Geraldine Estelle Halliwell-Horner[1][2] (née Halliwell; born 6 August 1972) is an English singer, songwriter, television personality, author, and actress. She rose to fame in the 1990s as a member of the pop group the Spice Girls, in which she was nicknamed Ginger Spice. With over 100 million records sold worldwide,[3] the Spice Girls are the best-selling female group of all time. Their slogan "girl power" was most closely associated with Halliwell[4] and her Union Jack dress from the 1997 Brit Awards also became an enduring symbol.[5][6] Halliwell left the Spice Girls in 1998, citing exhaustion and creative differences, but rejoined when they reunited for a greatest hits album (2007) and two concert tours: the Return of the Spice Girls (2007–2008) and Spice World (2019).[7]

Geri Halliwell
Halliwell in 2019
Geraldine Estelle Halliwell

(1972-08-06) 6 August 1972 (age 51)
Other names
  • Geri Horner
  • Ginger Spice
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • television personality
  • author
  • actress
Years active1994–present
(m. 2015)
Musical career
Member ofSpice Girls

After leaving the Spice Girls, Halliwell pursued a career as a solo artist, signing a recording contract with EMI. She released her debut solo studio album, Schizophonic (1999), which produced the UK number-one singles "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me Up" and "Bag It Up"; the lead single, "Look at Me", reached number two. Her second studio album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster (2001), was preceded by the lead single, "It's Raining Men", which reached number one in the UK and earned her a Brit Award nomination. Following her third studio album, Passion (2005), and the UK top five single "Ride It", Halliwell's recording contract with EMI was not renewed and she stated that she was not interested in recording another album and was content with writing children's books and motherhood. In 2013, Halliwell returned to the music industry in Australia with the release of her first solo single in eight years, "Half of Me".[8]

Halliwell has served as a judge on television talent shows, including Popstars: The Rivals (2002), The X Factor UK, (2010, 2012), and Australia's Got Talent (2013).[9] She has appeared in films, including Spice World (1997), Crank: High Voltage (2009), and Gran Turismo (2023). Halliwell is also an author and has released two autobiographies, If Only (1999) and Just for the Record (2002), as well as a series of children's novels titled Ugenia Lavender (2008).

Early life


Geraldine Estelle Halliwell was born on 6 August 1972[10][11] at Watford General Hospital in Watford, Hertfordshire, the daughter of Ana María (née Hidalgo) and Laurence Francis Halliwell (1922–1993). Her mother is Spanish, hailing from Huesca, while her father was of Swedish, Finnish, English and a "bit of French" descent. Halliwell's paternal grandfather was a Swedish-speaking Finn Mathias Karlson Sjövik, born in Korsnäs, Finland, who emigrated to Sweden.[12][13][14] Halliwell grew up on a council estate in North Watford.[15] She was educated at Watford Grammar School for Girls and Camden School for Girls.[16] Before starting her music career, Halliwell had worked as a nightclub dancer in Majorca,[15] a presenter on the Turkish version of Let's Make a Deal,[15] and a glamour model.[15] At the age of 19, she appeared as a Page 3 girl in The Sun.[17] Following her rise to fame, nude photos of Halliwell were republished in a number of magazines such as Playboy and Penthouse in 1998.[18][19]



1994–1998: Spice Girls

Halliwell in 2008 wearing a remake of her Union Jack dress from the 1997 Brit Awards

In 1994, Halliwell, along with Melanie C, Mel B and Victoria Beckham, responded to an advertisement in The Stage magazine seeking members for a new all-girl pop group.[20] Around 400 women responded and auditioned. After a couple of line-up changes, Halliwell, Melanie C, Mel B and Beckham became the members of the group called "Touch", and were later joined by Emma Bunton.

In March 1995, the group broke with their original management, Heart Management.[20] In the months that followed, they teamed up with music manager Simon Fuller, signed a deal with Virgin Records, and changed the group name to Spice Girls.[21] In 1996, the group released their debut album, Spice, which became a worldwide commercial success. The album peaked at number one in more than 17 countries and was certified multi-platinum in 27 countries.[22] The group's massive and sudden popularity was compared to Beatlemania.[23] The album sold 30 million copies worldwide, became the biggest-selling album in music history by a girl group, and is one of the most successful albums of all time.[24][25][26] The album's first single, "Wannabe", reached number one in 37 countries and all of the subsequent singles from the album – "Say You'll Be There", "2 Become 1", "Who Do You Think You Are" and "Mama" – also peaked at number one in United Kingdom.[27][28]

Shortly after the release of "Wannabe", each member of the group received a nickname from Top of the Pops magazine; the use of these nicknames later became widespread. Because of her red hair, Halliwell was named "Ginger Spice".[29] Although regularly uttered by all five Spice Girls, the phrase "girl power" was most closely associated with Halliwell and was often accompanied with a V sign.[4] In a Christmas 1996 interview with The Spectator magazine, Halliwell controversially spoke of former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as being an inspiration for their girl power ideology.[30] In a 2019 interview with Harper's Bazaar, she said, "For me, if you look it up, it means equalisation between the sexes. It means everybody, whether you're a man, woman or something in between. Forget about labels, it's about embracing everyone's individuality and giving them the opportunity and gender equality and pushing that forward."[31]

In 1997, the group released their second album, Spiceworld. The album's first two singles "Spice Up Your Life" and "Too Much" reached number one in the UK, marking seven consecutive number one singles, an all-time record for a musical group.[32] The album was a global best seller, selling 20 million copies worldwide.[33] The group also starred in their own film, Spiceworld: The Movie, which grossed $100 million worldwide. The third single from Spiceworld, "Stop", peaked at two, breaking the group's sequence of number ones.

On 31 May 1998, Halliwell announced through her solicitor that she had left the Spice Girls due to depression and differences between the group.[34] Her action aroused controversy as her former group was due to embark on a North American tour, which they eventually completed without her.[35] In the months that followed, Halliwell was featured on two more Spice Girls releases that were scheduled prior to her departure. On 1 June 1998, Halliwell alongside the other Spice Girls were featured in the song and video for "(How Does It Feel to Be) On Top of the World", the official theme of the England national football team for the 1998 World Cup. In July 1998, the Spice Girls released "Viva Forever" as the final single from Spiceworld. The animated music video for the song still features Halliwell's likeness, as it was in production months prior to her departure.[36] The group is among the best-selling girl groups of all time, selling over 75 million albums.[37][38]

1999–2003: Schizophonic and Scream If You Wanna Go Faster

Halliwell performing "It's Raining Men", her fourth number-one single, on the Return of The Spice Girls Tour

In 1999, one year after leaving the group, Halliwell launched her solo career and released her debut album Schizophonic,[39] with the lead single "Look at Me", produced by Absolute and Phil Bucknall. "Look at Me" was followed by further number ones at the UK Singles Chart, "Mi Chico Latino", "Lift Me Up" and "Bag It Up". The album itself reached a peak at number four in the United Kingdom and sold 600,000 copies there, making it double platinum.[40] The album was preceded by a 90-minute documentary titled Geri, released in May 1999 for the British television channel Channel 4 by Molly Dineen. The documentary was a ratings success with 4.5 million viewers—almost one-fifth of available viewers—and Channel 4 aired it again one month later.[41][42] Halliwell was nominated at BRIT Awards ceremony in 2000, for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best Pop Act, she also performed "Bag It Up" during the show, emerging between giant inflatable legs, ripping off her shirt and walking in stiletto heels over the backs of topless pink-haired men whilst performing the song. Schizophonic debuted at number 42 on the Billboard 200 before dropping out within the next month.[43] The album was eventually certified gold, distributing over 500,000 copies.[44] The album ended up selling around two million copies worldwide.[45]

In October 1999, Halliwell released the autobiography If Only, in which she described her life as a Spice Girl. The book went on to top the best-seller lists and sold over a million copies in the UK alone. Halliwell donated the profits made from the sales of her autobiography to a Breast Cancer charity. In the following year, Halliwell was in a short-term relationship with the pop singer Robbie Williams.[46]

In 2001, Halliwell followed up with her second album, Scream If You Wanna Go Faster,[47] the album peaked at number five in the United Kingdom and sold 200,000 copies there and was certified gold. It included her cover version of the Weather Girls' 1983 hit, "It's Raining Men", was also used on the Bridget Jones's Diary film soundtrack and the video game DDRMAX2 Dance Dance Revolution 7thMix. The song was released as the lead single from the album. "Its Raining Men" became a major hit worldwide, it peaked at number one in the United Kingdom and peaked in the top 10 in over 27 countries, becoming Halliwell's biggest hit to date. The song won her the International Song of the Year award at the 2002 NRJ Music Awards.[48] The singles that followed, "Scream If You Wanna Go Faster" and "Calling", reached number eight and number seven in the United Kingdom, respectively. Halliwell released a special French edition of "Calling", titled "Au Nom de L'amour".[49] In 2001, Halliwell released the yoga DVD Geri Yoga with her yoga teacher Katy Appleton; this was followed by Geri Body Yoga the following year.[50] In January 2002, she released her second autobiography, Just for the Record, detailing her rise to fame and her turbulent celebrity lifestyle. In 2002 Halliwell was once again nominated at the BRIT Awards, this time for Best British Female Solo Artist and Best British Single for "It's Raining Men".

In late 2002, Halliwell was featured alongside Pete Waterman and Louis Walsh as a judge on the television series Popstars: The Rivals, which created Girls Aloud.[51] and as a guest reporter on celebrity-based series Extra in the US. In 2003, she made a guest appearance on the television series Sex and the City.

2004–2012: Passion, Ugenia Lavender, and Spice Girls reunion

Halliwell at a book signing in 2008

In late 2004, Halliwell made a return to music with the single "Ride It",[52] which reached number four in the United Kingdom and number one on the dance charts. However, several months elapsed before another single was released, during which time she was apparently instructed to record some new tracks for the as yet unreleased album by her record company, which was unhappy with the setlist. Halliwell planned her first solo tour of the United Kingdom and Ireland, but due to lack of ticket sales, compounded by the label's pressure on Halliwell to record additional songs, led to the cancellation of the tour.[53][54] That year, Halliwell appeared in the 2004 film Fat Slags, based on characters from Viz magazine. She also appeared on Channel Five as one of the hosts of the Party in the Park event for the Prince's Trust, the presenter and main performer of the Tickled Pink Girls' night in Live! event.

Eventually, a new single, "Desire", was released on 30 May 2005, reaching number 22 in the UK Singles Chart and number one on the UK Dance Charts. Released shortly after, the source album, Passion, similarly received little attention from the public or critics and stalled at number 41 in the British charts.The album was preceded by the promotional documentary There's Something About Geri. Halliwell's recording contract with EMI was subsequently not renewed and she stated that she was not interested in recording another album at that time and was content with writing children's books and motherhood.

On 12 April 2007, it was announced that Halliwell had signed a six-book deal with Macmillan Children's Books.[55] The series of children's novels, titled Ugenia Lavender, follow the adventures of nine-year-old Ugenia, a character based on Halliwell,[56] alongside her friends Bronte, Rudy and Trevor.[57] The character Princess Posh Vattoria, a caricature of Halliwell's bandmate Victoria Beckham, was featured in early drafts, but has not appeared in the book series.[58] Other characters are said by Halliwell to be loosely based on Gordon Ramsay,[59] George Michael,[60] Marilyn Monroe,[61] Vincent van Gogh,[61] Wayne Rooney[62] and the character Justin Suarez from the TV series Ugly Betty.[62] According to the official site, the book sold more than 250,000 copies in its first 5 months, making Halliwell 2008's most successful female celebrity children's author.[63][64][65][66][67]

On 29 June 2007, the Spice Girls regrouped and announced plans for a reunion tour,[38] from which they were said to have earned £10 million each (about US$20 million).[68] The group toured as a quintet and released their first compilation album, Greatest Hits. This album was released in early November 2007 and the tour began on 2 December 2007. On 31 December 2007, the Spice Girls documentary Spice Girls: Giving You Everything was released.[69] In addition to their sell-out tour, the Spice Girls appeared in Tesco advertisements for which they were paid £1 million each.[70]

In 2009, Halliwell appeared in the film Crank: High Voltage and on the BBC One's The One Show on 7 May 2009.[71] In 2010, Halliwell stood in for Dannii Minogue as a guest judge on The X Factor at the Glasgow auditions alongside Simon Cowell, Louis Walsh and Cheryl.[72] In March 2010, vocal coach and singer Carrie Grant announced on ITV1's The Alan Titchmarsh Show that Halliwell would be making a return to music. In April 2010, Halliwell posted a message on her website, saying she was back in the studio.[73] On 31 July 2011, Halliwell confirmed she had been working on her fourth album and remarked that it was "pretty much finished."[74] In February 2012, Halliwell announced that her fourth album was being mastered.[75]

2012–2019: Return to music and second Spice Girls reunion

Halliwell during Spice World – 2019 Tour, June 2019

In 2012, Halliwell returned as a guest judge on The X Factor at the Liverpool auditions, standing in for Kelly Rowland. In April 2013, the Nine Network announced that she would become the fourth judge on season seven of Australia's Got Talent replacing Minogue.[9] In August 2012, Halliwell reunited with the Spice Girls to perform as a quintet at the closing ceremony of the Olympic Games in London. The group also teamed up with Jennifer Saunders and Judy Craymer to develop a musical based on the songs of the Spice Girls titled Viva Forever!, which opened on 11 December 2012.[76] In October 2012, Halliwell made her first solo performance in seven years at the Breast Cancer Care, debuting a new track called "Phenomenal Woman".[77][78]

On 3 October 2013, Halliwell premiered her first solo single in nearly eight years, "Half of Me", with a performance on Channel 9's NRL Footy Show grand final show in Australia. On 12 September 2013, it was announced that the song would be released exclusively in Australia as part of a new deal with Sony Music Australia.[8] The single was released on 25 October 2013 and reached number 281 in the Australian charts.[79] On the grand final of Australia's Got Talent, she performed an acoustic version of the Spice Girls' hit single "Wannabe".[80]

In 2015, Halliwell continued to work on new material for a fourth studio album.[81] She guest presented an episode of The One Show in October 2015. In November 2016, 13 new songs by Halliwell which were reportedly recorded for an album titled Man on the Mountain were leaked onto the internet.[82]

In July 2016, Halliwell, Mel B and Bunton released a video celebrating the 20th anniversary of Spice Girls' debut single "Wannabe" and teased news from them as a three-piece;[83] Beckham and Melanie C opted not to take part in a reunion project, with Mel B saying that both members gave the three-piece their blessing to continue with the project.[84] However, following Halliwell's announcement of her pregnancy, the project was cancelled.[85] That year, Halliwell appeared on episode three of the 2016 series of Sport Relief Bake Off.[86]

In March 2017, Halliwell presented the BBC Two documentary Geri's 90s: My Drive to Freedom as part of the BBC Music: My Generation series.[87][88] In June 2017, Halliwell released a charity single, "Angels in Chains", a tribute to George Michael, to raise money for Childline.[89] The single peaked at number 63 on the Official Singles Downloads Chart Top 100.[90] She sat in for Zoë Ball on BBC Radio 2 in July 2017.[91] She guest presented an episode of This Morning in August 2017 with Rylan Clark-Neal.[92] In 2018, she was a judge on the Saturday night BBC One talent show All Together Now.[93]

On 5 November 2018, the Spice Girls announced their reunion Spice World – 2019 Tour; Beckham declined to join due to commitments regarding her fashion business.[94][95]

2020–present: Rainbow Woman and Rosie Frost


In November 2020, Halliwell debuted the original YouTube series Rainbow Woman for which she wrote, directed, and served as an executive producer. The series features Halliwell taking part in series of vignettes that follow her on different adventures.[96][97] In August 2021, she had a voice role in the short animated movie The Crown with a Shadow, directed by J.B. Ghuman Jr.[98]

Halliwell was in the cast of the 2023 film Gran Turismo, playing the wife of Djimon Hounsou.[99][100] Gran Turismo premiered at the Circuit de Spa-Francorchamps in Belgium on July 30, 2023, and was theatrically released in the United States on August 25, 2023, by Sony Pictures Releasing. It has grossed $122 million worldwide against its $60 million budget.[101][102]

In October 2022, Halliwell announced a new book deal with the UK branch of Scholastic. The first book announced is a young adult novel titled Rosie Frost and the Falcon Queen. The story is about an orphan who travels to Bloodstone Island — an island that is home to a school for extraordinary teens and a refuge for animals, where she uncovers a dark family secret. Halliwell said in a statement: “Rosie Frost has lived in my heart for a long time – and this feels just the right moment to introduce her to the world."[103] The book was released on 3 October 2023.[104][105] Alongside its release, Halliwell released the original songs "Ghost in My House" and "Beautiful Life" to promote the book.[106] That same month, Halliwell went to the United States on a book tour.[107] On 6 October 2023, Halliwell appeared on an episode of CBeebies Bedtime Stories, reading "I Love You Because I Love You" by Muợn Thị Văn.[108]

Other ventures




In 2010, Halliwell partnered with British retailer Next to create a swimwear collection named "Geri by Next".[109] This was followed by a Union Jack-motif clothing range in 2012, inspired by Halliwell's famous 1997 Union Jack dress.[110]



In 1998, Halliwell became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).[111] In 2000 Halliwell appeared in the two-part documentary series Geri's World Walkabout for the BBC, which followed her work with the UN and other travels.[112] That same year, she gave the opening address at the UN Youth Summit.[113] Halliwell picked up further UN work in 2006, by visiting Zambia from 14 to 16 November, to promote greater international awareness of the urgent need to reduce maternal death and halt the spread of HIV/AIDS.[114] In September 2009, Halliwell, in her role as a Goodwill Ambassador of UNFPA, visited Nepal to help launch a national campaign to stop violence against women.[115]

On 25 October 2015, the Mail on Sunday reported that Halliwell had been in talks with the Department for Education with a view to establishing a free school in north London, scheduled to open in 2018 and specialising in the arts and business. Halliwell told the newspaper: "I believe in education. It's an empowering fundamental human right that everyone deserves. Education is a foundation for life." The Department subsequently confirmed that it had spoken with Halliwell, but that discussions were at an early stage.[116]



In the run-up to the 1997 general election, Halliwell declared: "I saw a lot of what Mrs. Thatcher did. She was definitely the original Spice Girl rising from the greengrocer's daughter to Prime Minister." She said her background was deeply rooted in support for the Conservative Party and that Thatcher was the pioneer of "Girl Power" and the spiritual sixth member of the Spice Girls.[citation needed] She said in 1996 that Tony Blair was "not a safe pair of hands for the economy".[117] By the 2001 general election, Halliwell had switched her support to Tony Blair and the Labour Party, making a cameo appearance in one of their party election broadcasts.[118]

In a 2007 interview with The Guardian, Halliwell said she was a feminist, but took issue with its image, explaining: "It's about branding. For me, feminism is bra-burning lesbianism. It's very unglamorous. I'd like to see it rebranded. We need to see a celebration of our femininity and softness."[119][120]

Personal life

Halliwell and Horner in London in April 2016

Halliwell gave birth to her daughter in May 2006. The child's father is screenwriter Sacha Gervasi with whom Halliwell was in a relationship in 2005; Victoria Beckham and Emma Bunton are godmothers.[121]

Halliwell began dating Christian Horner, the team principal of the Red Bull Racing Formula One team, in February 2014. They announced their engagement on 11 November 2014 and the couple were married on 15 May 2015 at St Mary's Church in Woburn, Bedfordshire.[122] In October 2016, Halliwell said that Horner and she were expecting their first child together.[123] Halliwell gave birth to a son on 21 January 2017.[124]

In a 2019 interview with Piers Morgan, Melanie Brown was asked if she had slept with Halliwell in an intimate manner and she nodded yes.[125] Halliwell released a statement saying that the press reports following the interview had been "hurtful to her family".[126] Brown responded: "I just said it was like a little thing and we giggled about it the next day and that’s that. It’s the press [who] have taken it onto a whole new level."[127]

Halliwell's first dog, Harry, came from Battersea Dogs & Cats Home. She later adopted Daisy, who survived life-saving liver surgery at just six months old, as seen on Paul O'Grady: For the Love of Dogs.

Halliwell has spoken out about her experiences of bulimia, saying that she came close to death, weighing just 7 stone (98 lb; 44 kg), and was advised by Robbie Williams to seek medical help.[128] In 2011, she spoke of being comfortable with her body and credits her newly healthy relationship with food to motherhood.[129] After having previously been agnostic, Halliwell became a Christian after taking the Alpha Course evangelical program.[130]

Halliwell's brother, Max, died on 17 November 2021, at age 54.[131]

In 2022, Halliwell was awarded an honorary doctorate from Sheffield Hallam University.[132]






Year Title Role Notes
1990 Dance Energy Herself Uncredited; only as dancer-stagehand
1991 Let's Make a Deal Herself Uncredited; only as dancer-stagehand
1997–2004 Franklin Badger UK version (voice only)
1999 100 Greatest Women of Rock & Roll Presenter TV show
Al Salir de Clase Herself "Duelo en las calles" (episode 63; season 3)
"Rebelión en las aulas" (episode 65; season 3)
2002 Bo' Selecta! Various roles "Geri Halliwell" (episode 4; season 1)
Popstars: The Rivals Mentor/Judge Season 1
2003 All American Girl Mentor/Herself/Judge Season 1
Sex and the City Phoebe Herrison "Boy, Interrupted" (episode 10; season 6)
2004 Top Gear Herself "5.2" (episode 2; season 5)
2008 Friday Night Project Presenter/Sely/Lissandra Episode 5; season 6
American Idol Mentor/Judge Episode 30; season 7
2009 Head Case Susan Galler "Back in the Game" (episode 5; season 3)
2010 Come Fly With Me Herself "Pilot" (episode 1; season 1)
2010, 2012 The X Factor Guest judge Season 7 (Glasgow auditions judge)
Season 9 (Liverpool auditions judge)
2012 The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever Herself Documentary about the Spice Girls
Trollied Herself "2012 Christmas Special"
2013 Australia's Got Talent Judge Series 7
2015 The One Show Guest presenter 1 episode
2016 The Great Sport Relief Bake Off Contestant 1 episode
2017 Geri's 90s: My Drive to Freedom Presenter One-off documentary
This Morning Guest presenter 1 episode
Gordon, Gino and Fred's Great Christmas Roast Participant One-off special
2018—2019 All Together Now Presenter / Judge 2 series
2019 RuPaul's Drag Race UK Guest Judge 1 episode (episode 4, season 1)
2019—2023 Formula 1: Drive to Survive Guest appearance 3 episodes
Year Title Role Notes
1995 Foggy Notion Sami Main role
1997 Spice World Ginger Spice
1999 Geri – A Film by Molly Dineen Herself TV film; documentary
2000 Geri's World Walkabouts Herself TV film; documentary
2004 Fat Slags: The Film Paige Stonach
2005 There's Something About Geri Herself TV film; documentary
2007 Giving You Everything Herself TV film; documentary
2009 Crank: High Voltage Karen Chelios
Ant & Dec's Christmas Show Geri Doll TV film
2012 Viva Forever – The Spice Girls Story Herself TV movie; documentary
2021 The Crown with a Shadow Queen Short animated movie
2023 Gran Turismo Lesley Mardenborough

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category For Result Notes
1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Award Favourite Actress – Comedy Spiceworld Nominated Shared with the Spice Girls
MTV Europe Music Awards Best Female Herself Nominated
Smash Hits Poll Winners Party Hero of 1999 Nominated
Best Female Artist Nominated
2000 Brit Awards Best British Female Solo Artist Nominated
Best Pop Act Nominated
Capital FM Awards Best British Female Singer Won
2001 Comet Awards Best International Female Singer Won
Radio Disney Music Awards Best Soundtrack Song "It's Raining Men" Nominated
2002 Brit Awards Best British Female Solo Artist Herself Nominated
Best British Single "It's Raining Men" Nominated
NRJ Music Awards International Song of the Year Won
International Female Artist of the Year Herself Nominated
2008 Bestselling female celebrity children's author of 2008 Ugenia Lavender Won
2016 Attitude Awards Honorary Gay Herself Won


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