The former Ginger Spice, pop singer Geri Halliwell, was born August 6, 1972 in London; a onetime topless model and Turkish game show hostess, in March of 1994 she answered an advertisement for an all-girl vocal group, and with fellow applicants Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, and Melanie Chisholm formed the nucleus of what later (with the addition of fifth member Emma Bunton) became the Spice Girls.
The biggest pop phenomenon of the late '90s, the Spice Girls enjoyed a series of chart-topping singles like "Wannabe," "Say You'll Be There," and "2 Become 1". The group's unofficial leader, Halliwell was commonly known in the press as Ginger Spice, notorious for her garishly provocative costumes, thick make-up, and saucy behavior. As the Spice Girls' star continued to skyrocket, they even starred in a film, 1997's Spiceworld; however, after weeks of speculation, Halliwell officially left their ranks in mid-1998 amidst rumors of considerable in-fighting. After exiting the group, her image underwent a radical revamp, as she adopted a natural, demure look much more in keeping with her next job. In the fall of 1998, to the shock of many onlookers, she was named a United Nations ambassador, additionally taking up the cause of breast cancer awareness. Halliwell returned to music in mid-1999 with "Look at Me," which debuted on the U.K. pop charts at the number two spot; the album Schizophonic followed a few weeks later along with her autobiography If Only. Two years she returned with Scream If You Wanna Go Faster, which included her hit cover version of the disco classic "It's Raining Men." Two instructional yoga videos -- Geri Yoga and Geri Body Yoga -- and another book -- Just for the Record -- appeared before her third album, Passion, arrived in 2005. ~ Jason Ankeny, Rovi