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by David C
Whether you love her or hate her, you've no doubt heard of her. Daily reports of her shopping habits, love life, chart positions and the like are spread across newspapers and magazines everywhere.
But why is it that the whole world, and particularly the UK, seem to be infatuated with Mrs. Victoria Beckham?
Since bursting onto the music scene in mid 1996 with Britain's biggest girl group to date, the Spice Girls, the woman known to the world as Posh Spice has always been a mystery.
Listening to the early Spice records it is evident that Victoria didn't sing very much. People have been critical of her talent (or lack thereof) since day one, but with her debut album already in the shops and another single set for release just weeks away, Posh is to show again, that she has what it takes to be a successful artist all on her own.
Born Victoria Caroline Adams, she struggled through constant bullying and acne problems at school, went on to become a model and a dancer before finding herself audition for a wannabe pop group. With her natural talent and beauty and much to her delight, Victoria was picked to become one of five girls who would be the biggest musical export from the UK since The Beatles.
It was during 1997, when the Spice Girls were at their peak, that Victoria started dating Manchester United footballer David Beckham. Before the year was out, the normally quiet two had announced their engagement, and just months later Victoria became pregnant.
Following fellow Spice Melanie B to the delivery room, David and Victoria became the proud parents of Brooklyn Joseph Beckham in March 1999. The wedding was held on July 4th 1999 and the three other Spice Girls attended.
For the next year, although trying to keep a low profile, Victoria became a regular on the cover of women's magazines and in newspapers. Many saw her as "the new Princess Diana" and that was enough for them. She apparently didn't need any talent to still be a fashion icon.
So, as she watched her bandmates climb to the top of the charts Posh started to write her own material too. It was time to show the world just what Victoria Beckham was made of.
During Summer 2000, Victoria's first non-Spice record was released. Titled "Out Of Your Mind" the track, which was produced by Truesteppers and featured Dane Bowers on vocals, looked set to become her first solo No. 1. But her hopes were dashed when the single managed to only reach the No. 2 spot after leading the No. 1 song, Spiller's "Groovejet" all week in singles sales.
As Victoria got her songs ready for her first solo album, her lyrics book, diary and several suitcases of clothes were stolen from Heathrow Airport. Plus, the Beckham's bodyguard had threatened to publish a tell-all book about the life of the famous couple. There was also a plan in which Victoria and Brooklyn were to be kidnapped.
All these things however, were dealt with and as Emma Bunton scored her first No. 1, the pressure was on to see if Vic could do the same. If she did, the girls would set a new record for the only band to all have solo No. 1s. If she didn't, it would have proved the critics right.
On September 17th 2001 Victoria's first solo single was released. "Not Such An Innocent Girl" managed to sell over 9,000 copies every day of the first week, but this was a far cry from Kylie Minogue, who's single "Can't Get You Out Of My Head" was selling 72,000 a day. It landed at No. 1 and Victoria could only manage No. 6, behind Bob the Builder, DJ Otzi and Alien Ant Farm.
Solo No. 1s didn't seem to come to Posh very easily. Two weeks later, her debut self-titled album was beaten to the No. 1 spot by Kylie's new LP, in fact it only reached No. 10. Whilst her autobiography "Learning To Fly" finally peaked at to No. 1 after being second to Robbie Williams' book for a month.
Why Victoria's album wasn't as successful then?
Technically it's a very strong album. Her vocals are now very impressive, and she has the ability to master the three-and-a-half-minute pop song. She co-wrote nine of the twelve album tracks and they were all very good.
"Girlfriend", "Like That", "No Trix No Games" and "Whatcha Talkin' Bout" showed Victoria had guts and for once, wasn't afraid to speak her mind, while "A Mind Of Its Own", "I.O.U.", "Every Part Of Me" and "Unconditional Love" showed her softer, gentler, more loving side. A side that was usually well-hidden behind that famous Posh Spice pout.
On February 11th, her second single "A Mind Of It's Own" was released. Although most reviews have called this an album favourite and a much better choice of single than "Not Such An Innocent Girl", it only reached No. 6 in the official singles chart.
Does the lack of a top chart position make Victoria Beckham a failure then?
Whether or not she can put to rest the talentless rumours with a No. 1 hit record someday, and whether or not the mystery of Victoria Beckham being only a media figure and not a serious recording artist is true, her fans won't desert her. A No. 1 record would be definitely handy though, if not for our peace of mind, then for her own.