The Spice Girls is one of the most successful girl groups of all time. But did you know the Spice Girls’ nicknames came about because of a lazy journalist?
How the Spice Girls got their nicknames
According to Mel B, aka Scary Spice, in an interview with American Songwriter (cited below), the group was doing a photo shoot with a journalist who was struggling to remember their names. As a quick fix, he started calling them by nicknames based on their personalities: Mel B was Scary Spice, Emma Bunton was Baby Spice, Geri Halliwell was Ginger Spice, Victoria Beckham was Posh Spice, and Melanie Chisholm was Sporty Spice. The nicknames stuck and became part of the Spice Girls’ brand.
The band’s name was also changed. “When we first started [with the name Touch], we were pretty bland,” Mel C. told The Guardian. “We felt like we had to fit into a mold. And then we realized that we were quite different personalities, different to each other and to all the female groups in the past. We also realized there was a lot of strength in that.”
The “lazy journalist” speaks
Peter Loraine, the editor of Top of the Pops, is the “lazy journalist” in question. He later explained how the Spice Girls’ nickname came about, saying “I simply said it would be a good idea if they had some nicknames.“
“Posh was the first one to be thought up because Victoria looks pretty sophisticated,” Loraine said. “The rest were pretty easy really because the girls’ characters were already really strong … The names jumped out at us...We laughed the most when we came up with Scary … because Mel B was so loud and had tried to take over our whole photo shoot. We ran the names for a couple of issues and the first time the girls saw them they thought it was funny. Then the newspapers started picking up on the names and they cropped up everywhere until they were fully accepted by everyone.”
Loraine never intended for the names to catch on globally.
Source: “Behind the Group Name and the Spice Names of the Spice Girls” — American Songwriter