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|Also Known As:||Posh Spice, Victoria Adams||Died:|
|Born:||April 17, 1974||Cause of Death:|
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As a member of one of Britain's best-selling pop music acts of all time, to being one-half of that country's reigning power couple, shockingly lithe singer-turned-fashionista Victoria Beckham went from pop superstar to global media magnet in under a decade. She first turned heads as the resident glamour girl "Posh Spice" - she of the sultry looks and muted vocals -in the late 1990s pop creation, The Spice Girls, before setting England's press ablaze as the wife of football (i.e., soccer) superstar, David Beckham. Such was the public and media fascination with "Posh and Becks," as they were called in the press, that when Beckham announced his intentions to cross the pond and play for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, all of Hollywood came knocking, offering up everything from reality TV shows to million-dollar endorsement deals.Born Victoria Adams on April 17, 1974 and raised in the affluent Goff's Oak section of Hertfordshire, England, Adams was the oldest of three siblings that included younger sister, Louise, and brother, Christian. Her father, a former singer of the sixties group, The Sonics, supported the family with a profitable electrical business. As a child, Adams was somewhat of a loner at St....
As a member of one of Britain's best-selling pop music acts of all time, to being one-half of that country's reigning power couple, shockingly lithe singer-turned-fashionista Victoria Beckham went from pop superstar to global media magnet in under a decade. She first turned heads as the resident glamour girl "Posh Spice" - she of the sultry looks and muted vocals -in the late 1990s pop creation, The Spice Girls, before setting England's press ablaze as the wife of football (i.e., soccer) superstar, David Beckham. Such was the public and media fascination with "Posh and Becks," as they were called in the press, that when Beckham announced his intentions to cross the pond and play for the L.A. Galaxy soccer team, all of Hollywood came knocking, offering up everything from reality TV shows to million-dollar endorsement deals.
Born Victoria Adams on April 17, 1974 and raised in the affluent Goff's Oak section of Hertfordshire, England, Adams was the oldest of three siblings that included younger sister, Louise, and brother, Christian. Her father, a former singer of the sixties group, The Sonics, supported the family with a profitable electrical business. As a child, Adams was somewhat of a loner at St. Mary's High, self-conscious about her looks and in awe of her younger social butterfly sister. Adams instead focused on ballet, often immersing herself in dance classes after school. At the age of 16, she went off to study performing arts at Laine Arts Theatre College in Epsom, but unhappy there, left three years later. She headed instead to Birmingham, spending three months performing in the musical "Bertie."
In 1993, Adams was singing with a promising group called Persuasion. While attractive onstage, however, Adams hardly had the pipes of her fellow singers. Five months later, she answered a splashy ad in The Stage trade paper that requested a need for career-minded female singer-dancers. Auditioning for manager Bob Herbert, she became one of five girls narrowed down from hundreds of hopefuls; effectively leaving Persuasion behind for a shot at the big time. Originally christened Touch by Herbert, subsequent producer Elliot Kennedy added "Spice" to the Quintet's name and, after some tweaking, the Spice Girls came to the attention of 19 Entertainment mogul, Simon Fuller. Due to her wealthy upbringing and "to-the-manner-born" persona, Adams was dubbed "Posh Spice," joining her new bandmates "Sporty Spice" (Melanie Chisholm), "Baby Spice" (Emma Bunton), "Scary Spice" (Melanie Brown) and "Ginger Spice" (Geri Halliwell). Signing with Fuller and Virgin Records in 1995, the Spice Girls stormed the charts one year later with a very danceable track called "Wannabe," followed by the enormously popular album it stemmed from, Spice (1996). A homegrown phenomenon right out of the gate, the Spice Girls had yet to enjoy international success that year. But that was about to change.
In 1997, "Wannabe" hit number one in the U.S. as well, and like the Beatles before them, the Spice Girls invaded America, sparking "Spicemania." All five girls became instant stars, adorning bedsheets and lunchboxes almost immediately. Young girls proclaimed "girl power!" and argued over just which Spice girl they were the most like while young boys embarrassingly admitted that "Wannabe" and its follow-up single, "Say You'll Be There" were undeniably catchy tunes. While riding a wave of publicity and hype, Adams - who had never taken her musical aspirations all that seriously - had set her sights on Manchester United star David Beckham, whom she first met locally when she attended a Manchester United/Chelsea match. By April, the news had broken in the UK press that the two were a couple, but at that time, Adams was a bigger star than Beckham, so it was duly noted.
By the close of 1997, the Spice Girls were at their peak of their popularity, with a second album, Spiceworld released to great success and a movie of the same name modestly-received by the public in early 1998. Things came to a crashing halt, however, when unofficial group leader Gerri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell left the group in May. The remaining four took some time off to regroup, at which point Adams and Beckham, who were now constant tabloid fodder, had a son, Brooklyn, the following March - four months before their lavish July 4 wedding at Ireland's Luttrellstown Castle.
Released in 2000, Forever - the third and final Spice Girls LP release - included their recent single "Goodbye," but the album retained little of the original sound and petered out; a bittersweet finale to the group's brief, whirlwind career. That year, the newly christened Victoria Beckham began weighing her options for a solo career. A new single, "Out of Your Mind," led to a solo contract with Virgin, and she began working on album material. In September 2001, she released her autobiography, Learning to Fly, which traced her rise to international celebrity. Two months later, the solo album she had been working on with a team of producers, a 12-track collection of pop and funk tunes simply entitled Victoria Beckham, was released, but did little to further her solo music career. The album's trajectory was hampered by marginal response to its two singles, "Not Such an Innocent Girl" and "A Mind of its Own," and a UK media-created competition between Beckham and more seasoned Australian pop superstar, Kylie Minogue.
Though it seemed she was a part of a bygone era, in 2002, Beckham was determined to finish a second album, to be released on Telstar Records. At first, recording pop-oriented material to crack the charts, she decided to switch gears and move into a grittier sound. During the album sessions, she had amassed a fair number of songs, but in the wake of its ambivalent direction, halted work to concentrate on her second child, Romeo, born on Sept. 1, 2002. Telstar released a single, "Let Your Head Go/This Groove" in December 2003, but already on shaky financial ground at the time, was out of business only two years later.
By 2003, it seemed as though Beckham's musical opportunities were taking a backseat to her husband's celebrity - the frenzy of which had culminated with his defection from Manchester United for Real Madrid's soccer team. The public fascination with the couple, predominantly felt mainly in Europe at that time, resulted in much drama for the couple. That November, five men were arrested and charged with hatching a plot to kidnap her for a ransom worth $8 million. In April 2004, Victoria Beckham stood by her man when her husband's former assistant, Rebecca Loos, laid claim to an extramarital affair. The couple showed their resilience and expanded their family once again with a third son, Cruz, who was born in February of 2005. Rumors of anorexia plagued the singer, as she quickly lost weight, seemingly shrinking before the world's eyes. As a final insult, her Telstar material was leaked to the internet in 2006, eliciting critical snickers for its lackluster quality. Knowing perhaps that the "gig was up," Beckham moved on from her music career, preferring to focus on fashion with the launch of a fragrance line, "Intimately Beckham."
In January of 2007, David Beckham announced he would sign with the Los Angeles Galaxy for a staggering $250 million contract, uprooting his family from England to the United States. Shortly after the announcement hear 'round the world, the Beckhams began planting roots in California and making headlines for their quick immersion into Los Angeles' celebrity culture - especially their out-of-nowhere friendship with Scientology's favorite couple, Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes. Beckham fascinated the jaded L.A. paparazzi, who followed her en masse as she left lunch at the Ivy or house-hunted for a new home. Their overseas move was so dramatic, it was documented for a six-episode reality television show, produced by Victoria Beckham's old management company, 19 Entertainment, and slated for NBC's summer 2007 line-up.
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