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GeriHalliwell
Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell
(born 6 August 1972, Watford, Hertfordshire) is an English pop singer-songwriter, children's author, actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund. Halliwell first became famous in the late 1990s as a member of the girl group the Spice Girls, which became one of the most successful girl groups of all time, selling in excess of 55 million records worldwide.[1] As a solo artist, she has received four Brit Award nominations, released four number-one singles in the UK and sold over 4 million albums as a solo artist worldwide.

Early lifeEdit

Halliwell was born to Laurence Francis Halliwell, who was of English/Swedish descent, and his wife Ana María (née Hidalgo), who was of Spanish descent from Huesca, Spain and who grew up in Watford, Hertfordshire.[2] For a brief time, Halliwell's mother tried to bring her up as a Jehovah's Witness. Halliwell took her A-Levels at Camden School for Girls having taken her GCSEs at Watford Girls Grammar School.

Career Edit

Pre-Spice Girls Edit

Before starting her music career, Halliwell had worked as a nightclub dancer in Majorca (Spain),[2], magician's assistant, and as a presenter on the Turkish version of Let's Make a Deal[2].

It was during this period that Geri worked as assistant to Turkish magician Terrid Alsabo, as part of his "erotic" magic show. Geri assisting in various outfits in slimline sawing in half, Zig-Zag, center cut etc and even assisting naked in the slicer illusion. Following her rise to fame with the Spice Girls, nude photos[3] taken as part of the promotion of Alsabo's show were re-published in a number of top-shelf magazines in the UK.

Spice GirlsEdit

File:Brits.jpg

Geri first found fame as one of the five members of the girl group the Spice Girls, and was dubbed Ginger Spice for her "liveliness, zest and flaming red hair".[4] She wore many over-the-top outfits, the most recognized being for her famous Union Jack dress that she wore for the 1997 Brit Awards.

Halliwell became renowned for her independent and feminist attitude. The group joined the most successful musical artists of the 1990s, selling over thirty-five million albums with the studio releases Spice and Spiceworld.[1] Their debut single "Wannabe" became the first of a string of number-ones in the United Kingdom (nine in total) and reached the top position in 41 countries around the globe, including Australia, Canada and the United States. Other successful releases followed, including "Say You'll Be There" and "2 Become 1" from Spice, and "Spice Up Your Life", "Too Much" and "Stop" from Spiceworld.[5] As a songwriter, Geri - as part of the Spice Girls - set the record for the shortest time to achieve 6 no. 1 UK singles, taking 1 year 5 months from Wannabe's first week at no. 1 to the ascent of Too Much. This outpaced Lennon/McCartney, who took 1 year 6 months (From Me to You through I Feel Fine).

On 30 May 1998 Halliwell left the Spice Girls due to depression and differences between the group.[6] The first official confirmation was an announcement to the media by her solicitor on 31 May. Her action aroused controversy, her former band being due to embark on a North American tour, which they eventually completed without her.[7] Although she had already left the group, the Spice Girls released "Viva Forever", the final music video to feature Halliwell's likeness.[8] After she left, the other girls wrote a few songs about her which appeared on their album Forever, notably "Goodbye" (although it is said that Geri had helped write this song before her departure, but since the song was released after her departure, most people see it as a tribute to Geri) and "Let Love Lead the Way."[9]

First album: Schizophonic Edit

Shortly after leaving the Spice Girls, Halliwell appeared in the fly-on-the-wall documentary Geri, a 90 minute piece for the UK television channel Channel 4 by Molly Dineen.[10][11]

In 1999 Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut solo album Schizophonic, with lead single "Look at Me", produced by co-writers and old friends, Absolute. The single reached number two in the UK, just 700 copies behind Boyzone's "You Needed Me". The single would go on to sell over 1 million copies worldwide. Further singles from the album, "Mi Chico Latino" and "Lift Me Up", became UK number ones with the latter outselling Halliwell's former bandmate Emma Bunton. The fourth single, "Bag It Up", also reached number one. Geri set another two records for shortest time for a female songwriter to achieve her ninth and tenth no. 1 UK singles. "Lift Me Up" hit no. 1 3 years, 3 months, and 3 weeks after Wannabe's first week at no. 1, and Bag It Up hit 4 months later. Melanie C, in contrast, took seven more months to achieve her tenth no. 1 single as a songwriter, with I Turn To You. All-time leaders Lennon/McCartney took 3 years, 1 month, 3 weeks between From Me to You and their tenth no. 1 UK hit Paperback Writer.

Demonstrating her flair for outrageous promotion, Halliwell performed "Bag It Up" during the BRIT Awards ceremony in 2000, emerging between giant inflatable legs, ripping off her shirt and walking in stiletto heels over the backs of topless pink-haired men whilst performing the song. "Look at Me" was released to radio in the United States in late 1999, receiving limited airplay. With only a radio single, Schizophonic debuted at number forty-two on The Billboard 200 before dropping out within the next month. This is still the highest charting album by a solo Spice Girl in the United States; (Emma Bunton's Free Me peaking at no. 183, Melanie C's Northern Star peaked at no. 208 and Mel B's L.A. State of Mind peaked at no. 248 on The Billboard 200). The album was eventually certified gold, distributing over 500,000 copies.[12] "Mi Chico Latino" did not have a big impact on USA radio, and no further singles from Schizophonic or albums were released in the United States. 'Schizophonic' would go on to sell 2.5 million copies worldwide.[13] Halliwell had a high-profile but short-lived relationship with Chris Evans during that time. She was also romantically linked to Robbie Williams.

Second album: Scream If You Wanna Go FasterEdit

In 2001 Halliwell followed up with her second album, Scream if You Wanna Go Faster. It also included her cover version of The Weather Girls' 1983 hit, "It's Raining Men", used on the Bridget Jones's Diary film soundtrack, and the video game, DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix. The song also won her the International Song of the Year award at the 2002 NRJ Music Awards. The song became a huge hit, selling over 4 million copies worldwide.[14] It became the second best selling single of 2001.[15][16] The song had been added to the album at the last minute; another song, "Feels Like Sex", had already been slated as the lead single. (This song remained an album-only track. "Circles Round the Moon" was rumoured to be a single as Halliwell performed it on CD:UK and 12" Vinyl Promos were sent to clubs, but it was never released.) The follow-up singles were "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" (number eight) and "Calling" (number seven), the latter, stated by Halliwell was her favourite co-written track on the album. She even released a special French edition of the single, entitled "Calling (Au Nom de L'amour)". The album sold more than 1.3 million copies across the world (this album wasn't released in the USA).[17][18] Geri has released two autobiographies in If Only (1999) and Just for the Record (2002), detailing her rise to fame and her turbulent celebrity lifestyle. She has also released two Yoga DVDs Geri Yoga and Geri Body Yoga. In 2002, Halliwell was featured alongside Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh as a judge on the television series Popstars: The rivals which created Girls Aloud.

In the United States Halliwell has also pursued a television career, re-uniting with former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller to appear as a judge on the reality programme All American Girl and as a guest reporter on celebrity-based series such as Extra. She has also made appearances in the television series Sex and the City and a film, The Fat Slags (2004), based on characters from Viz Magazine.

Popstars: The RivalsEdit

Halliwell was also a judge on the UK version of the Popstars series, entitled Popstars The Rivals. She appeared along with Louis Walsh and Pete Waterman. This series created the successful girl band Girls Aloud, formerly managed by Walsh.

Third album: Passion Edit

In 2004, Halliwell began a period of collaboration with channel Five, and was one of the hosts of the Party in the Park event for The Prince's Trust, the presenter and main performer of the Tickled Pink Girls' night in Live! event and an appearance in a documentary There's Something About Geri.

In late 2004, Halliwell made a return to music with the single "Ride It", which reached no. 4 on the UK charts and no. 1 on the dance charts. The single was not promoted abroad, but still sold well throughout continental European countries reaching high positions, such as no. 3 in Spain. The single was also used in the US version of 'Queer as Folk'. This was the first single from her third album, Passion which was at that stage slated for a spring release after a second single. However, several months elapsed before another single was released, during which time she was apparently ordered to record some new tracks for the as-yet unreleased album by her record company, which was unhappy with the setlist.[19] Halliwell was planning her first solo tour around the UK and Ireland, but a bad management and tour schedule plus the label's pressure to record more songs and low ticket sales made her cancel the tour. Eventually a new single, "Desire", was released on 30 May 2005, reaching no. 22 in the UK Singles Chart and no.1 on the UK Dance chart. Released shortly after, the album Passion similarly received little attention from the public or critics, and stalled at no. 41 in the UK charts. It was rumoured that "Love Never Loved Me" would have been released as the third single from Passion, but it was not.

Spice Girls reunion Edit

File:Spice Girls (6 janv) 56.jpg

On 28 June 2007, Halliwell announced she was joining her former band-mates for "Return of the Spice Girls", a concert tour that would see all five original members of the Spice Girls together on stage for the first time since Halliwell walked out mid-tour in 1998. Part of the setlist of the reunion tour features Halliwell performing solo, singing her hit single It's Raining Men. It was announced on 1 February that the end of the tour would actually take place in Toronto, on 26 February 2008.[20]

Children's authorEdit

On 12 April 2007, it was announced that Halliwell had signed a six-book deal with Macmillan Children's Books.[21] The books feature nine year old Ugenia Lavender, as well as characters loosely based on Halliwell's celebrity friends. In interviews to promote the book series, Halliwell said she had no plans to return to a solo musical career in the near future.[22]

Geri's publicist has announced that Disney has begun pre-production on Ugenia Lavender & the Magical Christmas Adventure, a feature length movie based on the hit children's book character, with a release date expected to be in December 2009. Along with Ugenia, other popular characters expected to return in the movie are Bronte, Rudy and Trevor, and there will also be some very special guest appearances made by some of Geri's friends."George [Michael] has agreed to voice a new character for the movie" says Geri. She also lists other confirmed names to appear as Victoria Beckham, Angelina Jolie, Katie Holmes, and one of her childhood heroes, Michael Jackson "who will play a misfit at school, who Ugenia really helps to come out of his shell."Dannii Minogue and Myleene Klass will also voice characters with Minogue possibly recording the classical theme song. The big screen version of the popular book series is said to have a budget of $30 Million.

Sing Along To Ugenia and GeriEdit

Halliwell will start a new children's-tv-show. 4 Episodes were produced already. It will air on ITV in April 2009.

Personal lifeEdit

In October 2005, after Passion was a failure, Halliwell sacked her managers, the husband and wife team Paul and Katie Conroy, and went to Los Angeles, United States, to work on unnamed projects. Soon after, she was photographed by the paparazzi, having put on weight and looking exhausted. The tabloids reported that Halliwell was pregnant, which was subsequently confirmed. Gervasi is reported to be the child's father, but Halliwell has never publicly confirmed that;[23] On 7 March 2006, Hello! magazine published an interview with Halliwell] she says, "It is tacky to kiss and tell, I would never deprive a child of the right to know its father."[24]

On 14 May 2006, Halliwell gave birth to her daughter, Bluebell Madonna, by caesarean section at London's Portland Hospital with her sister by her side.[25] Explaining her name choice, she said, "What really clinched it for me was my mother telling me that the bluebell is increasingly rare – so it's a precious flower, which seems just right for my daughter." Her daughter's middle name came from two of Geri's heroines, the Virgin Madonna and pop singer Madonna.

On 23 April 2007 the former Spice Girls except Melanie B attended the christening of Halliwell's daughter, with Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and George Michael's partner Kenny Goss serving as godparents.[26]

On the Spice Reunion tour she met dancer Ivan Velez. In November 2008 it was reported she broke up with him on the phone[27].She has been dating Italian multi-millionaire Fabrizio Politi since December 2008; her management company confirmed their engagement a month later in January 2009[28].

She is currently having a house built in Streatley on Thames, just across the River Thames from George Michael's house in Goring-on-Thames.[29]

Charity workEdit

In 1999, after having left the Spice Girls, Geri Halliwell became a representative for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). As a goodwill ambassador, Halliwell toured the Philippines on a fact-finding trip. She visited with staff and clients of family planning clinics, women's groups in slum areas, and college students.

In 2000, Geri Halliwell appeared in the two part documentary series Geri's World Walkabout for the BBC which followed her work with the UN and other travels. Geri met with kids in Rio de Janeiro and visited child piano-prodigies in the United States, among other things. Alyssa Wheeler of Atchison, Ks.

Halliwell picked up UN work again in 2006, by visiting Zambia from 14 November to 16 November, to promote greater international awareness of the urgent need to reduce maternal death and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS. Both aims are contained in the Millennium Development Goals adopted by the world's leaders in September 2000. She attended the first 2007 BBC Four Reith Lecture and can be heard asking questions on women's rights in the recording.[30]

Halliwell attended the UK leg of Live Earth at Wembley Stadium, London on 7 July 2007[31] and introduced Duran Duran to the crowd.

In 2008, Geri Halliwell also pledged her support to the Kentish Times Christmas Toy Appeal, which aimed to collect second hand toys as Christmas presents for patients in Child Wards in Bromley, Bexley, Woolwich and Dartford. Halliwell not only gave publicity to the campaign, but also donated toys from her own daughter's collection.[32]

Political affiliations Edit

In the run-up to the 1997 UK General Election, Halliwell declared: "I saw a lot of what Mrs Thatcher did. She was definitely the original Spice Girl rising from the greengrocer's daughter to Prime Minister. She was a real role model of a strong woman". She also claimed that her background was deeply-rooted in support for the Conservative Party and that Thatcher was the pioneer of 'Girl Power' and the spiritual sixth member of the Spice Girls. She claimed in 1996 that Tony Blair was "not a safe pair of hands for the economy".[33]

Discography Edit

AlbumsEdit

SinglesEdit

FilmographyEdit

BibliographyEdit

Solo awardsEdit

So far, Halliwell has garnered the following musical awards in her solo career. All of her other musical awards came with the band Spice Girls.

External linksEdit


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