Two days after Spice Girl Melanie Brown gave birth to her first child Feb. 19, grandma Andrea Brown visited the little sugar-and-spice bundle at the singer’s Tudor mansion home in Little Marlow, 30 miles outside London. “She’s fine. No, in fact she’s better than fine. She’s beautiful,” said Brown of her granddaughter, little Phoenix Chi (“aura” to Taoists), who arrived two weeks early weighing 5 lbs. 8 ozs. As for her daughter, she added: “Mel’s taking it easy at the moment with her husband [dancer Jimmy Gulzar].”
The new mom had earned the rest. The week before, Brown, 23, a.k.a. Scary Spice, had been shooting a music video for a solo release due in the spring. And within minutes of the 15-hour labor and delivery at London’s posh Portland Hospital—where Sarah, the Duchess of York, gave birth to both her daughters—Brown was drinking champagne with aunties Melanie (Sporty Spice) Chisholm, Emma (Baby Spice) Bun-ton and Victoria (Posh Spice) Adams, herself pregnant and due March 10. The very next morning, accompanied by Gulzar, 32, Brown left the hospital under her own Girl Power.
The Spicy baby boom will undoubtedly delay any new records for a while. But the pregnancies have at least brought the band, whose future seemed shaky when Geri (Ginger Spice) Halliwell split last May, closer together. “[Mel and Victoria] keep meeting up and ringing each other for advice,” says Andrea Brown. Even with the new additions, the band’s p.r. manager Alan Edwards predicts it’ll be business as usual. Well, perhaps there will be some changes. “They might,” says Edwards, “have a creche [nursery] backstage, I suppose.”