Victoria Caroline Beckham (born Victoria Caroline Adams on April 17, 1949 and also used the stage name Victoria Adams-Wood) is an English singer best known as a member of the Spice Girls and for her marriage to former Manchester United, [[Real Madrid] footballer David Beckham. Victoria is a pop singer, songwriter and fashion designer. Known also as "Posh Spice" or simply "Posh", a nickname from her days as a member of the Spice Girls.
Victoria Beckham (2001) album cover
Despite being one of the most famous celebrities in Britain, and having all her music reach the UK top ten, Victoria Beckham's career as a solo artist is largely considered to have been a commercial failure. She was the last of the Spice Girls to launch a solo career, allegedly due to her reluctance to 'go it alone'.
In August 2000, Victoria released her first single outside of the Spice Girls: Out Of Your Mind, a collaboration with the Garage act the Truesteppers and Dane Bowers. The week of release coincided with the release of Groovejet (If This Ain't Love) by Spiller ft. Sophie Ellis-Bextor, resulting in a chart battle dubbed 'Posh vs. Posher' by the tabloids. Following a huge publicity campaign, Out Of Your Mind was outsold by 20,000 copies and debuted at number two with first week sales of 180,584 copies (a figure that would have usually guaranteed a #1 position).
Victoria was given a solo recording contract by her group label Virgin Records. Her true debut single as a solo artist, Not Such An Innocent Girl, was released in September 2001. Again, she faced competition in another hugely hyped chart battle, this time with Kylie Minogue's single Can't Get You Out Of My Head. Victoria was unlikely to beat Kylie, but she gave the project huge promotion, and the record had an expensive and futuristic video. In the week of release, the tabloid newspaper The Sun ran a daily progess chart covering the chart battle, but they gave up half way through the week when it was clear the battle was a one horse race. A potential factor attributable to Victoria's weaker sales could be the due to the media furor she created after wearing a fake lip ring during a live performance in Birmingham, an event that also saw her getting booed and pelted with fruit by a hostile public. She was widely criticised by many groups, including the British Dental Association, for setting a bad example that her younger fans may wish to emulate. It has since been argued that this 'stunt' and the ensuing media backlash was the beginning of the end of Victoria's music career.
Released a fortnight after Not Such An Innocent Girl, Victoria's eponymously titled debut album reached number 10 in the UK album chart. The album featured the much talked about Every Part Of Me, a song co-written by Victoria and dedicated to her son, Brooklyn, who features at the start, Brooklyn's 'part' allegedly being an off-chance recording which took place during a recording session break.
The second and final single to be released from the album was A Mind Of Its Own. This track was much slower catching on. The single stalled at number 6 in the UK and sold 66,000 copies. Following this lacklustre chart performance, rumours started spreading that Beckham was soon to be dropped by her label. These were refuted at the time.
A third single, I Wish, was promoted but never materialised. The single version was a remix featuring Robbie Craig, and was performed on TV on Friday Night's All Wright. Many hoped this single would revitalise the album's fortunes, but following the announcement of Victoria's second pregnancy it was shelved, and Victoria parted ways with Virgin Records.
Single cover for "Let your Head Go/ This Groove"
The Telstar / 19 Management era
To the surprise of the music industry, Telstar Records signed Victoria in 2002 in a deal made with Simon Fuller's 19 Management. She spent much of 2002 recording a 'pop-influenced' album, but Victoria herself shelved it after not being happy with the results. Instead of pop, Victoria wanted to record tracks with a more RnB and hip hop influence, and to accomplish this she began working with urban producer Damon Dash. These plans reportedly worried Telstar and Simon Fuller, but they compromised with Victoria, allowing her to release a Dash produced track (This Groove) along-side one of her earlier pop tracks (Let Your Head Go) from the shelved album.
The resulting double A-side single Let Your Head Go / This Groove was released in the UK in late December 2003, following heavy promotion and many TV appearances across the Christmas period. The single charted at #3, although critics were fast to point out this was not much of an accomplishment due to singles receiving their lowest sales of the year the week after Christmas. This Groove sparked some media interest due to the song being about phone sex. This double A-side remains Victoria's last single release to date.
As another compromise, Telstar allowed Victoria to release some of her urban tracks on The Real Beckhams DVD. This 2003 documentary was released in January 2004, and bonus material included the videos for Let Your Head Go and This Groove, as well as four previously unreleased tracks: Resentment, That Dude, Me And You This Time and Valentine. Resentment has since been covered by Beyoncé Knowles and released on her solo album 'B'Day' (2006).
Outside of the UK, Damon Dash had plans for Victoria in the United States, including a potential release of Let Your Head Go / This Groove under the name of "Posh Spice Victoria Beckham". The release was proposed for sometime between March to May 2004, but never occurred. A Dash produced track It's That Simple featuring M.O.P. was promoed to vinyl, and received a premiere on BBC urban music radio station 1Xtra. This only generated further criticism, with the feeling being that Victoria was a far from convincing urban act. Around this time, a 90 second snippet of a track called Come Together was released to the media, which was notable for sampling the Beatles' song Come Together. A full version never leaked.
With the UK media describing her music career a failure, and combined with a rumored fall out between Dash and Fuller, remaining plans for Victoria's music career were cancelled. To try and salvage her music career, Victoria again began work on pop-styled tracks in 2004. It is known that she recorded a track written for her by Cathy Dennis entitled My Love Is For Real (not to be confused with the Paula Abdul song of the same name). With the collapse of Telstar Records, the pressure to stay with her family caused by the Rebecca Loos scandal, and the announcement of Victoria's third pregnancy, this song has never been heard, except for a leaked remix by Armand van Helden.
A previously unknown track, Back To Life, leaked online in 2005 after someone found it in a small record store. Although uncertain, it is believed this track dates from early recording sessions for the Victoria Beckham album.
In spring 2006, hope for new tracks was raised when an auction for a CD of 25 unreleased songs from the Telstar / 19 Management era appeared on eBay. It eventually sold for £390, although the buyer never leaked the songs onto the internet after being warned by lawyers representing the copyright owner of the material.
Despite this, on 5 September 2006, eleven of Victoria's unreleased songs from the shelved Telstar pop-style album leaked online in various music and fan forums.
List of unreleased music:
Future in music
On February 26, 2006, Beckham stated in an interview with the Sunday Mirror: "I'm never going to sing again, unless it was a chance to do something with the Spice Girls. I don't really miss the shows we did together. I miss the girls more. I see Geri a lot — I love her, she's amazing. I speak to the others from time to time. I love them too and miss them."
Beckham also declared that, for the moment, she and her former Spice colleagues are enjoying their solo careers in various fields. She says: "We're all still doing our own thing. But that's the great thing about the position we're in now — when we decide we want to do more stuff, we can. There's no pressure and, at the end of the day, our fans have been so supportive — and so loyal — that hopefully, when we do come back they'll still be there".
"She's focusing on her fashion activity at the moment and should she wish to do music at a later date then obviously that's something we can consider. She has a flexible career with which she can do whatever she wants to," her spokeswoman said.
David and Victoria Beckham
In 1997, Adams started dating English footballer David Beckham of the famous team Manchester United, and their relationship attracted a great deal of media interest. Victoria and David Beckham married at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland on 4 July 1999. The wedding attracted tremendous media coverage. Beckham's teammate Gary Neville was the best man, and the couple's son Brooklyn, then four months old, was the ring bearer. The media were kept away from the ceremony, as the Beckhams had an exclusive deal with OK! Magazine, but newspapers were still able to obtain photographs showing them sitting on golden thrones. 437 staff were employed for the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000. The Beckhams, who came to be known almost universally as "Posh and Becks", have three sons: Brooklyn Joseph Beckham (born 4 March 1999), Romeo James Beckham (1 September 2002) and Cruz David Beckham (20 February 2005).
In 2004, her happily married image suffered when a string of women claimed to the tabloid press to have had affairs with David, including Rebecca Loos. All were dismissed as "ludicrous", "absurd", and "unsubstantiated" by David Beckham, and the Beckhams showed a publicly united front against the allegations. However, Loos maintained that she had not fabricated the allegations, and since the Beckhams took no legal action to disprove them, although they initially insisted they would, they have continued to mar the image of the Beckhams as the UK's "golden couple". The British press and public, however, eventually lost interest in the story, and the Beckhams have appeared to continue life as normal. During the 2006 World Cup Victoria was seen by the press as the leading "WAG" (as the wives and girlfriends of the England team came to be dubbed). In September 2006, amid speculation that Victoria was pregnant with the couple's fourth child, she dispelled the rumors by revealing that she is currently using the Pill, though in the same interview she also mentioned her hope that when the time is right she will have a daughter.
In 2003 Victoria denied rumors of breast enhancement on British TV insisting, "I'm completely natural, except for my fingernails and I have a bit of help with my hair and a bit of St. Tropez going on." A year later she told British chat show host Michael Parkinson, "I haven't had a boob job." This was widely believed to be proven as a lie in 2005 when a court document relating to a libel case she and her husband filed revealed she did have her breasts enhanced. The file, obtained by Britain's The People newspaper, says, "that the Second Claimant (Victoria Beckham) had in fact undergone breast enhancement surgery to make them look like a pair of Tunnocks Tea Cakes with cherries on top, and had lied about it on the 'Tabloid Tales' television program."
Victoria Beckham has had a well-publicized feud with supermodel Naomi Campbell, which began when she publicly branded Campbell as "a massive cow" and a "bitch" in 2000. The feud reportedly began when Naomi asked Victoria, "Why do they call you Posh?" (questioning her class). This was apparently responded with, "Why do they call you beautiful?" However, any bad blood (tabloid-induced or otherwise) between them seems to have subsided and the women have appeared to be friends, Naomi having introduced Victoria to Damon Dash.
In recent months, a steady stream of paparazzi coverage has made Beckham something of a media celebrity in the United States, with his recent move to the Los Angeles Galaxy team.
Following the birth of her first child, Victoria's weight loss became a topic of much discussion in the British tabloid press. She agreed to appear in adverts for Walkers Sensations Brand Crisps alongside Gary Lineker but there were claims that she would not actually eat the crisps. She claimed that she never had an eating disorder though, she says former band member Geri Halliwell did get her dangerously addicted to dieting. She has said that her dramatic weight loss was due to polycystic ovary syndrome. In December 2006 on the BBC Radio program "Gordon Ramsay's Perfect Christmas Lunch", she stated that she is disciplined in what she eats and tries to eat healthy with lots of of fruits, vegetables, and fish.
In 2004 Victoria designed a fashion line for Rock and Republic called 'VB Rocks,' consisting mainly of jeans for the high end of the market (retailing at approximately $300 in the U.S.) The line was successful, and Victoria contributed further lines, including children's and men's wear, for the Spring/Autumn of 2006. She has also worked on a range of women's clothes including shirts and skirts. The clothing features a logo of a crown with the letters "VB".
Beckham was briefly the face of Rocawear, during her period of collaboration with Damon Dash.
For a number of years Beckham has produced a range of handbags in association with the Japanese store Samantha Tiara.
In January 2006, Beckham walked for Roberto Cavalli when his collection when unveiled at Milan fashion week.
In July 2006, Victoria Beckham released a line of sunglasses (which she had been seen wearing at the World Cup games).
In September 2006 'Intimately Beckham', a his and her fragrance line in association with Coty was launched.
In August 2006, former Spice Girls manager Simon Fuller announced that he was developing a TV fashion show for Victoria.
In September 2006, Beckham stopped working with Rock and Republic to launch her own jeans label following the success of her VB denim range for Rock and Republic. The new line of Victoria's jeans collection is called DVB Style.
Victoria has started her own website; www.dvbstyle.com, that features a blog, videomessages and news about her upcoming fashion projects.
Beckham acts as guest fashion editor of the March 2007 edition of Harpers Bazaar magazine. She has styled Katie Holmes who appears on the cover.
Victoria Beckham, casual and posing
Victoria Beckham has written an autobiography, entitled Learning to Fly (the title was taken from a line in a song from the musical Fame, which Victoria adored as a child). The book was the 3rd best selling non-fiction title of 2001 (total UK sales stand at more than 500,000 copies), and has been translated into several languages.
Victoria is widely believed to have told a Spanish journalist in 2005 that "I've never read a book in my life". Although often used to criticise and ridicule Victoria, this 'quote' was actually a mistranslation from the original Spanish in which the interview was printed - she actually stated she never had time to finish reading a book because she was always running around after her children.
Her second book, a non-fiction fashion book titled That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between, was published on October 30, 2006. It was co-written by Hadley Freeman, deputy fashion editor of the Guardian and a contributing editor of Vogue. On the Sunday Times Book Charts, the book stood at # 2. Sales are already more than 200,000 units.
Shortly after her husband signed for LA Galaxy, Victoria was invited by Playboy founder Hugh Hefner to join in a photoshoot.
Songs available on 'The Réal Beckhams' DVD:#95
Victoria Beckham, spectator
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