During her rise to fame with 1990s pop group the Spice Girls, she was dubbed Posh Spice, a nickname first coined by the British tabloid press. Since the Spice Girls followed separate careers, Beckham has dabbled in pop music, scoring four UK Top 10 singles as a solo artist. Her first single to be released, "Out of Your Mind", reached number two in the UK Singles Chart and is her highest chart entry to date. During her solo music career she has been signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records.
Beckham has found more success as an internationally recognised and photographed style icon. She has had a significant career in fashion, designing a line of jeans for Rock & Republic and later designing her own denim brand, dVb Style. Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance, entitled Intimately Beckham which has been released in the UK and America. In association with the Japanese store, Samantha Thavasa, she has produced a range of handbags and jewellery. In addition, she has released two bestselling books; one her autobiography, the other a fashion guide.
In her television ventures, she has had five official documentaries and reality shows made about her, some of which include Being Victoria Beckham and The Réal Beckhams. Her last documentary to date was Victoria Beckham: Coming to America which documented her move to the United States with her family in 2007, but it was poorly received by American critics. She since made a cameo appearance in an episode of American TV series, Ugly Betty and been a guest judge on Project Runway.
Beckham attended St. Mary's High School in Cheshunt and Jason Theatre School in Broxbourne. She was embarrassed by her family's wealth and often begged her father not to drop her off outside the school in their Rolls Royce. During her schooling days, Beckham was a victim of bullying, being made to feel like an outsider. She commented "Children were literally picking things up out of the puddles and throwing them at me. And I just stood there, on my own. No one was with me. I didn't have any friends."
After Beckham had watched the musical, Fame, it inspired her and she subsequently decided that she would want to become famous. It was then that her parents enrolled her at Jason Theatre School. At 17, she attended Laine Theatre Arts College in Epsom, Surrey and studied dance and modeling. She was also in a band called Persuasion.
The group's first single, "Wannabe", went to number one in the UK and the United States, and would be followed by eight other successful number one singles from their albums, Spice, Spiceworld and Forever. Each member of the group received a nickname from the media; Victoria Adams became "Posh Spice". The group was one of the most successful pop acts of the 1990s, selling over fifty-five million records worldwide. After the release of their third album, Forever (UK#2), which was much less successful than their previous two albums, the Spice Girls stopped recording, leading Beckham to try to build a solo career.
In 2007, the Spice Girls reformed and announced plans to embark upon a comeback tour, from which they were said to have made £10 million each ($20 million). Victoria had previously stated that she and her former Spice colleagues were enjoying their solo careers in various fields. She said "We're all still doing our own thing. Their "Greatest Hits" album was released in early November, and the tour began on 2 December 2007. Beckham has stated "I wanted my children to see that Mummy was a pop star. It was the last opportunity for them to stand in a crowd full of people screaming for the Spice Girls. When Beckham had her hair coloured brown for the reunion tour, she stated that her sons immediately reacted by saying "Oh my goodness, it's Posh Spice. She's back. During one Spice Girls performance at London's The O2 Arena, her three sons accompanied her on stage during "Mama", along with the other Spice Girls' children. She is the only member of the group not to sing a solo song on the tour, instead doing a makeshift catwalk and pose in the style of a fashion show, whereas the others each perform a number from their solo careers. One critic wrote "This time around Posh gets the biggest cheer when she sings her solo lines. She knows it too - and it seems to give her more and more confidence as the show goes on."
Filmmaker, Bob Smeaton, has also directed an official documentary on the reunion. It is entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything and was first aired on Fox8 in Australia. It later aired in the United Kingdom on 31 December 2007 on BBC One.
As well as the sell-out tour, the Spice Girls were contracted to appear in Tesco advertisements, for which they were paid £1 million each.
Beckham then signed recording contract with her group label Virgin Records. Her next single as a solo artist, "Not Such An Innocent Girl", was released on 17 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". Despite a huge promotional campaign, Beckham was outsold eight to one, and the single debuted at number 6. Beckham's debut album, eponymously entitled Victoria Beckham, was released on 1 October 2001, and reached number 10 in the UK album chart. The album cost a reputed £5 million to produce and it sold a modest 50,000 copies.
The second and final single to be released from the album was "A Mind of Its Own" on 11 February 2002. The single reached number 6 in the UK and sold 56,500 copies. Rumours soon started spreading that Beckham was soon to be dropped by her label for not charting in the top 3. These were strongly refuted at the time. Beckham commented "You know what newspapers are like, they just like to put all the negative stuff in, but as far as I'm concerned and the record company is concerned it is all great."
A third single, "I Wish", was promoted but never materialized. The single version was a remix featuring Robbie Craig, and was performed on TV on Friday Night's All Wright. Following the announcement of Beckham's second pregnancy, the single was shelved. Beckham was then departed from the label Virgin Records. A statement was issued, which read "No-one has been dropped. The Virgin deal has come to a natural end and both parties have decided not to continue."
Telstar Records signed Beckham in 2002 in a deal made with Simon Fuller's 19 Management. The contract was worth £1.5 million. Beckham spent much of 2002 recording a pop-influenced album called Open Your Eyes which yielded the single "Let Your Head Go", but she allegedly chose not to release it after being disappointed with the results. Instead of pop, Beckham wanted to record tracks with a more RnB and hip hop influence, creating a more urban sound. She began working with urban producer Damon Dash. During this time, it was reported that Dash slighted Beckham, stating "If we can make Victoria hot, we can make anybody hot." When he was first asked why he was working with Beckham he stated "Because I see how much she gets photographed over here." A Dash-produced track "It's That Simple" featuring M.O.P. was created, and received a premiere on radio stations in July 2003. This generated mixed reviews, and further criticism, with the feeling being that Beckham was far from convincing as an urban act.
Beckham's first single with Telstar Records, "Let Your Head Go / This Groove", was released in the UK on 29 December 2003, following heavy promotion and many TV appearances across the Christmas period. The single charted at number 3 in the UK. This double A-side lifted "Let Your Head Go" from Beckham's earlier pop-inspired work with "This Groove" one of her Hip-Hop/R'n'B songs and remains Beckham's last single release to date. She is currently the only Spice Girl never to have had a British solo number one, though she is also the only Spice Girl to have all her single/album releases go Top 10. Outside of the UK, Damon Dash had plans for Beckham 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.
With the UK media describing her solo music career a failure, and combined with a rumoured fall-out between Dash and Fuller, her hip hop album, Come Together, was not released. Amidst the collapse of Telstar Records, remaining plans for Beckham's music career were cancelled. Beckham has said that she has no plans to return to music.
Beckham's autobiography, entitled Learning to Fly, was released on 13 September 2001. The title was taken from a line in a song from the musical Fame, which Beckham enjoyed as a child. The verse that inspired the title goes "I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly". The book documents her childhood, time during the Spice Girls, her marriage and family life, as well as her career at the time. Learning to Fly became the third best-selling non-fiction title of 2001 and the total UK sales stand at more than 500,000 copies. When the book was first released, it went to number 1 in the book charts after four weeks of release, sending Robbie Williams' book to second. A high-profile appearance on Parkinson, watched by 9 million people, helped to promote the book. Before the publishing of the book, Hello!, The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday joined to buy the rights to preview and serialise the book before its release. The figure paid was thought to be near £1 million.
Beckham was quoted by a Spanish journalist in 2005 as saying "I've never read a book in my life". She later claimed this was a mistranslation from the original Spanish in which the interview was printed, saying she actually stated that she never had time to finish reading a book because she was always too busy looking after her children.
Beckham's second book, a fashion advice guide, entitled That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between, was published on 27 October 2006. That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between includes tips from Beckham on fashion, style and beauty, and also contains photography by Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel. The book became another bestseller, and has sold 400,000 copies in Britain alone since it was published in hardcover. The rights have since been sold to the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Lithuania, Russia, and most recently China.
The fourth was entitled Full Length & Fabulous: The Beckhams' 2006 World Cup Party, which followed Victoria and David Beckham organising and making preparations to host a 2006 World Cup Party at a marquee in the grounds of their mansion in Hertfordshire, which aimed to raise money for their charity. Two tickets to attend the ball were auctioned online for charity, and sold for £103,000. The documentary aired on 28 May 2006 and showed the event itself, where the menu was designed especially by friend and chef Gordon Ramsay and the charity auction was hosted by Graham Norton. Ramsay catered for 600 guests, with the aid of 40 chefs and 100 waiting staff. The ITV documentary attracted an average of 7.56 million viewers.
To document Victoria Beckham's preparations for her family's move to the United States, she signed a deal with NBC for six episodes of a half-hour unscripted reality TV series. Despite the originally planned six episodes, the show was cut to a one hour special only as there "just wasn't enough (material) for a series." The show, called Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, aired on 16 July 2007 in the US and Canada. It was heavily scrutinised by the American media and critics, with The New York Post describing it as "an orgy of self-indulgence" and also describing Beckham as "vapid and condescending". The programme was the third-most-watched programme in its time-slot and received viewing figures of 4.9 million in the US, beaten by a repeat of Wife Swap and two sitcoms. The programme aired in Britain on 17 July 2007 on ITV with 3.84 million viewers tuning in. The programme was produced by Simon Fuller who managed her and the Spice Girls on their come-back tour.
In July 2007, it was announced that Beckham was shortly to begin filming a cameo appearance playing herself in an episode of the second season of ABC's TV series Ugly Betty. The episode, "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding", aired on 9 November 2007 in the United States and on 23 November in the United Kingdom. Beckham's first line was "It's major", said when bursting through a curtain at a dress fitting for a wedding, in which she was the bridesmaid. Beckham has said she only agreed to the part because of her interest in fashion, and not for the acting opportunity. Despite her forays into television, Beckham has denied plans to embark upon an LA movie career.
In February 2008, it was revealed that Beckham would be the guest judge for the fourth season finale of Project Runway, which aired on 5 March 2008 in the United States. She was especially complimentary of winner Christian Siriano's designs, saying they were very much to her taste and style.
Beckham designed a limited-edition fashion line for Rock & Republic called VB Rocks in 2004, consisting mainly of jeans for the high end of the market, retailing at approximately $300 in the U.S. She had previously "hit it off instantly" with Rock & Republic designer, Michael Ball, in Los Angeles. He commented "She not only understands fashion and trends but has been a trend-setter and fashion icon for years.
On 16 January 2006, Beckham walked the runway for Roberto Cavalli at Milan Fashion Week and was for a period exclusively dressed by him for red-carpet and social events. For the March 2006 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Beckham acted as fashion editor when she styled her close friend, Katie Holmes, for a fashion shoot. In July 2006, Beckham released a line of sunglasses, called dvb Eyewear. She has admitted to a personal love of sunglasses, saying "I'm quite obsessed with sunglasses. I collect vintage Guccis and Carreras — they can make virtually any outfit look cool." After Beckham's departure from Rock & Republic, in September 2006, she furthered her fashion ventures when she launched her own denim label of which she acts as creative director. The new line of Beckham's jeans collection is called dvb Style. In the same month, Intimately Beckham, a his-and-her fragrance line, was launched at a lavish press conference in Venice. Beckham then launched her new official website, dvbstyle.com, which promotes her fashion work. She also produced a range of handbags and jewellery in association with the Japanese store, Samantha Thavasa.
On 5 June 2007, she won two British Glamour Magazine Awards, one for "Woman of the Year" and another for "Entrepreneur of the Year," which celebrated her fashion achievements. On 14 June 2007 Beckham launched her dvb Denim collection in New York at the high-end Saks Fifth Avenue, along with unveiling her eye-wear range in the United States for the first time. In the same month Beckham made her first appearance at London's annual Graduate Fashion Week as a judge alongside Glenda Bailey, the editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar, and Alber Elbaz, to choose a winner to receive the River Island Gold Award, worth £20,000. In August 2007, Intimately Beckham perfume hit American stores for the first time. Victoria Beckham has stated "We are not just saying, 'We are celebrities, put our name on it.' I love to be involved with the whole process." The Intimately Beckham line has been predicted to sell over $100 million worth of sales internationally, doubling this estimate in 2008. In September 2007, Beckham released Intimately Beckham Night a new range of his-and-her fragrances, and her debut cosmetics line V-Sculpt was unveiled and launched in Tokyo. In a 2007 appearance at an LA Galaxy press conference, Beckham is credited with having popularised Roland Mouret's 'moon dress' and his brand, and Beckham was also the face of Marc Jacobs for his Spring 2008 collection. Beckham's own fashion collection debuted during the 2008 New York Fashion Week at the Waldorf Hotel, featuring dresses, of which only 400 will be made. Her first collection, that will retail between £650 and £1900, was met with positive reviews; "it was a very impressive, accomplished collection, with not a single dud. ... it was the fabrics (silk, wool and organza) and the attention to detail that impressed", wrote one critic, whilst others called it "Beautiful", "desirable" and "classy".
Beckham has voiced her anti-fur beliefs and promotes an animal friendly wardrobe filled with faux/synthetic furs. Beckham's stand against the fur industry has generated admiration from animal rights organizations, including PETA. Of PETA anti-fur campaigns, Beckham stated that she is "supportive of its high-profile anti-fur campaigns," and pledged "never to work with fur in any of [her] own fashion collections".
The couple have three children, Brooklyn Joseph Beckham (born 4 March 1999 in London), Romeo James Beckham (born 1 September 2002 in London), and Cruz David Beckham (born 20 February 2005 in Madrid, Spain). Elton John and David Furnish are reportedly the godparents of Brooklyn and Romeo, and the godmother is Elizabeth Hurley. The Beckhams have stated that they would like to have more children, especially a daughter.
In January 2000, a tip-off to Scotland Yard detectives exposed a plot to kidnap Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham and hold them at a house in Hampstead, London. The family was then moved to a secret location, but no arrests were made. Later in March 2000, she received a death threat prior to performing at the Brit Awards with the Spice Girls, and in the show's rehearsal, a red laser light appeared on her chest and she was rushed off stage. After a fire door was found to be lodged open, it was thought that there had been an assassin there, and Beckham later revealed that she was terrified by the experience. In November 2002, five people were arrested after another plot for her kidnap was infiltrated by a tabloid newspaper. All charges were dropped after a witness was deemed unreliable.
In 2004, allegations surfaced that David Beckham had had a brief affair with a former personal assistant, Rebecca Loos. The affair had apparently taken place when David had moved to Madrid, although he denied all the allegations. After the Rebecca Loos scandal, Victoria Beckham moved to join David in Madrid, adamant that their relationship would survive, stating "We have been through a lot worse than this." In 2006, she stated "I think we are a very strong family. We love each other to pieces. You work things out if you really love someone."
The Beckhams moved to Los Angeles, California on 12 July 2007 as a result of David Beckham being signed to play for the LA Galaxy. On arrival in America on 12 July 2007, the couple were met by hundreds of paparazzi and media representatives, causing a media frenzy. They are now residing in a $22 million Beverly Hills mansion with 10 security guards. To create publicity for their move to America, the couple were photographed in their underwear for the fashion magazine, W, which also included an interview in which Victoria Beckham said that David's supposed affair with Loos made their marriage stronger.
It was reported in October 2007 that Beckham had turned down the opportunity to appear in Sex and the City: The Movie. She stated in an interview: "...asked to be in the Sex and the City film, which I would have loved to have done, but because I am in full-on Spice Girls rehearsal mode, unfortunately, I can't do it.
Beckham's marriage, and career as a singer have made her the 52nd richest woman in Britain and the 619th richest person in Britain with husband David, with an estimated joint wealth of £112 million.
|1997||Spice World||Herself||Lead Role/Feature Film, grossed US$75,000,000 worldwide|
|2000||Victoria's Secrets||Herself||Reality documentary|
|2002||Being Victoria Beckham||Herself||Reality documentary|
|2003||The Real Beckhams||Herself||Reality documentary|
|2007||Victoria Beckham: Coming to America||Herself||Reality Documentary|
|Ugly Betty||Herself||Episode "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding"|
|2008||Project Runway||Herself||Appeared as a guest judge|
|2000||"Out of Your Mind" |
Truesteppers & Dane Bowers feat. Victoria Beckham
|2001||"Not Such An Innocent Girl"||Victoria Beckham||6||23||36||15|
|2002||"A Mind of Its Own"||6||—||—||—|
|2003||"This Groove" / |
"Let Your Head Go"
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