The Surprising Way Ginger Spice Became a Spice Girl

In the ’90s, the British pop group Spice Girls toured the globe, spreading the gospel of girl power far and wide. In a way, the young women seemed to appear out of nowhere when they appeared on the world stage.

That wasn’t the case, however. As it often goes with pop music, Scary, Sporty, Ginger, Posh and Baby auditioned for parts in the group. In fact, Geri Horner (neé Halliwell), best known as Ginger Spice, waited a full month after seeing the advertisement to give the recruiting agency a call—ultimately receiving an invitation to the final round of auditions.

“My career with the Spice Girls began when I was just in my early 20s, and I wasn’t a trained singer; I just loved music,” Geri says. “So I was pursuing this solo career, and then, suddenly, in the back of a newspaper was an advert, and it said ‘Wanted: Girl singers for group.’ I said, ‘Well, that’s interesting.'”

She didn’t call right away, though. “Then I cut out the advert, and I put it on my mirror, and it was about a month later I rang them up and said, ‘Are you still looking for girls?'” Geri says. “They said, ‘We’re down to the last 15. You can come if you want.’ So, they’d auditioned hundreds. And so, I sort of kind of queue-jumped accidentally.”

She got along with the girls from the get-go. “I remember meeting the other girls, and I got picked, and I remember thinking, ‘I really like these girls. There’s no guarantee in anything, but I just like them.'”

Tune in Saturday, August 27, at 10/9c for Oprah: Where Are They Now?

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