Spice Girls reunion: Mel C says she won't participate
'Something didn’t feel quite right,' Sporty, 42, wrote in a personal essay
It seems as if we’ll be waiting forever (everlasting, like the sun) for a full Spice Girls reunion.
In a personal essay written for the U.K.’s Love Magazine, posted Monday evening, Sporty Spice (a.k.a. Melanie Chisholm, a.k.a. Mel C) reveals she definitely won’t be joining her former bandmates Geri Halliwell (Ginger Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary Spice), Victoria Beckham (Posh Spice), and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice) for a performative get-together any time soon.
Chisholm’s piece begins as the 42-year-old muses on the ever-changing dynamic of fame in the music industry.
“You’re not going to get me complaining about my life – it’s brilliant. I know some people complain about the attention – but I wanted to be famous from the start,” she wrote. “Like the rest of the Spice Girls I learnt very early on that you can’t take one slice of the pie when it comes to fame. You have to eat the whole thing… Let’s have a think about the word ‘celebrity’ in the old days. Remember when a little bit of mystery and intrigue ensured our famous faces were true stars. When we didn’t know what they were eating via social media, where they were or who they were hanging out with? Those were the glory days of the modern celebrity world I adored. There was glamour, excitement and you looked at your idols in a completely different way.”
She went on to write about her relationship to fame, one she cultivated as the group’s members sold over 80 million records worldwide and carved an iconic lane for themselves in pop music throughout their career, and how it evolved in a way she hadn’t expected from the start.
“You see, I’m a singer and songwriter. Not a celebrity. The two are very different things. You can earn a fortune being a ‘celebrity’ depending on how much dignity you want to keep in tact,” she said, referencing the immense pressure she’s often under as fans continue to ask her about a potential Spice Girls reunion. “The fascination with the band never seems to go away. It’s a blessing and a curse all at the same time. Daily I’m asked ‘are the girls getting back together?’ Then it’s When? How? Why? When we reunited in 2007 the questions stopped momentarily. We had done it – the fans were happy and we were happy. But the minute that tour ended it started again.”
Chisholm’s solo career took off in 1999 in her native U.K., where she notched two No. 1 singles before the release of the Spice Girls’ third (and final) LP, Forever, in 2000. Thus far, she’s released six albums on her own, the first of which, Northern Star, was certified triple platinum by the British Phonographic Industry. Still, Chisholm said being a Spice Girl is practically in her DNA.
“Look, I will be a Spice Girl until I die. But the continuous speculation on whether we will reform to celebrate 20 years of ‘Wannabe’ has been particularly exhausting,” she continued. “Don’t get me wrong – I totally get it. But is it a new rule that bands have to reform? Why can’t we just be remembered for our incredible achievements in the nineties.”
July 8, 2016 marked the 20th anniversary of the Spice Girls’ debut single, “Wannabe,” which topped music charts around the world, including in the U.S. Though all five members of the group reunited for a one-off performance at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, fans expected something bigger in commemoration of the group’s signature song. Though Scary Spice (a.k.a. Mel B) revealed in June something big is in the works for 2017, Sporty doesn’t want to be a part of it.
“Truth be told, earlier this year after several face-to-face meetings with the girls I made the difficult decision not to be part of a proposed reunion with Emma, Geri and Melanie. Victoria had already bowed out understandably with the demands of her fashion label and her rather large family,” Chisholm revealed, noting, for her, the “pinnacle” of her Spice existence was performing at the Olympics for scores of people around the world. “The hardest part for me was letting people down, the girls, the fans, civilisation?! Unfortunately something didn’t feel quite right and I had to follow my gut. I’d love to play huge arenas across the World, sing our brilliantly bonkers pop songs and relive our former glory. It is of course a very lucrative opportunity too. But we were a five-piece band. Didn’t we reach a peak with the Olympics? There’s a lot to be said for bowing out on a high note.”
She concluded the essay with a touching dedication to her groupmates.
“We’re constantly reminded of our famous line from Wannabe – friendship never ends. There will always be hurdles with friendship,” she wrote. “I love the girls dearly. We have a very unique bond that will never be broken and I will continue to support them all as much as I can… I love the band I am beyond proud of my past and will always embrace and celebrate being a Spice Girl, It’s what I am.”
Read Chisholm’s full piece in Love Magazine here.