Spice Girls at 25: The 10 Best Songs From The Spice Girls

The Spice Girls were a huge phenomenon all over the world, bringing Girl Power to the masses. The band had four Top 10 hits in the Billboard Hot 100, including Wannabe, which reached Number One in and stayed in the chart for 23 weeks.

Wannabe was first released in the U.K. on July 8, 1996, and was followed by more hits for the band.

The group started out with auditions in 1994, where four of the five women—Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell and Victoria Adams—were put together.

After their original fifth member left the band before it had any success, Emma Bunton was brought in to complete the line-up.

They had a whirlwind of success, but Halliwell left the group in 1998, halfway through their Spice World Tour, after she felt frustration at not being allowed to talk about surviving breast cancer in her teens.

She said in her autobiography, If Only: "I couldn't believe it. This was about saving lives. I knew then it was over with the band. Ginger Spice was no more."

The band did not long stay together after Halliwell's departure, splitting up in 2000.

They have come back together numerous times over the years, famously for the London 2012 Olympics as well as more recently, when four of the members did a reunion tour in 2019.

Victoria Beckham
Melanie Chisholm AKA Mel C
Melanie Brown AKA Mel B
Emma Bunton
Geri Halliwell
The members of the Spice Girls

1. Wannabe

"Wannabe" was the band's debut single, and was first released in Japan in June 1996 before it was slowly released across the U.K. in July 1996 and the U.S.A. in January 1997. The song sold more than 7 million copies by the end of 1997, and is considered one of the best-selling singles by a girl group of all time. It is the band's only Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, on which these rankings are based.

2. Say You'll Be There

Their second single, "Say You'll Be There," peaked at Number Three on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The band was inspired by spy action movies for the music video, where each spice also took on a crime-fighting alter ego.

3. 2 Become 1

This sultry ballad reached Number Four in the Billboard Hot 100 in September 1997. The song was the band's third single, and came from their debut album Spice.

4. Too Much

The slow song peaked at Number Nine in the Billboard Hot 100, and was released around the time of their movie, Spice World. The music video features each singer in their own movie scene, perhaps pointing to their own film.

5. Goodbye

"Goodbye" was the band's first single without Halliwell, and become one of its final singles before the group went on hiatus. The lyrics say goodbye to a friend, with it being interpreted as being about Halliwell. The song peaked at Number 11 on the Billboard Hot 100.

1 of 5

6. Stop

"Stop" came from the Spice Girls' second album, Spiceworld, and reached Number 16 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song is well-known for its accompanying hand-action dance, which the band performed in its music video.

7. Spice Up Your Life

"Spice Up Your Life" was in the Top 20 on five Billboard charts, getting to Number 18 on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was accompanied by a music video of the band in a post-apocalyptic world

8. Headlines (Friendship Never Ends)

In 2007, the band came back together for an arena tour, The Return of the Spice Girls. With it, their Greatest Hits album was released, as well as a new single, "Headlines." It got into the Billboard Top 100 at Number 90.

10 (tie). Mama/Who Do You Think You Are?

According to music licensing company Phonographic Performance Limited (PPL), via Sky News, "Who Do You Think You Are?" is the most played of the Spice Girls' oeuvre.

It also marked the arrival of Halliwell's iconic Union Jack dress, which she wore while performing this song and "Wannabe" at the Brit Awards in 1997.

Despite this, both this song and "Mama", which were released together on a double A-side, failed to chart on the Billboard Hot 100.

However, the song went to Number One on the UK and Ireland Official Charts, as well as in Austria, and it also went to Number Three in the European Hot 100 Singles chart, a chart previously run by Billboard.

In the music video for "Mama", each singer's mother appeared, and often their mothers were shown in subsequent live performances of the song.

Editor's Picks

Newsweek cover
  • Newsweek magazine delivered to your door
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts
Newsweek cover
  • Unlimited access to Newsweek.com
  • Ad free Newsweek.com experience
  • iOS and Android app access
  • All newsletters + podcasts