The Spice Girls' limited reunion tour kicks off in May

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It sounds like Victoria Beckham‘s booming fashion empire isn’t the only thing preventing her from joining the upcoming Spice Girls tour.

During an appearance on Jay Rayner’s Out to Lunch podcast, Monday, Beckham’s bandmate Melanie “Mel C” Chisholm revealed that the mother of four battles serious stage fright — something she worked hard to overcome when the fivesome last performed together at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony in London.

“I’m sure, Victoria wouldn’t mind me saying, the Olympics was hard for her,” Chisholm, 45, told the food critic, 52. “You know, she’s moved on, her life has changed, and she just doesn’t have that love of performing. And in fact it completely petrifies her.”

“I’m sure there are many reasons. Obviously, she’s extremely busy and successful in what she’s doing. She has put her heart and soul into her business, and to step away from that, and not give it the time that she does at the moment would be difficult,” Chisholm said. “But also, I’m sure, if she felt passionate about being on stage and loved it, then she’d be there.”

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Credit: John Phillips/Getty Images; David M. Benett/Getty Images

Beckham had previously cited her business commitments as a reason why she wouldn’t be able to join Chisholm (and fellow Spice Girls Melanie “Mel B” Brown, 43, Emma Bunton, 43, and Geri Halliwell Horner, 46) on the tour.

“Being in the Spice Girls was a hugely important part of my life and I wish my girls so much love and fun as they go back on tour,” the 44-year-old mogul said in a statement. “I know they will put on an amazing show and the fantastic fans past and present are going to have a wonderful time!”

Though Beckham won’t be there, there are no hard feelings between the five friends.

“We’re all very sensitive of that, and we completely understand,” Chisholm said on Out to Lunch. “We’re all in a different place. … We continue to evolve and grow. We’re all sad that Victoria won’t be joining us, but it’s all genuinely very supportive. Obviously we understand and support her.”

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Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm
| Credit: Tim Roney/Getty Images
Spice Girls announcement
Melanie Brown, Melanie Chisholm, Emma Bunton and Geri Halliwell
| Credit: PA Images/Sipa

The Spice Girls announced their limited stadium tour back in November 2018 with an elaborate video reveal shared to their Twitter account, in which the ladies staged a global television takeover.

So far, the tour has only announced 13 dates, beginning with May 24’s show in Dublin, Ireland. Other stops include Cardiff, Manchester, Coventry, Sunderland, Edinburgh, and Bristol before concluding with three shows at London’s Wembley Stadium.

“This particular tour for us, it’s a real celebration for everything that was achieved in the ’90s,” Chisholm said on Out to Lunch. “It’s such a great time for the ’90s right now — there’s a revival in music and fashion. The ‘girl power’ message seems very strong as well, so it feels like an exciting time to do it.”

Asked if the “girl power” message did really empower, Chisholm told Rayner, “absolutely.”

“I don’t think we were fully aware of the impact it had on people until the last five years,” she said. “It was never preplanned, it was quite accidentally. It was through experience. We were going to labels and we were being told that girl bands don’t sell records. That’s where ‘girl power’ came from. We just wanted to be a pop group. We didn’t realize we had a message until we started experience sexism and the reality of the industry. Then we realized we had a point to prove. It was great because it gave us even more determination.”

Could a band like the Spice Girls find success if they started now? Chisholm certainly thinks so. “Although things have come a long way, in many industries, it is very male-dominated,” she said. “We don’t feel like the fight is over. We feel like it’s something we’ll be shouting about for many years to come.”