Melanie C. Biography

Biography

Biography

The start of Melanie’s career really needs no explanation at all, as it is rather well documented…

Intro

From her rise to fame in the Spice Girls, to her successful solo career, Melanie C’s impact on music and pop culture has been nothing short of incredible. With 11 UK number ones under her belt and being the only female artist to top the charts as a quintet, quartet, duo and solo artist, Melanie’s talent has gained the recognition of critics and fans all over the world.

Early Days

Born on January 12, 1974, in Whiston, Lancashire, Melanie was drawn to the performing arts from the very beginning. Growing up with her mother Joan, a singer, meant Melanie was surrounded by music and musicians throughout her young life. As a child, Melanie studied dance and participated in gymnastics. At age 16, she left home for London to continue her dance training at the Doreen Bird College of Performing Arts, with the intention of pursuing a career as a professional dancer. It was during this time that Melanie was handed a flyer for an audition for an all-girl group. Melanie landed that audition and soon after, the Spice Girls were formed. Melanie and the other girls spent the next year living together, while song writing and developing their sound. On July 13, 1995, Melanie, along with her four other bandmates, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell, Melanie Brown and Victoria Adams, signed a contract with Virgin Records and the rest is history.

Spice Girls / When You’re Gone

The Spice Girls’ debut album Spice, sold 31 million copies worldwide, becoming the best-selling album of all time, by a female group. Melanie and the girls went on to sell 85 million records, receiving numerous awards, including a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. In 1998, at the height of the Spice Girls’ success, Melanie was presented with the opportunity to venture out as a solo artist for the first time. While in a hotel in California, Melanie ran into Canadian singer / songwriter, Bryan Adams and the two struck up a conversation. Bryan subsequently asked Melanie to duet with him on his track, “When You’re Gone”. She agreed and the single became an international hit, selling over 2.5 million copies worldwide and giving Melanie her first taste of success outside of the Spice Girls. One year later, in January 1999, Melanie C signed with Virgin Records as a solo artist and made plans to record her first album.

Northern Star

The recording of Melanie’s first album took place between March and July of 1999, in Los Angeles, California. Melanie, having recently been inspired by Madonna’s 1998 album Ray Of Light, was given the opportunity to work with some of the album’s writers and producers, such as William Orbit, Rick Nowels, Marius De Vries, Rick Rubin and Craig Armstrong. Melanie was also inspired by the sound of Blur, Oasis, Suede and The Cardigans, resulting in a pop album with elements of rock, dance, electronica, trance, techno-rock and R&B. Twelve tracks, all co-written by Melanie, were chosen for the album and the song “Northern Star” was chosen as the title track. On August 30, 1999, the Melanie C documentary Northern Star was broadcast on British television. The documentary focused on Melanie’s life in Los Angeles during the recording process of the album and gave viewers a sneak peek at some of the album tracks and b-sides, while officially introducing them to the solo artist, Melanie C. On September 27, 1999, Melanie’s first solo single “Goin’ Down” was released, reaching number 4 on the UK Chart with almost 100,000 copies sold. Soon after, on October 18, 1999, Melanie’s first solo album Northern Star was released and in its first week, reached number 10 on the UK Album Chart. It was around this time that Melanie embarked on her first solo tour. Entitled Liverpool To Leicester Square, Melanie performed 14 concerts from September 27 to November 1, 1999, throughout Europe, North America, Asia and Australia. Following the tour, the title track “Northern Star” was released as the album’s second single, hitting number 4 on the UK Chart and giving Melanie her third solo single to reach the UK Top 5. On March 20, 2000, Melanie released “Never Be The Same Again” as her third single. The R&B track featured TLC’s Lisa Left Eye Lopes and quickly made its way to the top of the charts, giving Melanie her first UK number 1 as a solo artist, selling 145,000 copies in its first week and being named the 18th best-selling song of the year 2000. With the success of the new single, Northern Star re-entered the UK Top 10 and hit number 5 two weeks later. On August 7, 2000, the Hex Hector remix of “I Turn To You” was released as the fourth single, selling 2 million copies. The single became Melanie’s second UK number 1, with sales exceeding 120,000, in the first week alone. Internationally “I Turn To You” was a huge success, reaching number 1 in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Sweden and the United States, where the single hit the top position on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Chart and earned Hex Hector a Grammy for Remixer Of The Year at the 2001 Grammy Awards. The success of “I Turn To You” again boosted sales for Northern Star, which on September 2, 2000 hit number 4 on the UK Album Chart, almost a year after its release date. The British Phonographic Industry certified the album as triple platinum for selling 900,000 copies in the UK and in late 2000, Melanie was certified by the Guinness Book of World Records for being the first British artist to achieve a total of 11 number 1 singles, as a member of a quintet, quartet, duo and as a solo artist. In late 2000, Melanie embarked on her Northern Star World Tour, which had her performing 76 concerts across Asia, Africa, North America and Europe. On November 27, 2000, Melanie released “If That Were Me”, her fifth and final single from Northern Star. The single hit number 18 on the UK Chart and sold 150,000 copies, with all of the proceeds donated to the British charity, Kandu Arts. On August 26, 2001 Melanie concluded her Norther Star Tour with the final concert in Germany and 4 million copies of the album sold around the globe.

Reason

In late 2001, Melanie travelled to the United States to record songs for her second solo album, Reason, also recording a remake of her song “Independence Day” for the soundtrack, Bend It Like Beckham. For Reason, Melanie chose more of a pop-rock sound than her previous album Northern Star, a decision that Virgin Records didn’t necessarily agree with. On February 24, 2003, “Here It Comes Again” was released as the first single. Released on both CD and DVD format, the single also included the music video and behind the scenes footage. Melanie heavily promoted the single in the UK and in several other European countries, performing on multiple television, radio and award shows. The promotional campaign paid off and “Here It Comes Again” sold more than 42,000 copies in the UK, taking 7th place on the UK Chart, as well as charting in the top 10 in many other countries across Europe, for a total of 500,000 copies sold. Melanie’s second solo album Reason, was released on March 10, 2003. In order to promote the new album and boost sales, Virgin Records booked a mini tour in the UK and Europe in the Spring of 2003. On April 24, 2003, Melanie started the Reason Tour with a series of 15 concerts held between the UK, Scotland, Ireland, Spain and Italy, including a performance at Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London on May 9, 2003, that was broadcast live on her official website. On June 2, 2003, Melanie released her second single “On The Horizon” on both CD and DVD. Sales exceeded 24,000 copies in the UK and the single made it to number 14 on the UK Chart. It was even more successful across Europe for a total of 200,000 copies sold. With the release of “On The Horizon”, Reason re-entered the UK charts for two more weeks. On October 23, 2003, Melanie started the second half of the Reason Tour, where she performed shows in Belgium, Switzerland and Germany. For the third single, Virgin Records decided to release the double A side  “Yeh Yeh Yeh” / “Melt” on November 10, 2003. The single reached number 27 on the UK Chart and sold a total of 150,000 copies worldwide. In total, Reason sold 500,000 copies and was certified Gold by the British Phonographic Industry. On January 1, 2004, Virgin Records and Melanie C parted ways and in April 2004, Melanie founded her own record label, Red Girl Records.

Beautiful Intentions

In June 2004, Melanie performed a 5 concert tour, entitled Barfly Mini-Tour, where she tested new music on her audience. After the tour was finished, she started to work on her third solo album and by October 2004, it was finished. Recorded in London and mastered in New York, Beautiful Intentions was Melanie’s first experience as a recording artist, where she had complete creative control. The end result was primarily a pop-rock album that included a selection of deep ballads with beautiful orchestral arrangements. On April 4, 2005, “Next Best Superstar” was released as Melanie’s first independent single. Available on both CD and vinyl formats, the single sold an approximate 21,000 copies and went right to number 10 on the UK Chart as well as charting in the top 10 across Europe. Beautiful Intentions was released on April 11, 2005, where it charted at number 24 in the UK and was certified gold in both Germany and Switzerland. The second single “Better Alone” was released on August 1, 2005 on CD and DVD, which were only sold online through Melanie’s official website. “Better Alone” entered the international charts, making it to number 4 in Portugal and number 2 in Poland. On September 30, 2005, a new single “First Day Of My Life” was released as the main theme of the German soap opera Julia, Wege zum Glück (ZDF) and was eventually included on the re-edition of Beautiful Intentions. Originally recorded in Spanish by Andrea Bocelli and released in 2004, Melanie’s version of “First Day Of My Life” quickly became a phenomenon in Germany, with 400,000 copies sold, taking the number 1 spot on the Singles Chart and receiving a platinum certification. The single also reached platinum certification in Austria and gold in Switzerland, where it spent 76 weeks on the chart and to this date has sold 1.5 million copies worldwide. After the success of “First Day Of My Life” in these countries, Melanie released the single “Better Alone” in Germany, Austria and Switzerland for a total of 200,000 copies sold. Due to her success in Germany, Melanie won the Best International Female Artist Award at the German Radio Music Awards and in late 2005, announced she would promote Beautiful Intentions in other European countries the following year. In February 2006, the album hit stores in Portugal, almost immediately reaching number 1, where it would impressively remain for the next nine consecutive weeks, outselling Madonna’s Confessions On A Dancefloor. On October 30, 2006, Melanie released her first ever live performance DVD, entitled Live Hits. The DVD consisted of both an electronic and an acoustic set and also included an interview. The DVD release was a success and Live Hits made it to number 10 on the UK Chart. With its impressive album sales and chart positions, Beautiful Intentions brought Melanie many nominations and awards throughout Europe, including Best World Artist at the Eska Music Awards in Poland, and in Germany, Hit Of The Year at the Echo Awards and Best International Female Artist at the Radio Regenbogen Awards. Melanie closed off the year by performing for a crowd of 100,000 people and toasting to the New Year at a New Year’s Eve concert in Portugal. The release of Melanie’s first album under Red Girl Records, had been a huge success and Beautiful Intentions triumphantly outsold Reason.

This Time

As the Beautiful Intentions era came to an end, Melanie was already preparing for her fourth solo album and on February 23, 2007, the video for “The Moment You Believe” premiered on German television. A day later, Melanie performed her version of the song “I Want Candy” live on Al Murray’s Happy Hour, on British television. “The Moment You Believe” was chosen as the first single to promote Melanie’s new album across most of Europe, while “I Want Candy” was chosen for the UK, Italy and Denmark. Released on March 16, 2007 “The Moment You Believe” charted well across Europe in its first week, reaching number 1 in Spain, with its music video also having a very successful debut on YouTube. In Portugal, the single made it to number 1 on the Digital Singles chart and remained there for four weeks. “I Want Candy” was released on CD and vinyl on March 26, 2007, reaching the top 10 on the Physical Release Chart in the UK, Scotland, Italy and Denmark. On April 2, 2007, Melanie released her fourth album This Time. The album garnered positive reviews, with the Manchester Evening News praising the album’s tracks for showcasing the new sonic maturity and consistent versatility in Melanie’s voice. Selling 300,000 copies worldwide, This Time was certified gold in Switzerland and platinum in Portugal. On June 8, 2007, Melanie released the single “Carolyna” in the UK and Europe. Carolyna was a hit on European radio stations and made it to number 1 on the Digital Sales Chart in Portugal, with a total of 200,000 copies sold. On October 12, 2007, the fourth single “This Time” was released. From December 2, 2007 to February 26, 2008, Melanie took a break from promoting her new album to reunite with the Spice Girls on their Return of the Spice Girls Tour. In February 2008, Melanie resumed promoting This Time, performing several concerts throughout North America and Europe. On April 8, 2008, the album This Time and the single “Carolyna” were released in Canada and the United States. The video was added to the MuchMoreMusic and MTV playlists, shooting to the number 1 position in its first week. From May 4 to May 17, 2008, Melanie embarked on her This Time Canadian Tour. Because of the success she was having in North America, on July 25, 2008, a digital single of the track “Understand” was released exclusively in Canada and the US, as the fifth and final single from This Time. The video for “Understand” was released the same day, featuring footage from her recent Canadian tour, including her red carpet appearance at the 2008 MuchMusic Video Awards. To close the era of This Time, Melanie recorded her second live DVD, at the Hard Rock Cafe in Manchester, with all of the proceeds from the DVD sales going to the Caron Keating Foundation.

Blood Brothers, The Sea, Jesus Christ Superstar, Stages

In October 2009, Melanie made her theatre debut as Mrs. Johnstone in the musical Blood Brothers. With very favourable reviews from audiences and critics alike, Melanie gained nominations for Best Actress at the Olivier Awards and Outstanding Newcomer at the Evening Standard Theatre Awards. After her run in the theatre, Melanie got back into the studio to record her fifth album. Working with numerous new writers and producers, The Sea was recorded in London and was composed of pop, rock, dance, acoustic, electronic and atmospheric tracks, creating what Melanie described as an overall harmonic and euphoric sound. In June of 2011, Melanie released “Rock Me” exclusively in Germany, as the official theme of the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Following that release, “Think About It” was chosen as the first official single to be released off The Sea. The music video premiered on Melanie’s official website on July 15, 2011 and the track hit number 15 on the British Top Indie Chart. Shortly after on September 2, 2011, The Sea was released. Received well by critics and fans, The Sea ranked in the top 30 across most of Europe, making it to number 13 in Switzerland. On November 6, 2011, Melanie released her pop ballad “Weak”, exclusively in the UK, as the second single. Critics favoured the single, with Entertainment Focus calling it one of the highlights of The Sea and the digital EP reached number 1 in sales on the iTunes Chart in Greece. “Let There Be Love” was chosen as the final single from The Sea, released only in Germany and Switzerland on December 2, 2011. Before the release of her final single, on November 28, 2011, Melanie began The Sea Tour, which featured 17 dates across six different countries. During the tour, three concerts were recorded in Cologne, Hamburg and Berlin, to be edited together for her third DVD concert release, The Sea – Live. On May 13, 2012, The Night EP was released on iTunes. Recorded a year earlier with DJ Jodie Harsh, The Night was a fusion of pop and underground club beats and was composed of three tracks. The EP reached number 16 on the Independent Digital Chart, 32 on the iTunes Pop Chart in the UK and number 1 on the Pop Chart in Spain. On July 7, 2012, Melanie made her debut as a judge on the ITV television program, Superstar, a show that sought to find a talented actor/singer to play Jesus in the arena tour of Sir Andrew Lloyd Webber’s, Jesus Christ Superstar. Melanie went on to play “Mary Magdalene” and received Best Supporting Actress at the What’s On Stage Awards, for her performance. On August 12, 2012, Melanie and the Spice Girls surprised the world and reunited for a performance at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics, performing in front of a global audience of billions. To this day, Melanie considers the Olympic performance a career highlight. At the end of 2012, Melanie took part in the charity single “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” in collaboration with the Justice Collective, which included Paul McCartney and many other artists. The single, which was to help charities associated with the Hillsborough Disaster, was released on December 12, 2012 and reached number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, with sales in excess of 400,000. In the beginning of 2013, Melanie participated in another charity event, this time taking a five day, 111 kilometre trek down the Zambezi River, to raise money for Comic Relief. In the first half of 2013, Melanie started to work on a new album of musical hits. The track “I Don’t Know How To Love Him” from Jesus Christ Superstar, was released as a digital single on July 22, 2013 and reached number 20 on the UK Independent Chart. On September 7, 2013, Melanie released her sixth solo album, Stages. The album made it to the top 50 on the UK Chart and the second single, a duet featuring Emma Bunton, “I Know Him So Well”, reached number 14 on the UK Independent Chart. On August 18, 2013, Melanie released the duet “Loving You”, with singer Matt Cardle, which reached number 14 on the British Singles Chart, selling over 60,000 copies. In December 2013, Melanie won the Tesco Celebrity Mum Of The Year Award and released her first live album, Live At Shepherd’s Bush Empire, recorded previously in the fall of 2012, at a one-off gig. In the New Year, Melanie held another one-off gig at Shepherd’s Bush Empire, to celebrate her 40th birthday. Entitled Sporty’s Forty, the concert featured Melanie and some of her best friends in the business, singing a mix of her biggest hits and latest tracks. To this day, Sporty’s Forty remains one of Melanie’s favourite live performances.

Version Of Me

In the spring of 2014, Melanie was featured on Peter Aristone’s duet, “Cool As You”, a song taken from the singer’s album 19 Days In Tetbury and in 2015 she collaborated with musician Jools Holland on his Sirens Of Song album, by recording Stevie Wonder’s “I Wish”. The album reached number 25 in the UK and Melanie made several appearances on the album’s promotional tour. 2015 also brought Melanie to Singapore and Malaysia where she was a judge on Asia’s Got Talent. Back in the UK, in the fall of 2015, Melanie began working on her seventh album. In the spring of 2016, Melanie revealed that she had collaborated with Sons of Sonix and that the track would be featured on her upcoming album. Released as a promotional single on July 29, 2016, “Numb” reached the top 20 on iTunes Brazil. The official lead single “Anymore” was released on September 6, 2016. It was clear after the first two singles that Melanie’s new album would be experimenting with a much more electronic sound, than in the past. “Anymore” became a hit on British radio, where it held the number 1 spot for top airplay, as well as making it in the UK Top 30 with the single reaching number 1 on the Physical Singles Chart. On October 21, 2016, Melanie’s long awaited seventh album, Version Of Me, was released, going to number 25 on the UK Album Chart and number 2 on the Independent Album Chart. “Dear Life”, the opening track, was chosen as the second official single and it premiered on Graham Norton’s BBC Radio 2 Show. In late spring of 2017, Melanie performed a series of solo concerts in Latin America for the first time. Melanie promoted Version Of Me extensively in Brazil and performed in several sold out events, including at a very popular Brazilian TV show, where she performed “Say You’ll Be There”, live with the singer Anitta. Following all of the promotional work in Brazil, Version Of Me reached number 1 on the Brazilian chart, becoming her third solo album to reach number 1 in Brazil. On March 17, 2017, Melanie released her fourth single “Hold On”, a duet with Alex Francis and then her fifth and final single “Room For Love” on October 20, 2017. To close the year, in November and December of 2017, Melanie co-headlined the Night of the Proms Tour with 25 concert dates in Holland, Belgium, Germany and Luxembourg, performing some of her greatest hits with a live orchestra.

Spice World 2019 / DJ / Melanie C

Melanie spent the next few months writing for her next solo album and performing at concerts and music festivals in the UK and Europe, as well as a short tour in Bangkok and Dubai, entitled Melanie C – Asia Tour 2018. She also recorded the 90s dance tracks “Around The World” and “Don’t Talk Just Kiss” with Alex Christensen and the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. It was around this time that Melanie made her debut as a DJ, by performing her 90s remix set at various events, a skill that she has continued to develop to this day, releasing new sets on MixCloud and performing at various events and festivals. On November 5, 2018, the world came to a stop when Melanie and the Spice Girls announced that they would be going on a stadium tour of the UK and Ireland the following year. Leading up to the tour, Melanie was nervous, as she wondered whether or not she could become Sporty Spice once again. The tour ended up being a massive success and a career highlight for Melanie, who said it helped her realize that she didn’t just become Sporty Spice, she WAS Sporty Spice, setting her on a new path of self-acceptance. Right after Spice World 2019 concluded, Melanie began touring the world with the creative collective Sink The Pink, at various Pride events and festivals, including the Sao Paulo Pride Parade, where Melanie performed on her own float to a crowd of 3 million people and the World Pride Closing Ceremony in New York City. Having had self-acceptance issues in the past, working so closely with the Pride community furthered Melanie’s feelings that she was enough. From the collaboration with Sink The Pink, came a new single “High Heels” that was released on November 6, 2019. The video reached number 3 on the iTunes Music Video Chart and the digital single went to number 1 on Brazil iTunes and Number 4 in Spain. Shortly after, an acoustic version was released. Newly inspired by the Spice Girls tour and her time with Sink The Pink, Melanie then proceeded to do most of her writing and creative work for her next album. On March 19, 2020, Melanie released “Who I Am” as the first single to her new album Melanie C, which would be out in the fall. Melanie and her team had planned an international agenda to promote the single, including a slot on James Corden, but the coronavirus pandemic had other plans and she was forced to promote the song remotely. The single was a great success reaching number 1 on iTunes in Brazil, Chile, Costa Rica and Romania, the top 10 in many other countries and number 27 on the Official Singles Chart in the UK. On May 27, 2020, Melanie presented her fans with the new digital single, “Blame It On Me”, reaching number 1 on iTunes in Brazil, Portugal, Chile, Spain and Slovenia, the top 10 in Mexico and Poland and number 12 in the UK. On July 10, 2020, an acoustic version of “Blame It On Me” was released, reaching number 8 on iTunes Brazil. On July 29, 2020, Melanie released her third digital single “In And Out Of Love”, reaching number 1 on iTunes in Spain and Argentina, number 2 in Brazil and number 19 in the UK. On August 18, 2020, it was announced that Melanie would be performing a live stream concert, scheduled for October 1, 2020, the night before the release of Melanie C. The concert was entitled “Colour And Light Stream” and the event gave fans a sneak peek of the tracks off the new album. On September 16, 2020, Melanie premiered the music video for her fourth digital single “Fearless”. The song featured English singer Nadia Rose and the digital single hit number 8 on iTunes Brazil. On September 28, 2020, Melanie released her song “Overload”, as a promotional single, taking number 8 on iTunes Brazil. On October 1, 2020, the dates for Melanie’s European Tour were announced and on October 2, 2020, Melanie’s long awaited eighth solo album Melanie C, was released on digital, vinyl, CD and cassette. GQ Magazine said it was “dance your socks off music” and The Guardian said it was her best work. The dance/pop album Melanie C charted on iTunes in 33 countries in less than 24 hours. The album reached the top 10 in 16 different countries and became the 7th best-selling album on iTunes worldwide. At the end of its first week, after a strong marketing campaign, Melanie C went to number 8 on the UK Official Album Chart and number 1 on the Independent Chart. On November 13, 2020, the charity single “Stop Crying Your Heart Out” was released, a re-recording of the original Oasis track, which had Melanie featured alongside other artists such as Cher, Bryan Adams and Kylie Minogue. The single reached number 7 on the UK Singles Chart, number 1 on the UK Singles Download Chart and first place on Billboard’s Euro Digital Song Sales. On November 26, 2020, Melanie C passed 10,000 copies sold in the UK and on November 29, Melanie performed at the 2020 Royal Variety Performance, an event supported by Queen Elizabeth.  On December 1, 2020, Melanie released her fifth official single from the album Melanie C, “Into You” and it made it to number 3 on iTunes Brazil, number 18 in Spain and number 55 in the UK. Only available on the deluxe version of the album, “Into You” was a fan favourite and the decision to release it as a single was from the positive feedback from her international fan base. On December 11, 2020, Melanie announced on her social networks the creation of her Official Street Teams, a professional group of devoted fans from around the world, who after a long selection process, were chosen to work with her management team to promote her career in their countries and territories. To close the year, Melanie released a remix of “Overload”, by Todd Terry. On January 22, 2021 Melanie released an acoustic performance of “Into You”, which reached number 3 on iTunes Spain and number 10 in Brazil. On January 25, 2020, due to the ongoing pandemic, Melanie announced the postponement of her European Tour, moving the dates to January and February of 2022. On February 7, 2021, Melanie was confirmed as a new judge on The Voice Kids UK, taking her place on the panel beside Will.I.Am, Danny Jones and Pixie Lott. On February 12, 2021, Melanie released the digital single “Too Much” acoustic, where it reached number 6 on iTunes Brazil and number 22 in Spain. On March 4, 2021, Melanie was nominated for Best International Solo Act and Best International Album at the 2021 Gaffa Awards. During the month of March, Melanie also released an acoustic version of her UK number 1 hit song “Never Be The Same Again”, taking number 2 on iTunes Argentina, number 13 in Spain and number 19 in Brazil. In April, Melanie was nominated for Celebrity Ally at the British LGBT Awards, for her contribution to the LGBTQ+ community, a nomination that she was honoured to receive. Continuing with her acoustic releases, Melanie released “Who I Am” acoustic on April 29, 2021 and “In And Out Of Love ” on June 17, 2021.

What’s next…

With the success of her latest album Melanie C and as the world recovers from the pandemic, Melanie is eager to tour and has said she will continue to work on new music until she can get back out on stage to perform for her fans!