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Geri Halliwell, aka "Ginger Spice," has left the Spice Girls

Spice World collapsing with Ginger's departure?

Web posted on: Monday, June 01, 1998 3:46:56 PM

LONDON (CNN) -- Take out one spice from a favorite recipe and it could lead to a dish lacking in taste. For example, take Ginger Spice -- aka Geri Halliwell -- out of the Spice Girls and, well, you have a pop group that some speculate is lacking the recipe for continued success.

Citing personal differences, Halliwell confirmed on Sunday that she is leaving the pre-Fab Five for new horizons. She was oldest in the group, and was often the most outspoken on the Spice Girl motto: Girl Power.

Now, critics in Great Britain are circling like sharks, as if they had been awaiting the downfall of the pop group ever since the Spice Girls formed in 1996 by answering a magazine ad.


The Spice Girls perfom in Oslo, Norway, sans Ginger:

312k WAV audio file

1Mb QuickTime movie

'Four will become none'

"With Geri Halliwell leaving the band, I don't see them maintaining their dominance within the international music industry," said Sharon Swart, the European Editor of Variety Magazine. "Particularly with the American tour coming up (this summer)."

Despite the assertion from the remaining band members that "the Spice Girls are here to stay," Caroline Sullivan, pop critic for The Guardian, had a harsher vision of the future for Scary, Baby, Posh, and Sporty.

"Four will become none and probably sooner rather than later," she said. "Expect a Spice Girl revival sometime around 2020, when their little-girl core audience hits their 30s and become nostalgic."

Pop pundit Jonathan King agreed.

"I always had the feeling that this was a manufactured band with a two-year shelf life and a built-in demise," King said.

Geri was usually the most outspoken of the Girls

Spice Girls' World

The Spice Girls have always basked in this kind of disrespect from critics.

Though they have sold millions of albums and gained millions of fans with hits songs like "Wannabe," starred in a hit feature film ("Spice World") and charmed world leaders like Prince Charles and Nelson Mandela on their way to becoming a $500 million merchandising and marketing industry, the members have never generated serious musical respect. After all, they don't play musical instruments and don't write their own songs.

They do have a unique charisma, as well as the ability to carry a tune and follow choreographed dance steps, a mix which allowed them to be plugged into the Spice Girl image and sold to the world.

But can the girls power on with the departure of Halliwell? Will the group's core audience of youngsters believe the band still adds up, minus one?

The Spice Girls even appear in television ads hocking potato chips

'Call it a day'

"Some of the magic will be lost now that the girls are only four," said Richard Branson, the head of the Spice Girls' Virgin Records label. "It's sad to see people so close split in this way."

Some said they wouldn't be sad to see the Spice Girls go. After all, this isn't the group from Liverpool.

"The girls should decide now to call it a day," The Daily Express wrote. "Consider: The Beatles are forever the superior of the Rolling Stones because they split."

One thing is certain concerning the Spice Girls: They might be lacking Ginger, but they aren't lacking advice from the critics.

Reporter Jennifer Glasse and Reuters contributed to this report.


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