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What happened to the forgotten Spice Girl who left before they got famous

Emily Brown

Published 
| Last updated 

What happened to the forgotten Spice Girl who left before they got famous

Featured Image Credit: Featureflash Film Archive / Alamy / @michellestephenson_ / Instagram

Scary, Sporty, Baby, Ginger, Posh. Even if you can't remember their real names, everyone knows that these are the Spice Girls.

However, what you might not know is that there used to be another member of the girl group who left before they shot to fame.

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Icons of the late 90s, the Spice Girls released their debut single 'Wannabe' in 1996, and it remains an absolute banger to this day.

The group consisted of Melanie Brown, aka Mel B; Melanie Chisholm, or Melanie C; Emma Bunton; Geri Halliwell and Victoria Beckham, and their debut album Spice went on to become the best-selling album by a female group in history, with their success even inspiring a film titled Spice World.

Before all of that, though, there was another name for the group, and a bit of a different line-up to the one fans grew to know and love.

Originally, the group was known as Touch and consisted of well-known members Mel B, Victoria Beckham (or Victoria Adams, as she was at the time) and Geri Halliwell, as well as singers Michelle Stephenson and Lianne Morgan.

Michelle Stephenson was part of the group before Emma Bunton. Credit: michellestephenson_/Instagram
Michelle Stephenson was part of the group before Emma Bunton. Credit: michellestephenson_/Instagram

Morgan was later replaced by Mel C, but Stephenson remained to complete the original 1994 line-up of the group.

Stephenson was just 17 years old at the time and in the documentary Raw Spice she revealed she was 'not happy in the band', explaining: "It was not the kind of music I wanted to be doing. It was very, very pop."

Of the members, Stephenson said she was the one at university at the time, 'the intelligent one, as it were'.

"They all thought I was Smart Spice," she said in the doc.

Ultimately, though, the Spice life was not for her and Stephenson left the group, later to be replaced by Baby Spice Emma Bunton.

The Spice Girls shot to fame in the mid 90s. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo
The Spice Girls shot to fame in the mid 90s. Credit: PA Images / Alamy Stock Photo

She has since gone on to work as a TV presenter, a session singer and backing vocalist, as well as releasing her own EP.

Reflecting on her time in the girl group, Stephenson said: "Of course I regret I'm not a multi-millionaire like them. But at the time I left the group I knew I was doing the right thing – and I still think it was the right thing."

Just a couple of years after stepping into the spotlight, Halliwell left the Spice Girls in 1998.

The group continued on as a four-piece before entering a hiatus to concentrate on their solo careers in 2000, but they delighted fans over the following years as they reunited for two concert tours.

Topics: Celebrity, Music, Spice Girls

Emily Brown
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