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Victoria Beckham Bio
Victoria Beckham (born April 17, 1974 as Victoria Adams) is an English businesswoman, fashion designer, model and singer. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British music magazine Top of the Pops. After the Spice Girls split, she was signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records and had four UK Top 10 singles. Her first release, “Out of Your Mind“, reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.
Beckham has participated in five official documentaries and reality shows about her, including Being Victoria Beckham, The Real Beckhams, and Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. She has since made a cameo appearance in an episode of Ugly Betty, and been a guest judge on Project Runway, Germany’s Next Topmodel, and American Idol. She is married to David Beckham and they have four children. As of 2014, the couple’s joint wealth is estimated at £380 million.
In the past decade, Beckham has become an internationally recognised style icon and fashion designer. Following high-profile collaborations with other brands, she launched an eponymous label in 2008 and a lower-priced (diffusion) label in 2011. The Victoria Beckham label was named designer brand of the year in the UK in 2011; in 2012 the brand was assessed as the star performer in the Beckham family’s business interests. Writing in the Daily Telegraph in 2011, Belinda White noted that the transition from WAG to fashion designer had been more successful than most had predicted, saying: “She has gathered a significant celebrity following and won over the scathing fashion pack who now clamour for a ticket to her bi-annual show at New York Fashion Week.”
1994–2000: Spice Girls
2000–02: Victoria Beckham
On 14 August 2000, Beckham released her first solo single, “Out of Your Mind” in collaboration with Dane Bowers and Truesteppers. The week of release coincided with the release of “Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)” by Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor, resulting in a chart battle dubbed ‘Posh vs. Posher’ by the tabloids. Before the single’s release, on 8 July 2000, Beckham made her public solo debut at London’s Hyde Park at a concert to raise money for the Prince’s Trust charity. She sang “Out of Your Mind” to a 100,000-strong audience. Beckham then signed a recording contract with her group label Virgin Records. Her next single as a solo artist, “Not Such An Innocent Girl“, was released on 17 September 2001. Again, she faced competition in another hugely hyped chart battle, this time with Kylie Minogue‘s single “Can’t Get You Out of My Head“. Despite a huge promotional campaign, Beckham was outsold eight to one, and her single debuted at number 6. Beckham’s eponymous debut album, which was released on 1 October 2001, reached Number 10 in the UK album chart. The album cost a reputed £5 million to produce and it sold a modest 50,000 copies.
The second and final single to be released from the album was “A Mind of Its Own” on 11 February 2002. The single reached number 6 in the UK and sold 56,500 copies. Rumours soon spread that Beckham was to be dropped by her label for not charting in the Top Three. These were strongly refuted at the time. Beckham commented “You know what newspapers are like, they just like to put all the negative stuff in, but as far as I’m concerned and the record company is concerned it is all great.” A third single, “I Wish”, was promoted but never materialised. The single version was a remix featuring Robbie Craig, and was performed on TV on Friday Night’s All Wright. Following the announcement of Beckham’s second pregnancy, the single was shelved. Beckham was reportedly dropped by Virgin Records along with fellow Spice Girls Emma Bunton and Melanie B,; but a statement from her publicist denied reports, stating: “No-one has been dropped. The Virgin deal has come to a natural end and both parties have decided not to continue.”
2002–04: Unreleased albums and end of solo career
In 2002, Beckham signed a contract with Telstar Records and 19 Management worth £1.5 million. Beckham then began recording a pop-influenced album, Open Your Eyes, which yielded the single “Let Your Head Go”, but she allegedly chose not to release it after being disappointed with the results. Instead of pop, Beckham wanted a more urban sound and worked with urban producer Damon Dash to work on the R&B and hip hop influenced album Come Together. When Dash was first asked why he recorded with Beckham, he stated: “Because I see how much she gets photographed over here.” A Dash-produced track “It’s That Simple” featuring M.O.P. premiered on radio stations in July 2003, generating mixed reviews. Beckham’s first single with Telstar, “Let Your Head Go” / “This Groove“, was released in the UK on 29 December 2003, following heavy promotion and many TV appearances across the Christmas period with the video being directed by Andy Hylton. The single charted at number three in the UK. This double A-side lifted “Let Your Head Go” from Beckham’s earlier pop-inspired work with “This Groove” one of her hip hop and R&B songs and remains Beckham’s last single release to date. Outside of the UK, Damon Dash had plans for Beckham in the US, including a potential release of “Let Your Head Go / This Groove” under the name of “Posh Spice Victoria Beckham”. The release was proposed for sometime between March to May 2004, but never eventuated.
With the UK media describing her solo music career a failure, combined with a rumoured fall-out between Dash and Fuller, her hip hop album, Come Together, was not released. Beckham’s final attempt at a solo career came with the announcement of a new single “My Love Is for Real”, in which she switched back from urban music to pop. She was dismissed from Telstar when the company became bankrupt, and gave up music to focus her fashion career.
2007–12: Return of the Spice Girls
In 2007, the Spice Girls reformed and announced plans to embark upon a reunion tour, from which they were said to have earned £10 million each (approximately $20 million). Victoria had previously stated that she and her former Spice colleagues were enjoying their solo careers in various fields, saying “We’re all still doing our own thing.” Their Greatest Hits album was released in early November 2007 and the tour began on 2 December 2007. At its advent, Beckham said “I wanted my children to see that Mummy was a pop star. It was the last opportunity for them to stand in a crowd full of people screaming for the Spice Girls.” When Beckham had her hair coloured brown for the tour, she stated that her sons immediately reacted by saying “Oh my goodness, it’s Posh Spice. She’s back.” She was the only member of the group not to sing a solo song on the tour, instead posing in the style of a fashion show on a makeshift catwalk, whereas the others each performed a number from their solo careers.
Film-maker Bob Smeaton directed an official film of the tour titled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything, which was first aired on Fox8 in Australia. It later aired in the UK on 31 December 2007 on BBC One. As well as their sell-out tour, the Spice Girls were contracted to appear in Tesco advertisements, for which they were paid £1 million each.
In October 2009, reports suggested that the Spice Girls were to star in a reality show in which they would cast female actors to play their roles in a musical. The following year, Judy Craymer teamed up with the Spice Girls and Simon Fuller to start developing a Spice Girls musical titled Viva Forever. On 26 June 2012, all five Spice Girls were in attendance at a press conference in London to promote the launch of Viva Forever: The Musical. The musical is due to open at the West End’s Piccadilly Theatre on 11 December 2012. On 12 August 2012, after much speculation, Beckham and the Spice Girls performed a medley of “Wannabe” and “Spice Up Your Life” at the 2012 Summer Olympics closing ceremony, reuniting solely for the event. Their performance was the most tweeted moment of Olympics closing ceremony with over 116,000 tweets on Twitter per minute.
Beckham has shot five official documentaries. The first, dated 11 January 2000, was called Victoria’s Secrets, a programme only shown in the UK on Channel 4. It involved Beckham being followed by cameras while also discussing and interviewing other British celebrities, such as Elton John. The second, Being Victoria Beckham, was broadcast in March 2002 and saw Beckham discussing her career as a solo artist with the release of her first album, and also showed her at various photo shoots and recording sessions. The documentary attracted a strong audience of 8.83 million, coming top in its timeslot. One critic described her as “so clearly level-headed, happy with her not inconsiderable lot and seemingly unfazed by the madly intrusive nature of her monumentally ridiculous fame”. The third, The Real Beckhams, aired on 24 December 2003 on ITV1 and focused on the Beckhams’ move to Madrid from London after David Beckham was signed to Real Madrid. It also featured Victoria Beckham re-launching her solo career and showed her mocking the tabloid stories she reads in the paper every day. The special received an audience of 6.10 million viewers and was later released on DVD on 2 February 2004.
The fourth was titled Full Length & Fabulous: The Beckhams’ 2006 World Cup Party, and followed Victoria and David Beckham organising and making preparations to host a 2006 World Cup Party at a marquee in the grounds of their mansion in Hertfordshire, which aimed to raise money for their charity. Two tickets to attend the ball were auctioned on-line for charity, and sold for £103,000. The documentary aired on 28 May 2006 and showed the event itself, where the menu was designed especially by friend and chef Gordon Ramsay and the charity auction was hosted by Graham Norton. Ramsay catered for 600 guests, with the aid of 40 chefs and 100 waiting staff. The ITV documentary attracted an average of 7.56 million viewers.
To document Victoria Beckham’s preparations for her family’s move to the US, she signed a deal with NBC for six episodes of a half-hour unscripted reality TV series. Despite original plans for six episodes, the show was cut to a one-hour special only as there “just wasn’t enough (material) for a series.” The show, called Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, aired on 16 July 2007 in the US and Canada. It was heavily scrutinised by the American media and critics, with The New York Post describing it as “an orgy of self-indulgence” and also describing Beckham as “vapid and condescending”. The programme was the third-most-watched programme in its time-slot and received viewing figures of 4.9 million in the US, beaten by a repeat of Wife Swap and two sitcoms. The programme aired in Britain on 17 July 2007 on ITV with 3.84 million viewers tuning in. The programme was produced by Simon Fuller who managed her and the Spice Girls on their come-back tour.
In July 2007, it was announced that Beckham would shortly begin filming a cameo appearance as herself in an episode of the second season of ABC‘s TV series Ugly Betty. The episode, “A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding“, aired on 9 November 2007 in the United States and on 23 November in the United Kingdom. Despite her forays into television, Beckham has denied plans to embark upon a Hollywood movie career. In February 2008, it was revealed that Beckham would be the guest judge for the finale of fourth season of Project Runway, which aired on 5 March 2008 in the US.
It was reported in October 2007 that Beckham had turned down the opportunity to appear in Sex and the City: The Movie. She stated in an interview: “[I was] asked to be in the Sex and the City film, which I would have loved to have done, but because I am in full-on Spice Girls rehearsal mode, unfortunately, I can’t do it.”