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  Sophisticated new image for Emma Bunton
Updated 22 May 2003, 17.23

By Michael Osborn
For CBBC Newsround Online

It's seven long years since the Spice Girls burst onto the pop scene- that's a long time in the world of music.

Remember Baby Spice with her pony tails and clumpy boots? Well, she's still with us, now 27, and hungry for chart stardom again.

Her comeback tune Free Me - out on May 26 - is a pretty sophisticated number.


How she's changed her image


Emma really doesn't look anything like her old Baby Spice image these days.

But she says she hasn't undergone a big makeover.

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


On being Baby Spice


The singer, who is now known simply as Emma on the sleeve of her new single, reminds us she was just a teen when the Spice Girls took off in 1996.

She was the baby of the group and was into the whole image that went with it.

These days Emma doesn't mind being called "Baby Spice", but says that was a long time ago.

"I think it's lovely that youngsters still like calling me Baby Spice," says the chatty, friendly pop singer.

"But the other day a mum pointed me out as Baby Spice, and her daughter said, 'no! that's Emma Bunton!', which was nice," she jokes.

"It's part of me but I've moved on and it's in the past. But I don't ever want to leave my young fans behind."


Em on her new album


She explains that "Girl Power" was still in force when she was making her new album.

"I worked with amazing producers who gave me freedom. I've been confident in myself to know what I want," Emma says.

"This time I just want people to listen to my music seriously and enjoy what I'm doing - a number one hit album would be great, though!" adds "Baby".


But will the Spice Girls ever get back together?


Her plans for an intimate solo tour make a huge Spice Girls reunion concert unlikely, but it's not out of the question, says the star.

"The support from the girls is always there and we text, phone and keep in touch," she reveals.

"We'd love to get together, say in five years' time. Now's not the right time. But with Spice Girls songs and all our solo stuff, it would be a great gig!" adds Emma with excitement in her voice.

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