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Emma Lee Bunton (born January 21, 1976) is an English singer, songwriter, actress, and television presenter. She is best known as a member of the girl group, the Spice Girls, as "Baby Spice".

Early life

Emma Lee Bunton was born on January 21, 1976 in Finchley, London, England, to Pauline and Trevor Bunton. Her parents were split up when she was 11, and she stayed with her mother. She has a younger brother named Paul James.

Career

1994–2000: Spice Girls

In 1994, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Geri Halliwell, and Victoria Beckham responded to an advertisement in The Stage magazine. All four were originally chosen as the members of the group, along with Michelle Stephenson, but was finally replaced with Emma Bunton. In October 1994, the group began touring management agencies. In March 1995 they parted with Heart Management, and signed with Simon Fuller of 19 Entertainment. During the summer of that year the group toured record labels in London and Los Angeles with Fuller and finally signed a deal with Virgin Records in September 1995. On 8 July 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut single "Wannabe" in the United Kingdom. The song reached number 1 in 35 countries, becoming the biggest-selling single by an all-female group of all time. In 1999, she recorded "(Hey You) Free Up Your Mind" for the film Pokémon: The First Movie. In 2000, after the release of their third album, Forever, charted at number two in the UK.

2001–2002: A Girl Like Me

Emma Bunton's first solo album, A Girl Like Me, was released in the United Kingdom on April 16, 2001. It debuted and peaked at number four on the UK Albums Chart, with 21,500 copies sold in its first week. On September 7, 2001, A Girl Like Me was certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) for sales in excess of 100,000 copies, becoming the 147th best-selling album in the United Kingdom for 2001.

2003–2006: Free Me

Losing her contract with Virgin due to poor sales, Bunton signed a new deal with 19 Recordings, run by former Spice Girls' manager Simon Fuller, to release her second album, Free Me. It debuted at number seven on the UK Albums Chart and being certified gold by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

2006–2008: Life in Mono and Spice Girls reunion

In October 2006, Bunton was a contestant in the BBC programme Strictly Come Dancing, partnered by Darren Bennett. She finished third place in the semi-final. In November 2006 her third studio album, Life in Mono, was released.

In 2007, the Spice Girls re-grouped and announced plans to tour as a quintet for the last time for a The Return of the Spice Girls. The group released their first-ever compilation album, a collection of their Greatest Hits and went on tour in December 2007.

2010–2017: Spice Girls musical and Boy Band

Judy Craymer teamed up with the Spice Girls and Simon Fuller and began to develop a Spice Girls musical entitled Viva Forever. They did not star in the show themselves, but had an influence in the production and show's cast. On June 26, 2012, all five Spice Girls were in attendance at a press conference in London to promote the launch of Viva Forever: The Musical. After poor reviews from critics and "a loss of £5 million", the show has its final performance on 29 June 2013.

From June-August 2017, Emma was the judge on ABC's reality singing competition show Boy Band for the first season. Along with Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter and record producer Timbaland, they decide which two boys will be up for elimination in each episode until the top eight will be voted by American audiences to become the final five-piece boy band.

2018–present: My Happy Place

In November 2018, Emma signed a record deal with BMG Rights Management and was preparing a new album. On February 27, 2019, she released the first single of the new album called "Baby Please Don't Stop". In April 2019, she released her fourth album, My Happy Place.

Radio

Year Title Role Times Station
2009–2017 Saturday Drivetime Presenter 5pm–7pm Heart
2013–2018 Heart Breakfast Presenter 6am–9am Heart
2018–present Sunday Evenings Presenter 7pm–10pm Heart

Filmography

Television

Year Title Role Notes
1992 EastEnders Mugger girl Episode: "18 August 1992"
1993 The Bill Janice Episode: "Missionary Work"
1993 To Play the King Prostitute Episode: "28 November 1993"
1993 Thatcherworld Josie Jenkins Unsold BBC pilot
1999 Emma Presenter
2000 Celebrity Presenter
2003 Absolutely Fabulous Herself Episodes: "Cleanin'" and "Huntin', Shootin', Fishin'"
2005 Emma Goes to Bollywood Herself Television documentary
2005 I Love the '90s: Part Deux Presenter
2005 Comic Relief Sketch Special Herself Television special
2006 Neighbours Herself Episode: "What's a Spice Girl Like You...?"
2006 Strictly Come Dancing Contestant Series 4 – third place
2007 Giving You Everything Herself Television documentary
2008 American Idol Guest judge Episode: "Live Shows: Top 8"
2008 Richard & Judy Guest presenter Episode: "24 July 2008"
2008; 2014;
2016
The X Factor Mentor assistant Season 5, 11 and 13
2008 Loose Women Guest presenter Episodes: "1–5 December 2008"
2008–12 Celebrity Juice Panelist
2009 Ant & Dec's Christmas Show Evil Stepmother Television special
2009 Eurovision: Your Country Needs You Judge Episode: "24 January 2009"
2009 Let's Dance for Comic Relief Judge Episode: "21 February 2009"
2010 Don't Stop Believing Presenter
2010 The Million Pound Drop Live Celebrity contestant Season 3, episode 3
2010 GMTV with Lorraine Relief presenter
2010–11 Lorraine Relief presenter
2010–11 Dancing on Ice Judge / Mentor Seasons 56
2012 Absolutely Fabulous: 20th anniversary Herself Episodes: "Job" and "Sport Relief Special"
2012 The Spice Girls Story: Viva Forever! Herself Television documentary
2013 Your Face Sounds Familiar Judge / Mentor
2013 This Morning Summer Presenter
2013 I Heart Glee Presenter Television special
2015 The Rocky Horror Show Live Narrator Television special
2016 Too Much TV Presenter
2016 Drunk History Maid Marian / Catherine Parr Episodes: "One" and "Nine"
2016 Murder in Successville Sidekick Episode: "Head, Shoulders, Knees & Toes"
2016 Josh Herself Episode: "Share & Share Alike"
2016–present The Lion Guard Muhimu Voice; Guest role (UK dub) Episode: "The Mbali Fields Migration"
2017 Not Going Out Herself Episode: "Hot Tub"
2017–present Boy Band Judge
2017 Tim Vine Travels in Time Anne Boleyn Television special
2018 RuPaul's Drag Race All Stars Judge Season 3, episode: "Handmaids to Kitty Girls"
2018 The Great American Baking Show: Holiday Edition Host Season 4

Film

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Spice World Baby Spice
2001 Yes You Can Pop Angel Short film
2001 Zoolander Herself
2005 Pyaar Mein Twist Kylie Milligan
2005 Chocolate Tabetha Gagoh
2008 The Queen: A Life in Film Herself Documentary
2012 Keith Lemon: The Film Herself
2015 Cómo Sobrevivir a una Despedida Herself
2016 Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie Herself

Discography

Main article: Emma Bunton discography

Tours

  • Live in Concert (2001)
  • Free Me Tour (2004)

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Work Result
1999 Kids' Choice Awards Favorite Movie Actress Spice World Nominated
Blockbuster Entertainment Awards Favorite Actress: Comedy
2001 Smash Hits Poll Awards Best Female Solo Artist Herself
2004 Meteor Awards Best Female Singer
Popjustice £20 Music Prize Best Song "Maybe"
2008 Foxy Bingo Awards Celebrity Mum of the Year Herself
2010 Glamour Awards Radio Personality The Saturday Show
Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards Newcomer
2011 Glamour Awards Radio Personality
2012 TRIC Awards
2013 Glamour Awards Heart Breakfast
Radio Academy Awards Listeners Choice Award
Foxy Bingo Awards Celebrity Mum of the Year Herself Won
2014 Radio Times Best Strictly Come Dancing Contestant of All Time Strictly Come Dancing
TRIC Awards Radio Personality Heart Breakfast
Radio Programme Nominated
2016 Glamour Awards Radio Personality
2018 Diversity Media Awards Radio Programme/Station of the Year Heart Radio Pending

References

v e People of In Real Life Wiki
In Real Life
Members
Brady Tutton · Conor Smith · Chance Perez · Drew Ramos · Sergio Calderon
Personnel
John Clubb · Louis Coppola · Thomas Crane
Opening Acts
Spencer Sutherland · JAGMAC · Elle Winter · Asher Angel · Jenna Raine
Bands
4th Ave · The Boyband Project · In Real Life · On The Outside · TMPTR
Boy Band
Host/Architects
Emma Bunton · Nick Carter · Rita Ora · Timbaland
Contestants
Alan Ayala · Andrew Bloom · Andrew Butcher · Cam Jackson · Cameron Armstrong · Devin Hayes · Dorian Tyler · Dylan Rey · Gavin Becker · Gianni Cardinale · JHype · Jaden Gray · Jon Klaasen · Jaden Gray · Jon Klaasen · Jordan Grizzle · Lukas James · Marcus Pendleton · Matthew Dean · Mikey Jimenez · Miles Wesley · Nate Wyatt · Paul Toweh · Santino Cardinale · Stone Martin · Timmy Thames · Zack Taylor
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