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Last Updated: Sunday, 25 May, 2003, 14:04 GMT 15:04 UK
Bunton grows up for solo career

by Michael Osborn
BBC News Online

Emma Bunton
The singer has unveiled a new sexy image
It has been seven years since the world was blitzed with the Spice Girl phenomenon, which is an eternity in the fickle world of pop music.

But the pig-tailed, clumpy-booted Baby Spice is still with us, but now aged 27 and making a renewed bid to break from her past.

Bunton's sultry comeback song Free Me sees her looking lithe and sophisticated - an image that has not been cultivated overnight.

"It's just happened. I feel like I've grown a lot and become a woman. And I've been training too," she says.

Emma - who has dropped her surname for her new single - points out that she was just a teenager when Spice mania took off back in 1996, and enjoyed being the baby of the group.

"I think it's lovely that kids still like calling me Baby Spice, but the other day I was spotted by a mum, and her daughter said 'no, that's Emma Bunton!' which was nice," she says.

Freedom

"It's part of me, but I have moved on and it's now in the past. But I don't ever want to leave my young fans behind. I don't think the new song alienates anybody," she adds.

Spice Girls
Emma Bunton has not ruled out a Spice Girls reunion
After a chart-topping solo stint two years ago, the performer has teamed up with Spice Girls svengali Simon Fuller to make a renewed assault on the charts.

With Girl Power in her sails, Bunton says she is a front seat passenger.

"I've worked with some amazing producers on the new album, and they have given me freedom. I've been confident in myself to know what I want," she explains.

Despite a long and hectic round of promotion for the new single, Bunton says life can be tougher with an instant smash hit on your hands.

Intimate

"Sometimes it's harder if you go straight to the top," she said.

"This time I just want people to listen to my music seriously and enjoy what I'm doing - but a slow-burning hit album would be great."

With plans for a more intimate solo tour, the prospect of a much-vaunted Spice Girls reunion seems a distant one - but not impossible, according to Bunton.

"The support from the girls is always there and we text, phone and keep it touch. At some point we'd love to get together, say in five years' time. Now is not the right time."

"But with Spice Girls songs and all our solo stuff as well, it would be a great gig," adds Baby Spice, who for the moment seems happy to shrug off that old label.


SEE ALSO:
Bunton plays on solo charms
12 Apr 01  |  Entertainment
Baby Spice wedding mystery over
15 Feb 01  |  Entertainment


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