Royal Mail celebrates Girl Power with Jan. 11 Spice Girls stamps
By David Hartwig
Great Britain’s Royal Mail marks the 30th anniversary of one of the most successful pop groups of all time with a Jan. 11 issue of 15 Spice Girls stamps.
“The Spice Girls have been a force to be reckoned with since they formed as a group in 1994,” David Gold, director of external affairs and policy at Royal Mail, said. “We are proud to celebrate the most successful female music group ever seen, not only for their music but their enduring influence over so many aspects of our lives.”
The all-female quintet has more than 100 million global record sales, nine No. 1 singles in the United Kingdom, three American Music awards, two Ivor Novello awards, three BRIT awards (the British Phonographic Industry’s awards for popular music), and four global MTV awards.
The members of the band — Victoria Beckham, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Chisholm — are most commonly referred to by their nicknames: Posh Spice, Scary Spice, Baby Spice, Ginger Spice and Sporty Spice, respectively.
The nicknames reflect the differing personas given by the band members. “We realised that we were quite different personalities,” Royal Mail’s presentation pack for the issue quotes Chisholm as saying. “We also realised there was a lot of strength in that.”
According to Royal Mail, the band rose to dominate the music charts “at a time when girl groups were not considered to be commercially viable.”
The “Girl Power!” philosophy of the Spice Girls “changed the face of music and inspired a generation of artists and fans,” Royal Mail said.
The best-selling female group of all time now adds to their list of accomplishments 15 first-class stamps (currently £1.25) presented in a set of 10 with two horizontal se-tenant (side-by-side) strips of five and a souvenir sheet containing five additional stamps.
Five stamps in the set of 10 show the Spice Girls performing as a group at various times from 1997 to 2012, and the remaining five show each member during a performance.
The earliest stamp chronologically shows the group performing at the opening of the 1997 BRIT awards, with another stamp showing Brown performing during the ceremony.
The Spice Girls found themselves at the 1997 award ceremony following the July 1996 debut of their first single Wannabe. With lyrics stressing friendship over romance, the song reached No. 1 on the charts of 37 countries.
At the 1997 BRIT awards, the Spice Girls won in the categories of Best British Video and Best British Single. Aside from the awards, the band secured its legacy in part due to a Union Jack dress worn by Halliwell, as seen on another stamp in the set.
Royal Mail said that the dress helped the band become a lasting symbol of what is known as the Cool Britannia era, a period of the mid to late 1990s characterized by an increased pride in the culture of the United Kingdom.
In the presentation pack, Halliwell is quoted as saying: “It felt like we were all at the centre of the world for a minute. There was Britpop happening, ‘Cool Britannia’ and it really was a melting pot of excitement.”
The Spice Girls recorded their second album, Spiceworld, in the summer of 1997 and announced their first concert tour. A stamp in the set of 10 shows the group performing in Istanbul in 1997.
In 1998, the group won a special BRIT award in recognition of its global achievement. Chisholm can be seen performing at the ceremony on a stamp in the set of 10.
The concert tour began at the end of February 1998 with a show in Dublin before moving on to the rest of Europe, North America and then back to England for two performances at Wembley Stadium in London.
A stamp shows the entire group performing in Dublin, and another shows Bunton during a performance at Wembley.
In May 1998, Halliwell announced her departure from the group, and they continued the tour without her. It wasn’t until nearly 10 years later that all five members of the group reunited.
In 2007, the group began a tour and performed in sold-out shows in …
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