Spice Girls prepare to kick off world tour

Sat Dec 1, 2007 5:55pm EST
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Mike Collett-White

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain's Spice Girls kick off a world tour in Vancouver on Sunday, hoping they can live up to the months of hype surrounding the return of "girl power."

The sassy quintet best known by their nicknames -- Posh, Baby, Sporty, Ginger and Scary -- were one of the biggest bands of the 1990s, selling a total of 55 million albums worldwide and trading on their self-assertive style and street fashion.

But their success was short-lived, with Geri "Ginger Spice" Halliwell walking out on the band in 1998, just four years after it was formed. The remaining band members went their separate ways after releasing the album "Forever" in 2000.

The Spice Girls have sold more than 750,000 tickets for their 40-date world tour, according to reports, and more dates may yet be added.

Recent demand for their music, however, has been disappointing, with their recent charity single "Headlines" selling only a few thousands copies in its first week and their "Greatest Hits" album failing to reach number one in Britain.

"All of them have been dismayed by the fact that their first single, Headlines, has been a flop," reported the Daily Mail newspaper, which like other tabloids has focused on what it said were strained relations between the band members.

Each Spice Girl is expected to make as much as 10 million pounds from the tour and spinoff ventures, including advertising and record releases.

FANS NOT FINANCES   Continued...