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Spice Girls Through the Years: From Early Stardom to Girl Power Icons

Time to spice up your life with some serious nostalgia feels!

Related: Best Girl Groups of All Time

It’s been 20 years since the Spice Girls’ debut single, “Wannabe,” hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1997. And to celebrate two decades of girl power, Us Weekly Video is taking a look back at the iconic girl group’s rise to fame and the indelible mark they made on the landscape of pop culture. Check it out in the video above!

Melanie “Scary Spice” Brown, Melanie “Sporty Spice” Chisholm, Emma “Baby Spice” Bunton, Geri “Ginger Spice” Halliwell and Victoria “Posh Spice” Beckham kicked off their careers when they dropped “Wannabe” in the U.K. in late 1996. The catchy tune quickly lit up radio airwaves and became a No. 1 hit not only in the U.S., but also in 29 other countries.

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From the get-go, the fierce fivesome touted their message of girl power whenever and wherever they could. During a 1997 appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman, Halliwell, now 44, defined the term that became synonymous with the British band. “Girl power is having brains and glamour at the same time,” she explained.

Despite their massive success, the “Say You’ll Be There” singers — who have sold 80 million records worldwide — became a foursome when Halliwell unexpectedly left the group in 1998 amid feud rumors. However, all five original members reunited in 2007 to embark on their highly anticipated world tour, The Return of the Spice Girls. Five years later, they performed together again at the opening ceremony for the 2012 Olympics in London.

Since then, the ladies have retired their platform sneakers and Union Jack dresses, but they still cherish their memories from their run as the Spice Girls — almost as much as we do. “I do miss it,” Bunton, now 41, who shares sons Beau, 9, and Tate, 5, with partner Jade Jones, said in 2012. “I do miss it because when I’m with the girls, I can be silly and muck around. Yeah, I’ve got two kids now. I have to be a little bit sensible.”

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To relive the Spice Girls’ best moments, watch the video above!

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