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20 Years Since The Spice Girls’ Wannabe Hit The Charts

20 Years Since The Spice Girls’ Wannabe Hit The Charts

This week marks 20 years since the Spice Girls’ first single, "Wannabe", hit the charts. Starting out at number three, it jumped to number one on the UK singles chart and remained there for seven weeks, the second-longest period of time an all-female group has occupied the top spot, after Shakespear’s Sister’s "Stay". The loud and outrageous group comprised of Victoria, Emma, Geri, Mel B and Mel C, otherwise known as Posh, Baby, Ginger, Scary and Sporty.

They were loud and proud advocates of female friendship, unity and individuality and well and truly brought pop back. The Spice Girls went on to produce nine number one singles, break America and sell 80 million records. They borrowed the idea of “girl power” from the US’s Riot Grrrl movement, and implanted it into the minds of millions of young women across the world. Spice Girls merchandise and promotions capitalised on their reputations as household names and spread the “girl power” message even further in the process. The iconic song was even used in a recent video to promote the #WhatIReallyReallyWant campaign that highlights the importance of putting women and girls first in policies and plans addressing the Sustainable Development Goals.

Although the group’s next comeback will only feature three of them: Geri, Emma and Mel B, performing under the new name, GEM, the legacy of the Spice Girls will live on forever in the hearts of their fans the world over.

NEXT: Carrie Brownstein on Women Playing Music »

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Photo Credit: Laurence Labat/Getty Images