Victoria Beckham


Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham

Victoria Beckham at a May 2010 LG Mobile event
Born Victoria Caroline Adams
17 April 1974 (1974-04-17) (age 37)
Harlow, Essex, England
Other names Posh, Posh Spice
Occupation Singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer, businesswoman
Years active 1994–present
Spouse David Beckham (1999–present)
Children 4
Website
Official website

Victoria Caroline Beckham (née Adams; born 17 April 1974)[1][2] is an English singer-songwriter, dancer, model, actress, fashion designer and businesswoman. In the late 1990s, Beckham rose to fame with the all-female pop group Spice Girls and was dubbed Posh Spice by the July 1996 issue of the British pop music magazine Top of the Pops.[3] Since the Spice Girls split, she has had a solo pop music career, scoring four UK Top 10 singles. Her first single to be released, "Out of Your Mind", reached Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart and is her highest chart entry to date. During her solo career, she has been signed to Virgin Records and Telstar Records.

Beckham has found more success as an internationally recognised and photographed style icon. Her career in fashion includes designing a line of jeans for Rock & Republic and later designing her own denim brand, dVb Style. Beckham has brought out her own range of sunglasses and fragrance, entitled Intimately Beckham, which has been released in the UK and the US. In association with the Japanese store Samantha Thavasa and Shiatzy Chen, she has produced a range of handbags and jewellery. In addition, Beckham has released two best-selling books; one her autobiography, the other a fashion guide.

In her television ventures, Beckham has participated in five official documentaries and reality shows about her, including Being Victoria Beckham, The Real Beckhams, and Victoria Beckham: Coming to America. She has since made a cameo appearance in an episode of American TV series Ugly Betty, and been a guest judge on Project Runway, Germany's Next Topmodel, and American Idol.

She is married to David Beckham and they have four children, Brooklyn Joseph, Romeo James, Cruz David, and Harper Seven. As of 2009, the couple's joint wealth is estimated at £125 million.[4]

Contents

Early life

Beckham was born at the Princess Alexandra Hospital in Harlow, Essex and raised in Goffs Oak, Hertfordshire.[5] She is the second child of three children born to Jacqueline and Anthony Adams. Her father worked as an electronics engineer,[5] and he later founded an electronics wholesale business which allowed a comfortable upbringing for Victoria and her siblings,[1] sister Louise and brother Christian Adams.[6]

Beckham attended St. Mary's High School in Cheshunt. She was embarrassed by her family's wealth and often begged her father not to drop her off outside the school in their Rolls Royce.[7] Beckham was frequently bullied and often felt treated like an outsider. She later explained that she had never made any friends and the other children would throw rocks at her.[8]

In 1980, when Beckham was 7 years old, she watched the musical Fame and subsequently made the decision to pursue a music career.[9][10] Jacqueline and Anthony Adams enrolled her at Jason Theatre School.[1] In 1991, Beckham attended Laine Theatre Arts in Epsom, Surrey and studied dance and modelling.[1][2] Eventually, she became a member of a band called Persuasion.[11]

Career

Spice Girls

Victoria Beckham performing in 2007 with the Spice Girls

Beckham auditioned for a March 1993 advertisement in The Stage which required girls who were "street smart, extrovert, ambitious and able to sing and dance".[5] In 1994, Beckham joined the all-female group, the Spice Girls. In the recordings before her marriage, she is credited with her maiden name as Victoria Adams. The group's first single was called "Wannabe" (1996), and she worked alongside Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton, Melanie Brown and Melanie Chisholm. It went to number one in the United Kingdom and United States, and another 29 countries. It was followed by nine further number one singles from their albums Spice, Spiceworld and Forever.[2] Each member of the group received a nickname from the media. Beckham was named "Posh Spice".[12][13] The group was one of the most successful pop acts of the 1990s, selling over fifty-five million records worldwide.[14] After the release of their third album, Forever (UK number 2), which was far less successful than their previous two albums, the Spice Girls stopped recording, leading Beckham to try to build a solo career.[citation needed]

In 2007, the Spice Girls reformed and announced plans to embark upon a reunion tour,[14] from which they were said to have earned £10 million each (approximately $20 million).[15] Victoria had previously stated that she and her former Spice colleagues were enjoying their solo careers in various fields, saying "We're all still doing our own thing."[16] Their "Greatest Hits" album was released in early November 2007 and the tour began on 2 December 2007. At its advent, Beckham said "I wanted my children to see that Mummy was a pop star. It was the last opportunity for them to stand in a crowd full of people screaming for the Spice Girls."[17] When Beckham had her hair coloured brown for the tour, she stated that her sons immediately reacted by saying "Oh my goodness, it's Posh Spice. She's back."[18] During one Spice Girls performance at London's The O2 Arena, her three sons accompanied her on stage during "Mama", along with the other Spice Girls' children.[19] She was the only member of the group not to sing a solo song on the tour, instead posing in the style of a fashion show on a makeshift catwalk, whereas the others each performed a number from their solo careers.[20] Polly Hudson wrote: "This time around Posh gets the biggest cheer when she sings her solo lines. She knows it too – and it seems to give her more and more confidence as the show goes on."[21]

Filmmaker Bob Smeaton directed an official film of the tour entitled Spice Girls: Giving You Everything, which was first aired on Fox8 in Australia. It later aired in the UK on 31 December 2007 on BBC One.[22] As well as their sell-out tour, the Spice Girls were contracted to appear in Tesco advertisements, for which they were paid £1 million each.[23]

Solo career

On 14 August 2000, Beckham released her first solo single, "Out of Your Mind" in collaboration with Dane Bowers and Truesteppers.[5] The week of release coincided with the release of "Groovejet (If This Ain't Love)" by Spiller featuring Sophie Ellis-Bextor, resulting in a chart battle dubbed 'Posh vs. Posher' by the tabloids.[24] Following a huge publicity campaign, "Out Of Your Mind" was outsold by Ellis-Bextor, and debuted at Number 2 in the UK Singles Chart.[25] Before the single's release, on 8 July 2000, Beckham made her public solo debut at London's Hyde Park at a concert to raise money for the Prince's Trust charity. She sang "Out of Your Mind" to a 100,000-strong audience.[26] Beckham then signed a recording contract with her group label Virgin Records.[2] Her next single as a solo artist, "Not Such An Innocent Girl", was released on 17 September 2001.[1] Again, she faced competition in another hugely hyped chart battle, this time with Kylie Minogue's single "Can't Get You Out Of My Head".[27] Despite a huge promotional campaign, Beckham was outsold eight to one, and her single debuted at number 6.[28] Beckham's eponymous debut album, which was released on 1 October 2001, reached Number 10 in the UK album chart.[29] The album cost a reputed £5 million to produce and it sold a modest 50,000 copies.[30]

The second and final single to be released from the album was "A Mind of Its Own" on 11 February 2002. The single reached number 6 in the UK[31] and sold 56,500 copies.[32] Rumours soon spread that Beckham was to be dropped by her label for not charting in the Top Three. These were strongly refuted at the time.[33] Beckham commented "You know what newspapers are like, they just like to put all the negative stuff in, but as far as I'm concerned and the record company is concerned it is all great."[33] A third single, "I Wish", was promoted but never materialised. The single version was a remix featuring Robbie Craig, and was performed on TV on Friday Night's All Wright.[34] Following the announcement of Beckham's second pregnancy, the single was shelved. Beckham and Virgin Records went their separate ways;[35][36] a statement from her publicist read: "No-one has been dropped. The Virgin deal has come to a natural end and both parties have decided not to continue."[35]

In 2002, Telstar Records signed Beckham in a deal made with 19 Management[30] worth £1.5 million.[2] Beckham spent much of that year recording a pop-influenced album called Open Your Eyes, which yielded the single "Let Your Head Go", but she allegedly chose not to release it after being disappointed with the results.[37][38] Instead of pop, Beckham wanted a more urban sound, working with urban producer Damon Dash for a more RnB and hip hop influence.[30][31] When he was first asked why he was working with Beckham he stated "Because I see how much she gets photographed over here."[2] A Dash-produced track "It's That Simple" featuring M.O.P. premiered on radio stations in July 2003,[31] generating mixed reviews.[31] Beckham's first single with Telstar, "Let Your Head Go / This Groove",[31] was released in the UK on 29 December 2003, following heavy promotion and many TV appearances across the Christmas period with the video being directed by Andy Hylton. The single charted at Number 3 in the UK.[31] This double A-side lifted "Let Your Head Go" from Beckham's earlier pop-inspired work with "This Groove" one of her Hip-Hop/R'n'B songs and remains Beckham's last single release to date. She is currently the only Spice Girl never to have had a UK solo number one, though she is also the only Spice Girl to have all her single/album releases go Top 10.[citation needed] Outside of the UK, Damon Dash had plans for Beckham in the US, including a potential release of "Let Your Head Go / This Groove" under the name of "Posh Spice Victoria Beckham". The release was proposed for sometime between March to May 2004, but never eventuated.[39]

With the UK media describing her solo music career a failure, combined with a rumoured fall-out between Dash and Fuller, her hip hop album, Come Together, was not released.[1][40] Beckham's fourth and last attempt at a solo career came with the announcement of a new single "My Love Is for Real", in which she ditched the attempt at urban music and went back to pop. This never materialized, and amidst the collapse of Telstar, remaining plans for Beckham's music career were cancelled.[41][42] Beckham is the only Spice Girl to have all of her singles and albums chart in the Top 10 of the UK charts, but she also has released fewer albums (1) and singles (4).[citation needed]

Books

On 13 September 2001, Beckham released her first book, Learning to Fly.[43] The title was taken from a line in a song from the musical Fame, which Beckham had enjoyed as a child. The verse that inspired the title is: "I'm gonna live forever, I'm gonna learn how to fly".[44] The autobiography documents her childhood, time during the Spice Girls, her marriage and family life, as well as her career at the time.[45] Learning to Fly became the third best-selling non-fiction title of 2001 and the total UK sales stand at more than 500,000 copies.[46] When the book was first released, it went to Number 1 in the book charts after four weeks of release, relegating Robbie Williams' book to second place.[28] A high-profile guest appearance on Parkinson, watched by nine million people, helped to promote the book.[28] Before the publishing of the book, Hello!, The Daily Mail and The Mail on Sunday joined to buy the rights to preview and serialise the book before its release. The figure paid was thought to be near £1 million.[11]

Beckham was quoted by a Spanish journalist in 2005 as saying "I've never read a book in my life".[47] She later claimed this was a mistranslation from the original Spanish in which the interview was printed, saying she actually stated that she never had time to finish reading a book because she was always too busy looking after her children.[48]

Beckham's second book, a fashion advice guide, entitled That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between, was published on 27 October 2006.[49] That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything In Between includes tips from Beckham on fashion, style and beauty,[49] and also contains photography by Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Steven Meisel. The book became another bestseller,[50] and has sold 400,000 copies in Britain alone since it was published in hardcover.[51] The rights have since been sold to the United States, the Netherlands, Japan, Portugal, Lithuania, Russia, and most recently China.[51]

Television

Beckham has shot five official documentaries. The first, dated 11 January 2000, was called Victoria's Secrets, a programme only shown in the UK on Channel 4. It involved Beckham being followed by cameras while also discussing and interviewing other British celebrities, such as Elton John.[52] The second, Being Victoria Beckham, was broadcast in March 2002 and saw Beckham discussing her career as a solo artist with the release of her first album, and also showed her at various photo shoots and recording sessions. The documentary attracted a strong audience of 8.83 million,[53] coming top in its timeslot.[54] One critic described her as "so clearly level-headed, happy with her not inconsiderable lot and seemingly unfazed by the madly intrusive nature of her monumentally ridiculous fame".[55] The third, The Real Beckhams, aired on 24 December 2003 on ITV1 and focused on the Beckhams' move to Madrid from London after David Beckham was signed to Real Madrid. It also featured Victoria Beckham re-launching her solo career and showed her mocking the tabloid stories she reads in the paper every day. The special received an audience of 6.10 million viewers[56] and was later released on DVD on 2 February 2004.[57]

The fourth was entitled Full Length & Fabulous: The Beckhams' 2006 World Cup Party, and followed Victoria and David Beckham organising and making preparations to host a 2006 World Cup Party at a marquee in the grounds of their mansion in Hertfordshire, which aimed to raise money for their charity.[58] Two tickets to attend the ball were auctioned on-line for charity, and sold for £103,000.[59] The documentary aired on 28 May 2006 and showed the event itself, where the menu was designed especially by friend and chef Gordon Ramsay and the charity auction was hosted by Graham Norton.[60] Ramsay catered for 600 guests, with the aid of 40 chefs and 100 waiting staff.[60] The ITV documentary attracted an average of 7.56 million viewers.[61]

To document Victoria Beckham's preparations for her family's move to the US, she signed a deal with NBC for six episodes of a half-hour unscripted reality TV series. Despite original plans for six episodes, the show was cut to a one hour special only as there "just wasn't enough (material) for a series."[62] The show, called Victoria Beckham: Coming to America, aired on 16 July 2007 in the US and Canada. It was heavily scrutinised by the American media and critics, with The New York Post describing it as "an orgy of self-indulgence" and also describing Beckham as "vapid and condescending".[62] The programme was the third-most-watched programme in its time-slot and received viewing figures of 4.9 million in the US, beaten by a repeat of Wife Swap and two sitcoms.[63] The programme aired in Britain on 17 July 2007 on ITV with 3.84 million viewers tuning in.[64] The programme was produced by Simon Fuller who managed her and the Spice Girls on their come-back tour.[65]

In July 2007, it was announced that Beckham would shortly begin filming a cameo appearance as herself in an episode of the second season of ABC's TV series Ugly Betty.[66] The episode, "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding", aired on 9 November 2007 in the United States and on 23 November in the United Kingdom.[67] Beckham's first line was "This is major", said when bursting through a curtain at a dress fitting for a wedding, in which she was the bridesmaid.[67] Beckham has said she only agreed to the part because of her interest in fashion, and not for the acting opportunity.[67] Despite her forays into television, Beckham has denied plans to embark upon a Hollywood movie career.[68] In February 2008, it was revealed that Beckham would be the guest judge for the finale of fourth season of Project Runway, which aired on 5 March 2008 in the US.[69]

Fashion

Beckham has become better recognised as an international style icon, rather than a music artist.[14][70] Beckham made a guest appearance on the catwalk for Maria Grachvogel in 2000, marking her debut as a model at London Fashion Week.[71] Beckham also acted as a British ambassador for Dolce and Gabbana[72] and was briefly the face of Rocawear in 2003.[73] Beckham designed a limited-edition fashion line for Rock & Republic called VB Rocks in 2004, consisting mainly of jeans for the high end of the market, retailing at approximately $300 in the US.[74] She had previously "hit it off instantly" with Rock & Republic designer, Michael Ball, in Los Angeles. He commented "She not only understands fashion and trends but has been a trend-setter and fashion icon for years."[75]

On 16 January 2006, Beckham walked the runway for Roberto Cavalli at Milan Fashion Week, and was for a period exclusively dressed by him for red-carpet and social events.[76] For the March 2006 issue of Harper's Bazaar, Beckham acted as fashion editor when she styled her close friend, Katie Holmes, for a fashion shoot.[77] In July 2006, Beckham released a line of sunglasses, called dvb Eyewear.[78][79] She has admitted to a personal love of sunglasses, saying "I'm quite obsessed with sunglasses. I collect vintage Guccis and Carreras — they can make virtually any outfit look cool."[10] After Beckham's departure from Rock & Republic, in September 2006, she furthered her fashion ventures by launching her own denim label, of which she acts as creative director. The new line of Beckham's jeans collection is called dvb Style.[51][74] In the same month, Intimately Beckham, a his-and-her fragrance line, was launched at a lavish press conference in Venice.[78][79] Beckham then launched her new official website, dvbstyle.com, which promotes her fashion work.[80][81] She also produced a range of handbags and jewellery in association with the Japanese store, Samantha Thavasa.[78][79]

Beckham in 1999

On 5 June 2007, Beckham won two British Glamour Magazine Awards, one for "Woman of the Year" and another for "Entrepreneur of the Year," which celebrated her fashion achievements.[82] On 14 June 2007 Beckham launched her dvb Denim collection in New York at the high-end Saks Fifth Avenue, along with unveiling her eye-wear range in the United States for the first time.[83] In the same month, Beckham made her first appearance at London's annual Graduate Fashion Week as a judge alongside Glenda Bailey (editor-in-chief of Harper’s Bazaar) and Lanvin's Alber Elbaz, to choose the winner of the River Island Gold Award, worth £20,000.[84] In August 2007, Intimately Beckham perfume hit US stores for the first time.[85][86] Victoria Beckham has stated "We are not just saying, 'We are celebrities, put our name on it.' I love to be involved with the whole process."[87] The Intimately Beckham line has been predicted to sell over $100 million worth of sales internationally, doubling this estimate in 2008.[87] In September 2007, Beckham released Intimately Beckham Night a new range of his-and-her fragrances,[88] and her debut cosmetics line V-Sculpt was unveiled and launched in Tokyo.[89] In a 2007 appearance at an LA Galaxy press conference, Beckham is credited with having popularised Roland Mouret's 'moon dress' and his brand,[90] and Beckham was also the face of Marc Jacobs for his Spring 2008 collection.[91] Beckham's own fashion collection debuted during the 2008 New York Fashion Week at the Waldorf Hotel,[92] featuring dresses, of which only 400 will be made.[93] Her first collection, that will retail between £650 and £1900,[93] was met with positive reviews; "it was a very impressive, accomplished collection, with not a single dud. ... it was the fabrics (silk, wool and organza) and the attention to detail that impressed", wrote one critic,[94] whilst others called it "Beautiful", "desirable" and "classy".[95]

Beckham sealed her status as a fashion icon by appearing on the cover of different editions of Vogue Magazine three times in a the space of a year.[96] Beckham's first appearance was on the April 2008 cover of British Vogue, then in November she appeared on Indian Vogue, and in February 2009 she made the cover of Russian Vogue.[97] Beckham has voiced her anti-fur beliefs, and promotes an animal friendly wardrobe filled with faux/synthetic furs. Her stand against the fur industry has generated admiration from animal rights organizations, including PETA. Of PETA's numerous anti-fur campaigns, Beckham stated that she is "supportive of its high-profile anti-fur campaigns," and pledged "never to work with fur in any of her own fashion collections".[98] Beckham is also well known for her love of designer high heeled shoes.[99]

Personal life

David and Victoria Beckham in Silverstone Circuit during the British Grand Prix 2007.

In 1997, she started dating footballer David Beckham after they had met at a charity football match, prompting him to request a meeting with her.[100] Of their initial meeting, she said, "I didn't really know who he was. I was never into football."[101] The couple announced their engagement in 1998 and were dubbed "Posh and Becks" by the media.[102] On 4 July 1999 they were married by the Bishop of Cork, Paul Colton, at Luttrellstown Castle, Ireland.[103] The wedding attracted much media coverage.[104] Beckham's team-mate, Gary Neville, was the best man,[100] and the couple's four month old son Brooklyn was the ring bearer.[105] Most of the media were kept away from the ceremony as an exclusive deal with OK! magazine had been arranged, but photographs were released showing the Beckhams sitting on golden thrones.[106] Victoria wearing a diamond coronet created for her by jewellery designer Slim Barrett. A total of 437 staff were employed for the wedding reception, which was estimated to have cost £500,000 (US$823,650).[107] The couple bought what would become their most famous home for £2.5 million in 1999;[108] the property, which is set in 24 acres (97,000 m2) of land, was duly given a £3 million renovation and was subsequently dubbed Beckingham Palace by the media.[108]

Victoria and David Beckham have four children: sons Brooklyn Joseph (born 1999, Westminster, London),[109] Romeo James (born 2002, Westminster,[110] London),[111] Cruz David (born 2005, Madrid, Spain);[112][113] and daughter Harper Seven (born 2011, Los Angeles).[114][115][116][117] Elton John and David Furnish are reportedly the godparents of Brooklyn and Romeo, and the godmother is Elizabeth Hurley.[118] Prior to Harper's birth, Victoria and David Beckham stated that they had a strong desire for a daughter.[119]

In January 2000, a tip-off to Scotland Yard detectives exposed a plot to kidnap Victoria and Brooklyn Beckham and hold them at a house in Hampstead, London.[120] The family was then moved to a secret location, but no arrests were made.[120] Later in March 2000, she received a death threat prior to performing at the Brit Awards with the Spice Girls,[120] and in the show's rehearsal, a red laser light appeared on her chest and she was rushed off stage.[120] After a fire door was found to be lodged open, it was thought that there had been an assassin there, and Beckham later revealed that she was terrified by the experience.[120] In November 2002, five people were arrested after another plot for her kidnap was infiltrated by a tabloid newspaper.[121] All charges were dropped after a witness was deemed unreliable.[122] In 2004, allegations surfaced that David Beckham had had a brief affair with a former personal assistant, Rebecca Loos.[123] The affair had apparently taken place when David had moved to Madrid, although he denied all the allegations.[123]

The family moved to Los Angeles, California on 12 July 2007 as a result of David being signed to play for the LA Galaxy. On their arrival in America on 12 July 2007, Victoria and David were met by hundreds of paparazzi and media representatives, causing a media frenzy.[124] They currently reside in a $22 million Beverly Hills mansion with ten security guards.[125] To create publicity for their move to America, the couple were photographed in their underwear for the fashion magazine, W,[124] which also included an interview in which Victoria said that David's supposed affair with Loos had made their marriage stronger.[124] On 29 May 2011, it was announced that the Beckhams would be settling back to England after the birth of their fourth child, which occurred in July 2011.[126][127][128]

It was reported in October 2007 that Beckham had turned down the opportunity to appear in Sex and the City: The Movie. She stated in an interview: "...asked to be in the Sex and the City film, which I would have loved to have done, but because I am in full-on Spice Girls rehearsal mode, unfortunately, I can't do it."[129] Beckham's marriage and career as a singer have made her the 52nd richest woman in Britain.[130] and the 19th richest person in Britain with husband David, with an estimated joint wealth of £112 million ($225 million USD).[4] In 2010, Beckhams's charity work with Save the Children earned her a nomination for the Do Something With Style Award from the VH1 Do Something Awards. The awards show, produced by Vh1, is dedicated to honoring people who do good and is powered by Do Something, an organization that aims to empower, celebrate, and inspire young people.[131]

Filmography

Year Title Role Notes
1997 Spice World Herself Lead Role/Feature Film, grossed US$75,000,000 worldwide
2000 Victoria's Secrets Reality documentary
2002 Being Victoria Beckham
2003 The Real Beckhams
2006 Full Length & Fabulous
2007 Victoria Beckham: Coming to America
Ugly Betty Episode "A Nice Day for a Posh Wedding"
2008 Project Runway Appeared as a guest judge
2009 Germany's Next Topmodel Appeared as a guest judge
2010 American Idol Appeared as a guest judge Boston & Denver Auditions
2010 SpongeBob SquarePants Voice of Queen Amphitrite

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album Charts
UK
[132]
2001 Victoria Beckham
  • Released: 1 October 2001
  • Label: Virgin
  • Formats: CD, cassette
10

Singles

Year Single Charts Album
UK
[132]
IRL SPA ROM AUS
[133]
2000 "Out of Your Mind" (featuring True Steppers & Dane Bowers) 2 4 4 27 Truestepping
2001 "Not Such an Innocent Girl" 6 23 15 67 36 Victoria Beckham
2002 "A Mind of Its Own" 6
2003 "Let Your Head Go" 3 17 Open Your Eyes/Come Together
"This Groove" 3 17

See also

References

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