Forty-two years ago today, a very special Baby was born. Little did Emma Bunton's parents know that their little girl would grow up to be a member of the biggest phenomenon of the '90s. The daughter of a milkman and a karate teacher, Bunton grew up humbly in London. At age 18, she was pursuing an acting career when she dropped everything to become one-fifth of a British outfit called the Spice Girls. Being the youngest of the bunch, Bunton adopted the nickname "Baby Spice." She was the sweet, innocent counterpart to Sporty, Scary, Ginger, and Posh.
As every '90s kid knows, the Spice Girls dominated the latter half of the decade with poppy hits, platform kicks, lovable personalities, and message of girl power. Everyone had their favourite, and I was a Baby Spice devotee. This may or may not have been because at the time I was the shy, blonde baby of my family. And even now, years after the heyday of Spice-mania, Baby doesn't always get the credit she deserves. So, here's a very un-scientific argument for why Baby is the best. Girl power!
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She completed the group. Believe it or not, Baby was actually not a part of the OG lineup. Two girls pulled out of the pack when they were going by the name Touch. The ladies' vocal coach suggested Bunton — and she clicked like that. "Straight away, I knew she was the one," Geri Halliwell (a.k.a. Ginger Spice) said.
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She loved doughnuts so much she did this spread on them. "Be sweet and honest always, but for God’s sake, don’t eat my doughnuts," the sweets-fiend said.
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And Cara Delevingne's. "I loved the Spice Girls. It started with Baby," Delevingne confessed.
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And Prince William's! "When Emma asked after the 14-year-old Prince William, [he] is supposed to have ripped down his Pamela Anderson Lee poster at boarding school and replaced it with one of Emma," Rolling Stone reported in a 1997 profile of the group. (Dad Prince Charles reportedly told him, "Don't be a cradle snatcher"!)
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She was always the happy-go-lucky one of the bunch. "I think there are people who hate us because I've got a smile on my face," she told Rolling Stone.
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Being the baby of the group, she knew the littlest fans were the truest fans. "I love seeing kids' faces smiling from the audience," she said. "And I'm not bothered at all that they're kids. I think it's very flattering, because they're not corrupted by anything, they like what they like...it's lovely."
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And she knew not to take the whole fame thing too seriously. "We've never said we were soul divas or the best at anything — we just enjoy getting up there," she said.