Thanks to Scary Spice, Live 8 is in danger of a girl power deficit.
Melanie Brown, the Scary fifth of the former international chart-topping pop group the Spice Girls, is the lone holdout for a reunion at next month’s London concert, according to organizer Bob Geldof.
Geldolf appeared on the U.K. TV show Richard & Judy (Britain’s equivalent to Live with Regis and Kelly) and said that Mel B. was having “difficulty going back to something she did in the past. I’ll call her during the week and if she can’t do it, she can’t do it.”
He said that Brown was working on unspecified project in California.
Geldof says if he fails to convince Scary to join the aid effort, she will not be replaced. The other four Spices– Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham, Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton, Melanie “Sporty Spice” Chisholm and Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell, agree it should be the original lineup or nothing at all.
“It’s got to be all or nothing,” Geldof told the BBC this week.
The Spice Girls debuted in 1995, evolving from a giddy Brit novelty act to a worldwide pop sensation. With singles like “Wannabe” and “Say You’ll Be There,” their debut disc, Spice, sold some 7.3 million copies in the U.S. alone.
They followed up with another hit album, Spiceworld, which also was parlayed into the campy, Hard Day’s Night-inspired film, Spice World.
But things went from spicy to downright salty in 1998, when Halliwell quit the group amid internal tension. As a quartet, the remaining girls trotted out their third and final disc, Forever, in 2000. The album tanked and their subsequent solo careers fizzled.
With or without the Spice Girls, Geldof’s free Live 8 shows will feature an unprecedented lineup of stars–including Paul McCartney, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, U2, Coldplay, Madonna, Mariah Carey, the Who and a reunited Pink Floyd–performing to raise awareness of Third World problems.
Concerts will take place July 2 in London, Philadelphia, Paris, Berlin, Rome and, as of last week, Tokyo, Johannesburg and Toronto. On Tuesday, organizers announced that the Toronto show take place at Park Place (formerly Molson Park) and feature Canadian acts like the Barenaked Ladies, Bryan Adams, the Tragically Hip, Simple Plan and, appearing via satellite from Las Vegas, Celine Dion. Native sons Dan Aykroyd and Tom Green will host the show. Motley Crue and Deep Purple are also on the bill.
There will be an additional Live 8 gig in Edinburgh on July 6 featuring Annie Lennox, Dido and Travis.
The concerts are expected to be carried live on AOL and Viacom-owned cable stations, including MTV.