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Last Updated: Thursday, 8 January, 2004, 15:36 GMT
Mel C goes alone after being axed
Mel C
Mel C is the last Spice Girl to leave Virgin Records
Former Spice Girl Mel C is to release her CDs through her own record label in future after being dropped by Virgin.

The singer "parted ways" with Virgin at the end of 2003 after her single Melt/Yeh Yeh Yeh peaked at 27 in the charts.

She will now follow a path pioneered by Simply Red, who set up their own label to release their latest album, Home, and sold more than 300,000 copies.

Mel C had number one singles with Never Be The Same Again and I Turn To You in 2000, but her career has since slumped.

A statement on her official website said months of discussions with Virgin resulted in an agreement on all sides that it was "best to part ways".

No deal

"Melanie began work on new songs before Christmas and will continue writing when she returns from her holidays," it said.

"Melanie wants to release her own records in future and will not be looking to sign a new deal."

The singer had been with Virgin for more than eight years, and is the last Spice Girl to leave the label.

Her move comes 18 months after Victoria Beckham left, two years after it parted ways with Emma Bunton and two-and-a-half years after Mel B left.

The last Spice Girls single, Holler/ Let Love Lead The Way, was released in November 2000.

Solo decline

Geri Halliwell, who left the group in May 1998, was the only Spice Girl who did not sign a solo deal with Virgin.

Mel C's first two solo singles, Goin' Down and Northern Star, both reached number four in 1999.

She hit the top spot with Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes on Never Be The Same Again and repeated the feat on her own with I Turn To You.

But only one of her following four singles made it to the UK top 10 - Here It Comes Again, reaching number seven in March 2003.

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