Geraldine Estelle "Geri" Halliwell
(born 6 August 1972) is an English recording artist, author and
philanthropist. After coming to international prominence as a member of
the girl group, the Spice Girls, Halliwell launched her solo career and
released her debut album Schizophonic. Since then she has released two
more studio albums — Scream If You Wanna Go Faster and Passion — and four
number one singles at the UK Singles Chart, "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me
Up", "Bag It Up" and "It's Raining Men". In 2008 Halliwell published a
book series named Ugenia Lavender.
Halliwell was born at Watford General Hospital, Watford, Hertfordshire
England U.K to Laurence Francis Halliwell (1922-1993), who was of
English,Irish/Swedish descent, and his wife Ana María (née Hidalgo), who
was of Spanish descent from Huesca, Spain. She grew up on on a council
estate in North Watford, Hertfordshire. 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, obtaining an A-level in English at A
grade standard, having taken her GCSEs at Watford Girls Grammar School.
Before starting her music career, Halliwell had worked as a nightclub
dancer in Majorca, a model and presenter on the Turkish version of Let's
Make a Deal and as a glamour model. Following her rise to fame with the
Spice Girls, nude photos of Halliwell were re-published in a number of
top-shelf magazines in the UK, as well as in Playboy and Penthouse.
1994—1998: Spice Girls
Halliwell first found fame as one of the five members of the girl group
the Spice Girls, and was dubbed Ginger Spice by Top of the Pops magazine
in 1996 because of her flaming red hair and sassy yet assertive attitude.
Geri became renowned for wearing outrageous stage costumes and often
garnered extensive publicity.
The group sold over 65 million records and are the best selling girl group
of all time. Their debut single "Wannabe" became the first of nine
number-ones in the United Kingdom 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.
On 30 May 1998 Halliwell left the Spice Girls due to depression and
differences between the group. The first official confirmation was an
announcement to the media by her solicitor on 31 May. Her action aroused
controversy, her former group being due to embark on a North American
tour, which they eventually completed without her. Although she had
already left the group, the Spice Girls released "Viva Forever", the final
music video to feature Halliwell's likeness. After she left, the other
girls co-wrote a few songs about her which appeared on their album:
Forever, "Goodbye" and "Let Love Lead the Way".[
1998—2005: Solo musical career
Shortly after leaving the Spice Girls, Halliwell appeared in a 90 minute
documentary Geri for the British television channel Channel 4 by Molly
Dineen. In 1999 Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut
album Schizophonic, with the lead single "Look at Me", produced by
Absolute and Phil Bucknall. "Look at Me" would go on to sell over one
million copies worldwide, followed by further number ones at the UK
Singles Chart "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me Up" and "Bag It Up". 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
"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. The album was eventually certified Gold, distributing over
500,000 copies. "Mi Chico Latino" did not have a big impact on
Americanradio, and no further singles from Schizophonic or albums were
released in the United States. In 1999 she wrote an autobiography If Only,
in which described her life as a Spice Girl.
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 has been added to the album at the last minute, and
another song "Feels Like Sex" had already been slated as the lead single.
The singles that followed, "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" and "Calling",
reached, respectively, number eight and number seven in the United
Kingdom. Halliwell even released a special French edition of the single,
entitled "Au Nom de L'amour". Scream If You Wanna Go Faster was not
released in the United States.
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. The following year she released her second autobiography, Just for
the Record, detailing her rise to fame and her turbulent celebrity
lifestyle. She has also released two Yoga DVDs with her yoga teacher Katy
Appleton, Geri Yoga and Geri Body Yoga. In the United States Halliwell has
also appeared as a judge on the reality programme All American Girl and as
a guest reporter on celebrity-based series Extra. She has also made
appearances in the television series Sex and the City and in the 2004 film
Fat Slags, based on characters from Viz Magazine. In 2004, Halliwell
appeared on channel Five as 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 number four in the United Kingdom and number one on the
dance charts. However, several months elapsed before another single was
released, during which time she was apparently instructed to record some
new tracks for the as yet unreleased album by her record company, which
was unhappy with the setlist. Halliwell planned her first solo tour of the
United Kingdom and Ireland, but due to lack of ticket sales, compounded by
the label's pressure on Halliwell to record additional songs led to the
cancellation of the tour. Eventually a new single, "Desire", was released
on 30 May 2005, reaching number 22 in the UK Singles Chart and number one
on the UK Dance Charts. Released shortly after, the album Passion
similarly received little attention from the public or critics, and
stalled at number 41 in the UK charts. Halliwell's recording contract with
EMI was subsequently not renewed, and in recent interviews Halliwell has
stated that she is not interested in recording another album at the moment
and was content with writing children's books and being a mother. In 2009
Passion become available in the United States via Amazon.com.
Though Geri has given up singing and continues to write books, rumours are
circulating in the United Kingdom saying that she may record one single
and release a Greatest Hits, but so far this is a rumour and Halliwell has
said nothing about it. In interviews to promote the book series Ugenia
Lavender, Halliwell said she had no plans to return to a solo musical
career in the near future. On November 25, 2009 Halliwell was spotted and
photographed at a studio. So far this has made many fans believe that her
Greatest Hits album may come out.
2007—2008: The Return of the Spice Girls
On 28 June 2007, Halliwell announced she was joining her former
group-mates for "Return of the Spice Girls", a concert tour that would see
all five original members of the Spice Girls re-uniting 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 cover of It's Raining Men. It was announced on 1 February that the
tour would end early, on 26 February 2008.
After her album Passion was a failure, Halliwell fired her managers, the
married team Paul and Katie Conroy in October 2005, and went to Los
Angeles 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.
Sacha Gervasi is reported to be the child's father, but Halliwell has
never publicly confirmed that. On 7 March 2006, Hello! magazine published
an interview with Halliwell, "It is tacky to kiss and tell, I would never
deprive a child of the right to know its father."
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. 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 Halliwell's heroines, the Virgin
Madonna and pop singer Madonna. During her pregnancy Halliwell studied
Kabbalah. On 23 April 2007, all of The Spice Girls except Melanie Brown
attended the christening of Halliwell's daughter, with Victoria Beckham,
Emma Bunton and George Michael's partner Kenny Goss serving as godparents.
On the Spice Girls reunion tour of 2007–08, Halliwell met dancer Ivan
"Flipz" Velez. They dated for six months before breaking up in November
2008. According to the Sun, she became engaged to Italian multimillionaire
Fabrizio Politi in January 2009 after only a month together. However, the
couple broke up in March 2009.
Halliwell is currently residing in a house in Streatley on Thames, just
across the River Thames from George Michael's house in Goring-on-Thames.
At the moment, she has indicated her intention to write novels and has
also indicated she would like to pursue acting. Halliwell revealed on her
official website that she has meetings in Los Angeles coming up and is
writing a book. Speculation is that she's working on a screenplay and
former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller plans to help her break into the
United States. There is also speculation that Halliwell is looking forward
to a launch of her own clothing line at Topshop.