LONDON - The Spice Girls celebrated 25 years since the release of their debut single "Wannabe" on Thursday with heartfelt messages thanking their fans for their continued support in making them one of the most successful girl bands in the world.
An upbeat and empowering track, "Wannabe" was released on July 8, 1996 and soared to the top of music charts around the world.
The group, made up of Mel B, known as Scary Spice, Emma Bunton - Baby Spice, Mel C - Sporty Spice, Victoria Beckham - Posh Spice and Geri Halliwell (now Horner) - Ginger Spice, went on to sell some 90 million records worldwide.
"Feeling very emotional, what an amazing 25 years it has been," Bunton wrote on Instagram.
"Thanks to our wonderful fans for making 5 girls dreams come true, loving the songs that we wrote, copying our dance routines and embracing our individuality!"
Horner posted old photos of the group and described "Wannabe" as "the song that changed the lives of five girls from Britain".
To mark the occasion, the band has previously announced they would release a limited edition "Wannabe25" EP on Friday, including the original track, the original demo recording, a remix and a demo of previously unreleased ballad "Feed Your Love". They also launched the #IAmASpiceGirl campaign asking fans to share memories.
"We wouldn’t be anywhere without you and can’t thank you enough for all the love we’ve had from all of you for two and a half decades," Mel B wrote on her Instagram page.
"We’ve all grown up together and we’ve shared so much."
The Spice Girls formed in 1994. Horner left in 1998, while the remaining members went their separate ways in 2000. They got back together for a tour in 2007-2008 and performed at the 2012 London Olympics closing ceremony.
The Spice Girls returned as a foursome for a 2019 reunion tour, without Beckham, now a fashion designer.
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian) ((Marie-Louise.Gumuchian@thomsonreuters.com;))