Scary Spice Explains The Super Honest Story Behind The Spice Girls’ Nicknames

For those of us who are huge Spice Girls fans, there are still a few mysteries about the band and its origins that have been glossed over during the past few decades.

Fortunately, Scary Spice is here to clear up a few of these queries.

Melanie Brown, or “Mel B,” appeared on The Late Show last night to discuss her most recent turn on Broadway, playing Roxie in the long-running musical Chicago. Naturally, the conversation eventually veered into Spice Girls territory, and Mel recounted how the band initially formed — a story that’s often gotten a bit muddied over the years.

“The actual, real, original story is there was an original audition for a girl group, but the guy wouldn’t sign us,” Mel says. “So us five sort of collected ourselves together, we lived on ‘the welfare,’ and we kind of worked on our music, and created our first and second album by promising people that we’d pay them back.”

(For the record, this is a highly simplified version of what actually happened, as the girls technically “made it” into the group after the audition and were put up in a house in Maidenhead to work on their first album. They later left Heart Management due to creative differences.)

Apparently it wasn’t until the band met producer and manager Simon Fuller that they really started to get any traction. “We found Simon and the whole band erupted.”

She also clears up the mystery behind the Spice Girls’ infamous monikers of Scary, Sporty, Posh, Ginger and Baby — and the real story is far less glamorous or significant than we all probably imagined.

“I guess, you know, girl groups weren’t every popular. It was all about the boy groups. So, we had this one journalist that I guess was extremely lazy, couldn’t be bothered all of our names, and just gave us, like, nicknames. Like ‘Oh yeah, that one’s a bit scary, that one’s a bit posh, that one’s a bit sporty, that one’s a bit baby — and they just kind of stuck.”

So the girls didn’t even get to choose their own nicknames! Which I suppose makes sense, because who would honestly choose the name “Scary” to describe themselves?

However, Mel says she was actually quite fond of her nickname. “I was like ‘Well, I like mine, because at least I’m scaring people before I even walk in the room. So watch out!'”

It’s nice to relive the nostalgia through these stories, since the current attempts at organizing a Spice Girls reunion are going rather poorly. In fact, Victoria Beckham, formerly known as “Posh Spice,” is reportedly suing the rest of the group to prevent them from performing the songs written during their Spice Girls days.

Oh, well. Let’s all just live in the mid-’90s and pretend that Spice World is still the perfect place it once was  — complete with an astoundingly large double-decker Union Jack bus. With their simple and persistent message of “Girl Power,” we need the Spice Girls now more than ever.

Share Tweet E-email