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Saturday, 29 January, 2000, 09:07 GMT
Spices win lifetime award

The way they were: Spicing up 1997
The Spice Girls will recieve a lifetime's achievement prize at the Brit Awards in March - less than four years after their first chart success.

Usually reserved for long-established acts like the Bee Gees, the Eurythmics and Fleetwood Mac, the lifetime achievement award recognises the group's phenomenal commercial success.

Geri has split from the group
News of the award follows the embarrassment of the act being voted Worst Group of 1999 by readers of Smash Hits magazine.

But British Phonographic Industry chairman Rob Dickins said: "The Spice Girls have smashed most world-wide record books in their own way much as the Beatles did in the 60s."

Formed seven years ago following an ad in the showbusiness newspaper The Stage, the Spice Girls scored their first hit in the summer of 1996 when Wannabe took them to number one.

The group - Mel C, Mel G, Emma Bunton and Victoria Adams - were "honoured and thrilled" when they found out about the award on Friday, their management said.

Will five become one?

Brit Awards 2000
One of the talking points of the 3 March event will be whether former Spice Girl Geri Halliwell will join her former colleagues to accept the honour.

Halliwell quit the Spice Girls in May 1998 at the height of the group's success, midway through their Spiceworld tour.

Mel C's solo career is taking off

She has since forged a successful solo career and both the Spice Girls and Halliwell will be performing at the Brits ceremony in London.

A statement from the Girls said: "We are overjoyed to have been asked to accept this award. We are still young and have, we hope, many more years to enjoy being part of the great British music scene.

"Spice Girls started out as five and we feel this award is in recognition of the great achievements of all five," they added.

But a spokeswoman was unable to say whether they would accept the award with Halliwell.

The Spice Girls are currently halfway through recording a new album, although no release date has been set.

All are also occupied with a variety of solo projects.

On Friday night Halliwell and Mel C shared the billing at the Music For Life concert at the Manchester Evening News Arena with solo spots.

Mel C opened the concert, but the one-time Ginger Spice - now more blonde - was the headline act.

Other Brit nominations will be announced on Monday evening.

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See also:

21 Jan 00 |  Entertainment
Ginger and Sporty square up
17 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Spice Girls see double
05 Dec 99 |  Entertainment
Spice Girls 'worst group of 1999'
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