because of the group's frustration at their management's unwillingness to listen to their visions and ideas, they parted with Heart Management.
The group began a relationship with Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment and finally signed with him in March 1995. During the summer of that year the group toured record labels in London and Los Angeles with Fuller and finally signed a deal with Virgin Records in September 1995. From this point on, up to the summer of 1996, the group continued to write and record tracks for their debut album while extensively touring the west coast of the United States, where they had signed a publishing deal with Windswept Pacific. On 7 June 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut single "Wannabe" in the United Kingdom. In the weeks leading up to the release, the video for "Wannabe", got a trial airing on The Box music channel. The video was an instant hit, and was played 502 times a week. After the video was released, the Spice Girls had their first live TV slot on broadcast on LWT's Surprise Surprise. The song proved to be a global hit, reaching number 1 in 29 countries. and becoming the biggest-selling single by an all-female group of all time. It was followed by nine further number-1 singles from their albums Spice, Spiceworld and Forever. Each member of the group received a nickname from the media. Halliwell was named "Ginger Spice". 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 30 May 1998, Halliwell left the Spice Girls due to depression and differences between the group. The first official confirmation was an announcement to the media by her solicitor on 31 May. Her action aroused controversy, her former group 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's likeness, plus a one-off supergroup called England United for the official England FC song (Jo Whiley introduced the band saying "...plus Geri as a substitute". 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" and "Tell Me Why". The group is among the best-selling girl groups of all time, selling over 75 million albums.
1999–2005: Schizophonic, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, and Passion
In 1999, Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut album Schizophonic, with the lead single "Look at Me," produced by Absolute and Phil Bucknall. "Look at Me" was followed by further number ones at the UK Singles Chart "Mi Chico Latino," "Lift Me Up," and "Bag It Up." The album itself reached a peak at number 4 United Kingdom, and sold 600,000 copies there, making it 2× Platinum. Halliwell was nominated at BRIT Awards ceremony in 2000, for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best Pop Act, she also performed "Bag It Up" during the show, 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. "Mi Chico Latino" did not have a big impact on American radio, and no further singles from Schizophonic or albums were released in the United States. Schizophonic ended up selling around 2,300,000 copies worldwide, and remains Halliwells biggest selling album todate.
In 2001, Halliwell followed up with her second album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, the album peaked at number 5 in the United Kingdom, and sold 200,000 copies there and was certified Gold. It included her cover version of the Weather Girls' 1983 hit, "It's Raining Men," was also used on the Bridget Jones's Diary film soundtrack, and the video game, DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix. The song was released as the lead single from the album. "It's Raining Men" became a major hit worldwide, it peaked at number 1 in the UK and peaked in the top 10 in over 27 countries, becoming Halliwell's biggest hit to date. The song won her the International Song of the Year award at the 2002 NRJ Music Awards. The song originally been added to the album at the last minute, and another song, "Feels Like Sex," had already been slated as the lead single. The singles that followed, "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" and "Calling," reached, respectively, number eight and number seven in the United Kingdom. Halliwell released a special French edition of the single, titled "Au Nom de L'amour." Scream If You Wanna Go Faster achieved lower success outside the UK than Schizophonic and was not released in the United States. In 2002, Halliwell was once again nominated at the BRIT Awards, this time for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best British Single for "It's Raining Men." "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" has sold a little less than 1,300,000 copies worldwide. 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 late 2004, Halliwell made a return to music with the single "Ride It," which reached number four in the United Kingdom and number one 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. Halliwell planned her first solo tour of the United Kingdom 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 number 22 in the UK Singles Chart and number one on the UK Dance Charts. Released shortly after, the source album, Passion, similarly received little attention from the public or critics, and stalled at number 41 in the UK charts. Halliwell's recording contract with EMI was subsequently not renewed, and in subsequent interviews, Halliwell stated that she was not interested in recording another album at that time and was content with writing children's books and being a mother.
2007–present: Spice Girls reunion, Australia's Got Talent and fourth studio album
In 2007, the Spice Girls re-grouped and announced planns for an reunion tour, from which they were said to have earned £10 million each (approximately $20 million). The team's members said that they were still enjoying doing their "own thing." The group decided to release their first compilation album, a collection of their Greatest Hits. This album was released in early November 2007, and the tour began on 2 December 2007. During one Spice Girls performance at London's The O2 Arena, the Spice Girls's children, including Halliwell's children, accompanied her on stage during "Mama," along with the other Spice Girls's children. During the reformation Film maker Bob Smeaton directed an official film of the tour, which he titled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything. As well as their sell-out tour, the Spice Girls were contracted to appear in Tesco advertisements, for which they were paid £1 million each. In March 2010 vocal coach and singer Carrie Grant announced on ITV1's The Alan Titchmarsh Show that Halliwell would be making a return to music. In April 2010, Halliwell posted a message on her website, saying she was back in the studio and referring to Lady Gaga as one of her influences. In May 2011, reports suggested that Halliwell would be making a return to music. On July 31, 2011, Geri confirmed she had been working on her fourth album, stating of it, "The album's pretty much finished."
In February 2012, Halliwell announced that the fourth album was being mastered. In August 2012, she reunited with the Spice Girls to perform at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. In 2010, Halliwell stood in for Dannii Minogue as a guest judge on The X Factor at the Glasgow auditions, and she returned again in 2012 as a guest judge on the Liverpool auditions. In October 2012, Halliwell made her first solo performance in seven years at the Breast Cancer Care, debutting a new track, called "Phenomenal Woman". In January 2013, Halliwell claimed that she had decided to shelve the album that was ready and continue writing and recording, moving in a different style direction. In March 2013, a demo version of a song titled "Putting On The Bling" from the old recording sessions was leaked. In April 2013, the Nine Network announced that she would become the fourth judge on Australia's Got Talent. On September 5, 2013 has been confirmed by Channel 9's NRL Footy Show (one of the longest running shows in Australia) that Geri Halliwell is performing a world exclusive of her new single "Half of Me" at its Grand Final Show. The performance will take place on 3 October 2013, exactly one year after her last exhibition with new material (a three-songs live set featuring "Wannabe" (slow version), "Phenomenal Woman" and "It's Raining Men" at the Breast Cancer Care Show). On 12 September 2013, it was announced that Halliwell would release her first solo single in nearly eight years, Half of Me", exclusively in Australia, as part of a new deal with Sony Music Australia. The single is set for release on 25 October 2013. No official word of when her fourth studio album will arrive.