Emma Lee Bunton (born 21 January
1976) is an English pop singer and songwriter, best known for being a
member of the successful 1990s girl group, the Spice Girls, in which she
was known as Baby Spice because she was the youngest member of the group.
Bunton was born in Finchley, raised a Catholic, and grew up in Woodside
Park, both in the London borough of Barnet. Her parents, Pauline, a karate
instructor, and Trevor, a milkman, split up when she was eleven,after
which she stayed with her mother. She has a younger brother, Paul James.
Bunton started off at Underhill primary school, in Barnet. Then Bunton
went to the Sylvia Young Theatre School in Marylebone. In 1993 she
appeared in the ITV1 police series The Bill and also auditioned (although
unsuccessfully) for the role of Bianca (played by Patsy Palmer) in the BBC
soap EastEnders. She had previously appeared briefly in the soap in 1992,
as a mugger who attacked the character Jules Tavernier, played by Tommy
Spice Girls (1994-2008)
She joined the Spice Girls (then still called Touch) in 1994 after the
original fifth Touch member, Michelle Stephenson left the group. The group
became one of the most successful musical acts of the 1990s, selling 35
million albums with studio releases Spice in 1996, Spiceworld in 1997, and
Forever in 2000. Emma was called Baby Spice because she was the youngest
of the group, wore her long blonde hair in pigtails, wore babydoll
dresses, had an innocent smile, and had a girly girl personality. When the
group appeared on the 5 October 1997 episode in the BBC television
programme The O-Zone, she revealed that she had just had her ears pierced
for the very first time. 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 thirty seven countries around the globe. As a
songwriter, Bunton - as part of the Spice Girls - set the record for the
shortest time to achieve 6 #1 UK singles, taking one year and five months
from Wannabe's first week at #1 to the ascent of Too Much. This outpaced
Lennon/McCartney, who took one year and six months (From Me to You through
I Feel Fine). In 1999 she presented her own music show Emma on VH1. She
had also recorded the song "(Hey You) Free Up Your Mind" for the anime
film Pokémon: The First Movie. The Spice Girls stopped recording in 2000;
many rumours circulated about a reunion for the group's tenth anniversary
but nothing materialised until June 2007 when they reformed for The Return
of the Spice Girls tour and Greatest Hits CD.
Solo career (2001-2007)
Her debut solo album entitled A Girl Like Me spawned the UK number-one hit
"What Took You So Long?" as well as the top five hits "What I Am" (a cover
of a 1988 song earlier recorded by Edie Brickell & New Bohemians) and
"Take My Breath Away" (which has nothing to do with Berlin's 1986 hit),
and the top twenty hit "We're Not Gonna Sleep Tonight". The album sold
approximately 125,000 copies in the UK. Due to the disappointing sales of
the project, Bunton parted with Virgin in 2002.
Bunton's second album Free Me was released in 2003 through 19
Entertainment/Universal Records. It was commercially successful and had
four singles, "Free Me", "Maybe", "I'll Be There" and "Crickets Sing For
Anamaria". After success in the American dance charts the album was also
released in North America. The American edition included bonus remixes and
a different cover to the UK edition.
In November 2006, Bunton released the official charity single for the BBC
Children in Need appeal, recording a cover of Petula Clark's '60s classic
"Downtown". It peaked at number three on the UK Singles Chart and was
followed by her third studio album, Life in Mono, released on 4 December.
The album entered the UK Albums Chart at number sixty-five, selling
approximately 13,000 copies in its first week. To date, it has sold around
48.000 copies in the UK. The second single from it was "All I Need to
Know", released on 12 February 2007, intended for the Valentine's Day
market. Bunton shot the video around Old Street in East London, in the
week before Christmas 2006. Entering the UK Singles Chart at number sixty,
"All I Need to Know" became Bunton's lowest-charting single of her solo
In 2009 several of Bunton's previously unreleased songs were leaked into
the internet, including many demos and discarded tracks from the recording
sessions of her 3 previous studio albums. "Crazy", "Crazy Beautiful", "In
Another Life", and "Ladylike" are some of these songs.
Spice Girls reunion (2007-2008)
On 28 June 2007, it was announced that Bunton would be reuniting with the
Spice Girls for a world tour and Greatest Hits collection release.
Bunton has been linked with such stars as actor Nigel Harman, pop singer
Justin Timberlake, and 911 lead singer Lee Brennan.
Her boyfriend of ten years is former Damage and current CherryBlackStone
lead singer Jade Jones, with whom she currently lives in a house in
Hertfordshire. In October, 2006, there were rumours that the couple were
engaged, with plans to marry in March 2007. This rumour was denied several
days later. Bunton has stated multiple times that she does not need a
wedding to justify her relationship with Jones.
“ We've been rumoured to be engaged about 20 times, but we don't need a
wedding to justify our relationship. But if we ever do get married, I
couldn't run off and do it in secret - my family would be so upset. ”
After being diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition which can reduce
fertility, Bunton and Jones announced in January 2007 that they were
expecting their first child together.
On 10 August 2007, Bunton gave birth to a 7-lb. 15-oz. baby boy named Beau