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The British pop band the Spice Girls released their debut single, Wannabe, which helped make them an international sensation.
British musical group
Spice Girls, British pop group whose infectious dance songs dominated the global charts in the late 1990s. They cultivated a playful sex appeal under the banner of “Girl Power” to create a feminist alternative to the boy bands of the day. The band’s members were Ginger Spice (byname of Geraldine Estelle Halliwell; b. August 6, 1972, Watford, England), Sporty Spice (byname of Melanie Jayne Chisholm; b. January 12, 1974, Liverpool, England), Posh Spice (byname of Victoria Adams [later Victoria Beckham]; b. April 7, 1975, Hertfordshire, England), Scary Spice (byname of Melanie Janine Brown; b. May 29, 1975, Yorkshire, England), and Baby Spice (byname of Emma Lee Bunton; b. January 21, 1976, London, England).
The group was formed when Halliwell, Brown, Chisholm, Bunton, and Adams responded to a 1993 advertisement in a trade magazine for a “manufactured” female pop group. The five, who had backgrounds in dance and acting, were chosen from the hundreds of women who auditioned, and they worked so well together that they became housemates. Personality conflicts led them to break with their original manager, a decision that united them and signaled the first stirrings of the “Girl Power” ethic. The group was signed to Virgin Records in 1995, but a lack of effective management hampered the band’s development. The Spice Girls’ first single, “Wannabe,” was finally released in July 1996. It soared to the top of the British singles chart, and it held that position for most of the summer. Around this time, an article in Top of the Pops magazine anointed the women Ginger, Sporty, Posh, Scary, and Baby, and the names were embraced by the band, its fans, and the media. “Wannabe” went on to hit number one in some 30 countries, and the music video that accompanied the song made the Spice Girls an international sensation. The follow-up single, “Say You’ll Be There,” paved the way for the band’s debut album, Spice (1996), which sold some 19 million copies worldwide in its first year.
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Beck, original name Beck David Campbell, also called Beck David Hansen, (born July 8, 1970, Los Angeles, California, U.S.), American singer-songwriter who brought Bob Dylan’s embodiment of the hipster folk minstrel into the age of hip-hop and sampling.
Beck had art in his genes: his family included a mother (Bibbe Hansen) with ties to Andy Warhol’s Factory, a musician father (David Campbell) who would go on to arrange strings for several alternative rockers, and a grandfather (Al Hansen) who was active in the 1960s art movement Fluxus. After a brief excursion into the “anti-folk” scene of New York City’s East Village, Beck returned to his native Los Angeles, where he played at coffeehouses in the Silverlake district. “Loser,” recorded as a cheap demo for Bong Load Custom Records, became a radio hit in Los Angeles and eventually, after Beck had signed with major label DGC, a national phenomenon. A rapped lyric performed over a slide-guitar sample, with impressive poetic juxtapositions such as “drive-by body pierce,” “Loser” revealed a major talent, though Beck would find himself pigeonholed at first as a Generation X novelty act. The rest of Mellow Gold, his 1994 debut album, proved his mastery at a twanged-out meld of folk, rap, 1960s rock, and pop corniness of every vintage.
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