'Wannabe' Turns 20! See the Spice Girls, Then & Now

It's been 20 years since the '90s group debuted the now-iconic song

Photo: Mike Keating/Newspix/REX/Shutterstock

It’s time to spice up your life – and what better day than today, the 20th anniversary of the release of the Spice Girls’ “Wannabe”?

Known as the unofficial anthem for best friends and karaoke lovers alike, “Wannabe” started out as organically as you’d think when five pop-star wannabes – Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) and Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) – came together.

“We started off simply mucking about with chords and raps,” Halliwell shared in her autobiography, If Only, of the writing process. “Right from that moment, I think we all realized that this was something special. It happened so naturally that the song seemed to symbolize what we were about.”

RELATED VIDEO: Mel B. talks Spice Girls Reunion: ‘Hopefully We’ll be Doing Bits and Pieces Together’

With the help of songwriter Richard “Biff” Stannard, the group honed in on the message they were ultimately conveying.

“I think the only pre-planned thing with ‘Wannabe’ was wanting to represent them as a band as well as the essence of what they were: that fearless, headstrong, fantastically intimidating essence,” Stannard told The Telegraph. “They were outspoken, right from the start.”

The “most recognizable song of the past six decades” continues to reign supreme after all these years, most recently inspiring an empowering remake of its music video in an effort to promote gender equality.

Whether you had an inkling that you and Ginger were meant to be best friends or considered yourself more of a Posh/Baby/Sporty/Scary devotee, one thing was for sure: ’90s kids everywhere were taken with the English pop girl band. In honor of “Wannabe”‘s major milestone, and the recent announcement of a reunion (!), we’re taking a look back at the evolution of the Spice Girls.

Victoria Beckham


Posh Spice

Now: Married to Sexiest Man Alive David Beckham, mother-of-four Victoria continues to channel her onstage persona – opting for sleek ensembles and creating those same styles for her ultra-successful eponymous clothing line.

Geri Halliwell


Ginger Spice

Now: Despite leaving the band in 1998 to pursue a successful solo career that spawned four No. 1 singles, Geri (a mom of one who married last year) agreed to reunite with the rest of the Spice Girls in 2007 for their world tour – and just announced she’s joining Mel B and Emma Bunton for a reunion commemorating “Wannabe”‘s anniversary.

Melanie Brown


Scary Spice

Now: When she’s not doling out feedback for contestants as a judge on America’s Got Talent, Mel B is wowing us with her rock-hard abs – at age 41 (and with three kids!).

Melanie Chisholm


Sporty Spice

Now: Mel C has been quite the busy lady. There’s no word yet on if the singer-songwriter will be joining her three former band mates at the recently announced Spice Girls reunion – but that’s because she’s focused on her own music (and her 7-year-old daughter, Scarlet). In addition to her music career, she has also dabbled in acting, starring in an onstage production of the musical Blood Brothers … and in case you were wondering, still lives up to her name.

Emma Bunton


Baby Spice

Now: The youngest member of the Spice Girls, like the rest of her band mates, released music of her own following the group’s split. With a string of chart-topping singles under her belt, Emma, mom to sons Beau and Tate, took to acting, starring on the BBC comedy series Absolutely Fabulous from 2003 to 2012.

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