Full Name: Emma Lee Bunton
Birth Date: January 21, 1976
Birth Place: Barnet, Hertfordshire, England, UK
Height: 5' 2"
Quote: "It's so funny - when I record I sing with a hand over each of them." (On her fascination with her breasts)
Emma Lee Bunton was born on January 21, 1976 in Barnet, North London. While growing up in nearby Finchley, Emma showed her desire to perform early on. After winning a beauty contest at age three, she yearned to be a dancer and an actress. She told her mother Pauline that she wanted to be a singer, after seeing Olivia Newton-John in Grease. Later, in the '80s, Emma looked up to Madonna as a role model.
After grade school, Emma attended Sylvia Young Theatre School, an early training ground for showbiz-track Britons. But with her working-class background -- father Trevor is a milkman -- she couldn't afford to attend for long, and had to switch to a regular high school. The disappointment drove the aspiring singer to tears: "The shock to my system was scary," Emma later admitted. However, after a mere three weeks, the theatre school called, offering her a scholarship, and she returned.
In 1992, Bunton took a two-year drama course at Barnet Technical College. Meanwhile, she made inroads as a model and actress, appearing in a number of commercials, ads and magazines, as well as being cast as a troubled youth on the BBC hit soap opera, Eastenders (after several auditions).
In 1994, Bunton answered an ad in The Stage trade paper looking for young female singers to form a new all-girl pop group. The band, originally called "Touch," was the brainchild of Chris Herbert, who auditioned thousands of girls before selecting the final five members. Emma made the cut, along with Geri Halliwell, Victoria Adams (now Beckham), Melanie Brown, and Melanie Chisholm.
Herbert conceived of a two-year plan to train the band, hiring a vocal coach, booking a rehearsal studio and arranging recording sessions; after less than a year, however, the Spice Girls grew impatient. Halliwell led Bunton and the rest away from their original management when, in 1995, the quintet was signed by Virgin Records and hired manager Simon Fuller. The Spice Girls released their first single the following year, and their debut album, Spice, ended up selling more than 20 million copies. Touring and international adoration soon followed.
Two years later, the headstrong Halliwell lead the Spice Girls to new management once again, and soon after quit the group herself, embarking on a solo career. This was trouble for the remaining Spice Girls. They were sued by an Italian company over Halliwell's split, and Bunton later had to testify that she never thought Halliwell would leave the group. Meanwhile, the quintet-turned-quartet put out another album named Forever. While the Spice Girls remained together on paper, each pursued a solo career, and Bunton was no exception. First she took a break from music, focusing instead on being a television presenter. Leading up to Y2K festivities, she spoke on behalf of a safe-drinking campaign, warning Londoners about the dangers of lighting fireworks while drunk.
In 2001, Emma Bunton was back with a single, "What Took You So Long?" and a new album, A Girl Like Me. While not a smash hit, it was a personal triumph. Bunton had a hand in writing all the new songs, something she had wanted to do for some time. "I decided to make a solo album a couple of years ago and started writing lyrics a long time before that," she says.
Bunton enjoys reading, watching movies, and going to the gym. She likes to find time for family, and she bought her mother a new house (her parents are now divorced) with her Spice Girls profits.
Emma Bunton Filmography
Chocolate (2005) .... Anna
Pyaar Mein Twist (2005)
Yes You Can (2001) .... Pop Angel
Spice World: The Game (1998) (Video Game) .... Baby Spice (voice)
Spice World (1997) .... Emma
To Play the King (1993) (TV Movie) .... Prostitute
"The Bill" .... Janice (1 episode: "Missionary Work" 1993)
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