Victoria Caroline Beckham (née
Adams; born 17 April 1974) is an English singer, songwriter, dancer,
fashion designer, author, businesswoman, actress and model.
During her rise to fame with 1990's pop group the Spice Girls, Beckham was
dubbed Posh Spice, a nickname first coined by the British pop music
magazine, Top of the Pops, in their July, 1996, issue. Since the Spice
Girls followed separate careers, she has dabbled in pop music, scoring
four UK Top 10 singles as a solo artist. Her first single to be released,
"Out of Your Mind", reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and is her
highest chart entry to date. During her solo music career she has been
signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records.
Beckham has found more success as an internationally recognized and
photographed style icon. She has had a career in fashion, designing a line
of jeans for Rock & Republic and later designing her own denim brand, dVb
Style. Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance,
entitled Intimately Beckham, which has been released in the UK and in the
United States. In association with the Japanese store Samantha Thavasa,
she has produced a range of handbags and jewellery. In addition, she has
released two bestselling books; one her autobiography, the other a fashion
In her television ventures, Beckham has had five official documentaries
and reality shows made about her, some of which include Being Victoria
Beckham and The Real Beckhams. Her last documentary to date was Victoria
Beckham: Coming to America which documented her move to the United States
with her family in 2007. She since made a cameo appearance in an episode
of American TV series Ugly Betty, and been a guest judge on Project
Runway, Germany's Next Topmodel, and American Idol (season 9).
Beckham is married to English footballer David Beckham with whom she has
three sons, Brooklyn, Romeo and Cruz. As of 2009, the couple's joint
wealth is estimated at £125 million.
Victoria Caroline Adams was born to Anthony and Jacqueline Adams at the
Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex and raised in Goffs Oak,
Hertfordshire. Beckham's father was an electronics engineer and the
success of the family business meant a wealthy upbringing for Victoria and
her siblings, Louise and Christian.
Beckham attended St. Mary's High School in Cheshunt. She was embarrassed
by her family's wealth and often begged her father not to drop her off
outside the school in their Rolls Royce. During her schooling days,
Beckham says she was a victim of bullying, being made to feel like an
outsider. She commented "Children were literally picking things up out of
the puddles and throwing them at me. And I just stood there, on my own. No
one was with me. I didn't have any friends."
After Beckham had watched the musical, Fame, it inspired her and she
subsequently decided that she would want to become famous. It was then
that her parents enrolled her at Jason Theatre School. At 17, she attended
Laine Theatre Arts College in Epsom, Surrey and studied dance and
modeling. She was also in a band called Persuasion.
Victoria Adams (as she then was) joined the all-girl group Spice Girls,
first called "Touch," in 1994, with Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie
Brown and Melanie Chisholm. She had previously answered an advertisement
in The Stage in March 1993 which required girls who were "street smart,
extrovert, ambitious and able to sing and dance".
The group's first single, "Wannabe", went to number one in the UK, in the
United States and other 29 countries, and would be followed by eight other
successful number one singles from their albums, Spice, Spiceworld and
Forever. Each member of the group received a nickname from the media.
Victoria was called Posh Spice because of her refined attitude,
form-fitting designer outfits, such as little black dresses, and her love
of high-heeled footwear. The group was one of the most successful pop acts
of the 1990s, selling over fifty-five million records worldwide. After the
release of their third album, Forever (UK#2), which was much less
successful than their previous two albums, the Spice Girls stopped
recording, leading Beckham to try to build a solo career.
In 2007, the Spice Girls reformed and announced plans to embark upon a
comeback tour, from which they were said to have made £10 million each
($20 million). Victoria had previously stated that she and her former
Spice colleagues were enjoying their solo careers in various fields. She
said "We're all still doing our own thing." Their "Greatest Hits" album
was released in early November, and the tour began on 2 December 2007.
Beckham has stated "I wanted my children to see that Mummy was a pop star.
It was the last opportunity for them to stand in a crowd full of people
screaming for the Spice Girls." When Beckham had her hair coloured brown
for the reunion tour, she stated that her sons immediately reacted by
saying "Oh my goodness, it's Posh Spice. She's back." During one Spice
Girls performance at London's The O2 Arena, her three sons accompanied her
on stage during "Mama", along with the other Spice Girls' children. She is
the only member of the group not to sing a solo song on the tour, instead
doing a makeshift catwalk and pose in the style of a fashion show, whereas
the others each perform a number from their solo careers. One critic wrote
"This time around Posh gets the biggest cheer when she sings her solo
lines. She knows it too - and it seems to give her more and more
confidence as the show goes on."
Filmmaker Bob Smeaton has directed an official documentary on the reunion.
It is entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything and was first aired on
Fox8 in Australia. It later aired in the United Kingdom on 31 December
2007 on BBC One.
As well as the sell-out tour, the Spice Girls were contracted to appear in
Tesco advertisements, for which they were paid £1 million each.
On 14 August 2000, Victoria released her first solo single, "Out of Your
Mind" in collaboration with Dane Bowers and Truesteppers. The week of
release coincided with the release of "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by
Spiller ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, resulting in a chart battle dubbed 'Posh
vs. Posher' by the tabloids. Following a huge publicity campaign, "Out Of
Your Mind" was outsold by Ellis-Bextor, and debuted at number two in the
UK Singles Chart. Before the single's release, on 8 July 2000 she made her
public solo debut at London's Hyde Park at a concert to raise money for
the Prince's Trust charity. She sang "Out of Your Mind" to a
Beckham then signed recording contract with her group label Virgin
Records. Her next single as a solo artist, "Not Such An Innocent Girl",
was released on 17 September 2001. Again, she faced competition in another
hugely hyped chart battle, this time with Kylie Minogue's single "Can't
Get You Out Of My Head". Despite a huge promotional campaign, Beckham was
outsold eight to one, and the single debuted at number 6. Beckham's debut
album, eponymously entitled Victoria Beckham, was released on 1 October
2001, and reached number 10 in the UK album chart The album cost a reputed
£5 million to produce and it sold a modest 50,000 copies.
The second and final single to be released from the album was "A Mind of
Its Own" on 11 February 2002. The single reached number 6 in the UK and
sold 56,500 copies. Rumours soon started spreading that Beckham was soon
to be dropped by her label for not charting in the top 3. These were
strongly refuted at the time. Beckham commented "You know what newspapers
are like, they just like to put all the negative stuff in, but as far as
I'm concerned and the record company is concerned it is all great."
A third single, "I Wish", was promoted but never materialized. The single
version was a remix featuring Robbie Craig, and was performed on TV on
Friday Night's All Wright. Following the announcement of Beckham's second
pregnancy, the single was shelved. Beckham was then departed from the
label Virgin Records. A statement was issued, which read "No-one has been
dropped. The Virgin deal has come to a natural end and both parties have
decided not to continue."
Telstar Records signed Beckham in 2002 in a deal made with Simon Fuller's
19 Management. The contract was worth £1.5 million. Beckham spent much of
2002 recording a pop-influenced album called Open Your Eyes which yielded
the single "Let Your Head Go", but she allegedly chose not to release it
after being disappointed with the results. Instead of pop, Beckham wanted
to record tracks with a more RnB and hip hop influence, creating a more
urban sound. She began working with urban producer Damon Dash. During this
time, it was reported that Dash slighted Beckham, stating "If we can make
Victoria hot, we can make anybody hot." When he was first asked why he was
working with Beckham he stated "Because I see how much she gets
photographed over here." A Dash-produced track "It's That Simple"
featuring M.O.P. was created, and received a premiere on radio stations in
July 2003. This generated mixed reviews, and further criticism, with the
feeling being that Beckham was far from convincing as an urban act.
Beckham's first single with Telstar Records, "Let Your Head Go / This
Groove", was released in the UK on 29 December 2003, following heavy
promotion and many TV appearances across the Christmas period with the
video being directed by Andy Hylton (http://www.andyhylton.com) The single
charted at number 3 in the UK. This double A-side lifted "Let Your Head
Go" from Beckham's earlier pop-inspired work with "This Groove" one of her
Hip-Hop/R'n'B songs and remains Beckham's last single release to date. She
is currently the only Spice Girl never to have had a British solo number
one, though she is also the only Spice Girl to have all her single/album
releases go Top 10. Outside of the UK, Damon Dash had plans for Beckham in
the United States, including a potential release of "Let Your Head Go /
This Groove" under the name of "Posh Spice Victoria Beckham". The release
was proposed for sometime between March to May 2004, but never occurred.
With the UK media describing her solo music career a failure, and combined
with a rumoured fall-out between Dash and Fuller, her hip hop album, Come
Together, was not released. Amidst the collapse of Telstar Records,
remaining plans for Beckham's music career were cancelled.
Victoria Beckham is the only Spice Girl to have all of her singles and
albums chart in the top 10 of the UK charts, but she also has released
fewer albums (1) and singles (4).
Beckham's autobiography, entitled Learning to Fly, was released on 13
September 2001. The title was taken from a line in a song from the musical
Fame, which Beckham enjoyed as a child. The verse that inspired the title
goes "I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly". The book
documents her childhood, time during the Spice Girls, her marriage and
family life, as well as her career at the time. Learning to Fly became the
third best-selling non-fiction title of 2001 and the total UK sales stand
at more than 500,000 copies. When the book was first released, it went to
number 1 in the book charts after four weeks of release, sending Robbie
Williams' book to second. A high-profile guest appearance on Parkinson,
watched by 9 million people, helped to promote the book. Before the
publishing of the book, Hello!, The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday
joined to buy the rights to preview and serialise the book before its
release. The figure paid was thought to be near £1 million.
Beckham was quoted by a Spanish journalist in 2005 as saying "I've never
read a book in my life". She later claimed this was a mistranslation from
the original Spanish in which the interview was printed, saying she
actually stated that she never had time to finish reading a book because
she was always too busy looking after her children.
Beckham's second book, a fashion advice guide, entitled That Extra Half an
Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between, was published on 27 October
2006. That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between
includes tips from Beckham on fashion, style and beauty, and also contains
photography by Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel. The book
became another bestseller, and has sold 400,000 copies in Britain alone
since it was published in hardcover. The rights have since been sold to
the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Lithuania, Russia,
and most recently China.
Beckham has shot five official reality documentaries. The first, dated 11
January 2000, was called Victoria's Secrets, a programme only shown in the
UK on Channel4 which involved Beckham being followed by cameras while also
discussing and interviewing other British celebrities, such as Sir Elton
John. The second one Being Victoria Beckham was broadcasted in March 2002
and saw Beckham discussing her career as a solo artist, with the release
of her first album, also showing her at various photo shoots and recording
sessions. The documentary attracted a strong audience of 8.83 million,
coming top in its timeslot. One critic described her as "so clearly
level-headed, happy with her not inconsiderable lot and seemingly unfazed
by the madly intrusive nature of her monumentally ridiculous fame". The
third, The Real Beckhams which aired on 24 December 2003 on ITV1, focused
on the Beckhams' move to Madrid from London after David Beckham was signed
to Real Madrid. It also featured Victoria Beckham re-launching her solo
career and showed her mocking the tabloid stories she reads in the paper
every day. The special received an audience of 6.10 million viewers and
was later released on DVD on 2 February 2004.
The fourth was entitled Full Length & Fabulous: The Beckhams' 2006 World
Cup Party, which followed Victoria and David Beckham organising and making
preparations to host a 2006 World Cup Party at a marquee in the grounds of
their mansion in Hertfordshire, which aimed to raise money for their
charity. Two tickets to attend the ball were auctioned online for charity,
and sold for £103,000. The documentary aired on 28 May 2006 and showed the
event itself, where the menu was designed especially by friend and chef
Gordon Ramsay and the charity auction was hosted by Graham Norton. Ramsay
catered for 600 guests, with the aid of 40 chefs and 100 waiting staff.
The ITV documentary attracted an average of 7.56 million viewers.
To document Victoria Beckham's preparations for her family's move to the
United States, she signed a deal with NBC for six episodes of a half-hour
unscripted reality TV series. Despite the originally planned six episodes,
the show was cut to a one hour special only as there "just wasn't enough
(material) for a series." The show, called Victoria Beckham: Coming to
America, aired on 16 July 2007 in the US and Canada. It was heavily
scrutinised by the American media and critics, with The New York Post
describing it as "an orgy of self-indulgence" and also describing Beckham
as "vapid and condescending". The programme was the third-most-watched
programme in its time-slot and received viewing figures of 4.9 million in
the US, beaten by a repeat of Wife Swap and two sitcoms. The programme
aired in Britain on 17 July 2007 on ITV with 3.84 million viewers tuning
in. The programme was produced by Simon Fuller who managed her and the
Spice Girls on their come-back tour.[
In July 2007, it was announced that Beckham was shortly to begin filming a
cameo appearance playing herself in an episode of the second season of
ABC's TV series Ugly Betty. The episode, "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding",
aired on 9 November 2007 in the United States and on 23 November in the
United Kingdom. Beckham's first line was "This is major", said when
bursting through a curtain at a dress fitting for a wedding, in which she
was the bridesmaid. Beckham has said she only agreed to the part because
of her interest in fashion, and not for the acting opportunity. Despite
her forays into television, Beckham has denied plans to embark upon an LA
In February 2008, it was revealed that Beckham would be the guest judge
for the fourth season finale of Project Runway, which aired on 5 March
2008 in the United States. She was especially complimentary of winner
Christian Siriano's designs, saying they were very much to her taste and
Victoria Adams started dating football player David Beckham in 1997 after
they had met at a charity football match, prompting him to request a
meeting with her. Of their initial meeting she said, "I didn't really know
who he was. I was never into football." The couple announced their
engagement in 1998 and were dubbed "Posh and Becks" by the media. On 4
July 1999 they were married by the Bishop of Cork, William Paul Colton, at
Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland. The wedding attracted much media coverage.
David Beckham's team-mate, Gary Neville, was the best man, and the
couple's four month old infant son Brooklyn was the ring bearer. Most of
the media were kept away from the ceremony as an exclusive deal with OK!
Magazine had been arranged, but photographs were released showing the
Beckhams sitting on golden thrones. A total of 437 staff were employed for
the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000. The
couple bought what would become their most famous home for £2.5 million in
1999; the property, which is set in 24 acres (97,000 m2) of land, was duly
given a £3 million renovation and was subsequently dubbed Beckingham
Palace by the media.
The couple have three children, Brooklyn Joseph Beckham (born 4 March 1999
in London), Romeo James Beckham (born 1 September 2002 in London), and
Cruz David Beckham (born 20 February 2005 in Madrid, Spain) Elton John and
David Furnish are reportedly the godparents of Brooklyn and Romeo, and the
godmother is Elizabeth Hurley. The Beckhams have stated that they would
like to have more children, especially a daughter.
In January 2000, a tip-off to Scotland Yard detectives exposed a plot to
kidnap Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham and hold them at a house in
Hampstead, London. The family was then moved to a secret location, but no
arrests were made. Later in March 2000, she received a death threat prior
to performing at the Brit Awards with the Spice Girls, and in the show's
rehearsal, a red laser light appeared on her chest and she was rushed off
stage. After a fire door was found to be lodged open, it was thought that
there had been an assassin there, and Beckham later revealed that she was
terrified by the experience. In November 2002, five people were arrested
after another plot for her kidnap was infiltrated by a tabloid newspaper.
All charges were dropped after a witness was deemed unreliable.
In 2004, allegations surfaced that David Beckham had had a brief affair
with a former personal assistant, Rebecca Loos. The affair had apparently
taken place when David had moved to Madrid, although he denied all the
The Beckhams moved to Los Angeles, California on 12 July 2007 as a result
of David Beckham being signed to play for the LA Galaxy. On arrival in
America on 12 July 2007, the couple were met by hundreds of paparazzi and
media representatives, causing a media frenzy. They are now residing in a
$22 million Beverly Hills mansion with 10 security guards. To create
publicity for their move to America, the couple were photographed in their
underwear for the fashion magazine, W, which also included an interview in
which Victoria Beckham said that David's supposed affair with Loos made
their marriage stronger.
It was reported in October 2007 that Beckham had turned down the
opportunity to appear in Sex and the City: The Movie. She stated in an
interview: "...asked to be in the Sex and the City film, which I would
have loved to have done, but because I am in full-on Spice Girls rehearsal
mode, unfortunately, I can't do it."
Beckham's marriage and career as a singer have made her the 52nd richest
woman in Britain and the 619th richest person in Britain with husband
David, with an estimated joint wealth of £112 million ($225 million USD).