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Melanie C.With 3 million solo album sales, 6 Top 10 singles and over 200 combined weeks on the UK chart, Melanie C''s impressive statistics speak for themselves. Having co-written 11 UK Number 1''s – more than any other female artist in chart history – she remains the only female performer to top the charts as a solo artist, as part of a duo, quartet and quintet.
Melanie began her musical career in 1996 as one fifth of the iconic Spice Girls. A truly worldwide phenomenon, they remain one of the most commercially successful acts in recent history and one of the most memorable girl bands of all time. With countless accolades to their name, including 4 Brit Awards, they dominated the late 1990''s with 9 UK Number 1 singles, 3 of which being consecutive Christmas Number 1''s, 2 Number 1 albums and LP sales of over 53 million.
Melanie''s first solo venture was featuring on the hit single ''When You''re Gone'' with Bryan Adams. Incredibly successful across Europe, it entered the UK charts at Number 3 and gave Melanie aspirations for more solo projects.
To achieve her solo ambitions, most of 1999 was spent in Los Angeles recording her debut solo album, ''Northern Star''. The fruit of this liberating labour saw Melanie working with a variety of respected writers and producers. Credits included Rick Rubin (Red Hot Chili Peppers, Beastie Boys), William Orbit (Madonna, Blur) and Rick Nowels (Dido, Nelly Furtado). An eclectic mix of strong and emotive tracks, the debut gave Melanie a platform to determine her own musical style and presented her with a freedom beyond the constraints of working on a group record.
After its release ''Northern Star'' produced five hit singles, including two successive UK Number 1''s in ''Never Be The Same Again'' and summer club anthem ''I Turn To You'' in 2000. Touring and promoting the album with live appearances around the world, Melanie''s confidence as a live performer was growing, as was her fan base. The album went on to achieve platinum status in Europe, gold in Australia and triple platinum in the UK, where it stayed on the charts for over a year.
Time was spent wisely on writing and recording album number 2 as Melanie concentrated on establishing her artistic direction and sound. Working with collaborators from ''Northern Star'' she also introduced some new writers and producers to the record including Marius De Vries (Madonna, Rufus Wainwright), Gregg Alexander (former ''New Radicals'' front man) and Guy Chambers (Robbie Williams), and with Melanie co-writing all but one of the tracks, her development as a songwriter enabled her to incorporate personal experiences using music as her outlet. ''Reason'' was released in 2003 and became a Top 5 album in the UK, with compelling rock ballad ''Here It Comes Again'' securing Melanie a Top 10 single.
The year 2004 was to prove a significant chapter in Melanie''s career as she set up her own record label, Red Girl Records, from which she would release all her future music. Named after her beloved Liverpool Football Club, this new lease of freedom meant that Melanie had full control over every aspect of her proceedings in the industry.
The first LP to be released on her own label was ''Beautiful Intentions''. Having previewed a number of the tracks at a series of Barfly venue gigs over the summer, Melanie was keen to emulate the ''live'' sound on this, her third studio album and did so by recording with the live band she had toured with.
''Next Best Superstar'' was chosen as the first single and scored her a Top 10 hit in 2005. A commanding and thought provoking rock song, its lyrics questioned the mentalities of the ever changing music industry she had been a part of for the last decade. The release of the album coincided with a nationwide tour of the UK, where Melanie''s captivating on stage performances were building on her reputation as a true live artist.
In late 2005, Melanie was approached to record the theme tune to German soap opera ''Julia''. Entitled ''First Day Of My Life'', the uplifting ballad written by Guy Chambers and Enrique Iglesias was to become one of Melanie''s biggest European hits to date.
Released at first in Germany, the song topped the charts and was certified platinum after selling a massive 400,000 copies – it currently still holds the record for most downloaded single. But its success didn''t stop there, ''First Day Of My Life'' went on to chart at Number 1 in Spain, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal where it helped to propel the album ''Beautiful Intentions'' to double platinum status and kept it at Number 1 for 9 weeks.
To celebrate her evolution as both a performer and a songwriter, Melanie released her first ever DVD - ''Live Hits'' in 2006, which was filmed before a sold out audience at London''s The Bridge venue. Boasting an impressive catalogue of hit singles and album tracks, the set was split into electric and acoustic sections to truly capture Melanie''s impeccable ability to fulfil and adapt to both singing styles.
Touring and performing live have always been Melanie''s first love and having played over 200 gigs in her solo career, the venues have varied from small clubs and festivals to the side of a snow-capped mountain in Austria. Other live highlights include performing in front of 200,000 people at Hero Square in Budapest, welcoming in 2007 with a crowd of 100,000 on Albufeira beach in Portugal and just last year appearing at the Isle of Wight Festival on the same bill as the Rolling Stones.
In March 2007, Melanie signed a publishing deal with Peermusic UK. Melanie''s fourth album, ''This Time'', was launched in the spring of 2007 following a simultaneous release of two different singles in the UK and mainland Europe. The infectious pop of ''I Want Candy'' was a reworking of the 1982 hit and was used to promote the British comedy film of the same name. Its video, which saw Melanie dancing for the first time since her Spice Girls years, made its debut on YouTube to over 200,000 views on its first day. The European single, ''The Moment You Believe'', enabled Melanie to work with long-time collaborator Peter Vettese on a soaring ballad which displayed the heart-rending balance between Melanie''s delicate vocals and powerful range. Further singles ''Carolyna'' and the title track ''This Time'' were released in the summer.
In June 2007 came the announcement of the Return of the Spice Girls Tour. Any reluctance to a reunion was overcome by spending time with the four friends she had travelled the world with. Melanie knew the chance to perform live with her band mates and celebrate their achievements at venues such as the 02 in London and New York''s Madison Square Garden, was an opportunity she couldn''t turn down.
The shows were a massive success and Melanie''s past years of touring and live experience were highlighted by her energetic performances, impressive stage presence and effortless live vocals. She honoured her past with some of the Spice Girls biggest hits of the late 1990s, while showcasing her present and future solo career during her dynamic performances of ''I Turn To You'' - which were met with equal enthusiasm from the sold out audiences. While established fans relished her spotlight, critics and concert-goers who had never seen Melanie perform before were left more than impressed by the spectacle of Melanie C - the solo artist.
For those American fans who couldn''t get enough, Melanie scheduled two solo gigs on her days off in between Spice concerts. Audiences at The Mint in Los Angeles and later at the Manhattan Ballroom in New York, were treated to a full set of songs from Melanie''s past and current albums, where she was performing solo material in the States for the first time in 9 years.
No sooner had the Spice Girls tour finished in late February; Melanie already had a busy schedule in place for 2008. April sees the release of ''This Time'' in Canada, following the music channel success of the video for ''Carolyna''. To coincide with the album, fans will also get the chance to see more of Melanie live when she embarks on a Canadian tour in May.
With live appearances also planned for several European festivals over the coming summer months, self-styled workaholic Melanie C continues to enjoy and build on a critically-acclaimed career, which places her as one of the most successful British female artists of the last decade.