Melanie Jayne Chisholm was the Spice Girl who showed girls that it’s all right to be tomboys. Born on January 12, 1974 in Whiston, Merseyside, England, her parents Alan and Joan Chisholm met at a Beatles concert and possibly even passed on some musical genes to Melanie; Joan was part of a band called Love Potion. As a young girl, Melanie C confessed that she didn’t entirely enjoy school, disliking being tied down by her classes and also the bullies in her class. She did, however, enjoy her ballet class and taking gymnastics, showing a great aptitude for dance and sports at a young age.

She didn’t have an ultra-glamorous life as a teenager, but she worked hard to be on her way towards becoming famous for performing. At 16, Melanie left home to attend the Doreen Bird Performing Arts College where she received a diploma in dance, singing, musical theater, and drama. She also took on different types of jobs, such as singing background vocals, selling tickets, and being a waitress.

Music practically coursed in Melanie’s blood, and some of her idols included Madonna and Neneh Cherry, whose style she copied and whose success in the music industry inspired her. Little did she know that she was also destined to break into the world of pop music in a big way.

Life as Sporty Spice

In the Spice Girls, Melanie initially didn’t let her sporty persona shine through. At some point, however, her now-famous backflip was integrated into the girls’ early routines, setting the tone for her future image. When the Spice Girls were gradually getting famous, Melanie C was often seen in tracksuits, trainers, and tight ponytails, earning for herself the monicker “Sporty Spice.” She was also famous for her fondness for football, often swearing allegiance to Liverpool.

As a performer, however, she was especially known for her incredible dancing skills and her powerful set of pipes, which she showed off to full effect in every Spice Girls performances. Apart from being a performer, Melanie C also signified that it was perfectly fine to NOT be a girly girl, ushering in an age when women felt confident enough to walk around in sporty tops, track pants, and trainers–and still look gorgeous.

After the Spice Girls

In the years leading up to the decline of the Spice Girls’ activities, Melanie C proved to be the most aggressive in pursuing a solo career, initially doing duets with Bryan Adams (“When You’re Gone”) and Lisa Lopes of TLC (“Never Be the Same Again”). During her solo career, she released the most number of albums and received recognition for her work, as well as bagging awards and number one singles.

A few years ago, after her album suffered a comparative failure, Melanie C parted ways with Virgin Records to establish her own record company, Red Girl Records. The label is now responsible for releasing all her recent musical works.

In the twilight days of the Spice Girls and for most of her career, Melanie C has undergone a lot of physical transformations, at some point ditching her long brunette locks in favor of a short, spiky, blonde do. At one point, she also experienced significant weight gain, which can be attributed to her feeling much more at ease with her body after enduring the grueling workouts and diets she had to follow in order to maintain her Sporty Spice exterior. She has also recently spoken about her eating disorders and bouts with depression

These days, Melanie C is doing much better, enjoying great musical success, completing a tour in Canada, and living with her boyfriend, Thomas Starr.

Melanie Chisholm’s solo albums

Northern Star was Melanie C’s courageous maiden effort at launching her solo career. The tracks she cut on this album were noticeably grittier and much different from the typical Spice Girls fare, underlining her different individual style. The singles from this album are “Goin’ Down,” “Never Be The Same Again,” “Northern Star,” “I Turn To You,” and “If That Were Me.”

Tracklist
1. Go!
2. Northern Star
3. Goin’ Down
4. I Turn To You
5. If That Were Me
6. Never Be The Same Again (featuring Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes)
7. Why
8. Suddenly Monday
9. Ga Ga
10. Be The One
11. Closer
12. Feel The Sun
13. Never Be The Same Again (Single Mix)
14. I Turn To You (Hex Hector Radio Mix)

Reason’s cover exhibited the return of Melanie C’s classic long brunette locks, but more importantly, this sophomore effort attained gold certification, selling a total of 100,000 copies and even peaking at number 5 on the U.K. album charts. The singles from this album are “Here It Comes Again,” “On the Horizon,” and “Melt.”

Tracklist
1. Here It Comes Again
2. Reason
3. Lose Myself In You
4. On The Horizon
5. Positively Somewhere
6. Melt
7. Do I
8. Soul Boy
9. Water
10. Home
11. Let’s Love
12. Yeh, Yeh, Yeh

Beautiful Intentions, released on May 31, 2005, is the first album that Melanie C released on her Red Girl Records label. This album, which has often been described as one of her most moving efforts, has reached gold certification in Austria, Switzerland, and Germany.
Tracklist
1. Beautiful Intentions
2. Next Best Superstar
3. Better Alone
4. Last Night on Earth
5. You Will See
6. Never Say Never
7. Good Girl
8. Don’t Need This
9. Little Piece of Me
10. Here and Now
11. Take Your Pleasure
12. You’ll Get Yours
13. First Day of My Life

This Time is Melanie C’s fourth album, proving that she is still powering on with her solo career. Four singles have been released so far: “I Want Candy”, “The Moment You Believe”, “Carolyna,” and “This Time,” with “Understand” being planned for the next release.

Tracklist
1. Understand
2. What If I Stay
3. Protected
4. This Time
5. Carolyna
6. Forever Again
7. Your Mistake
8. Moment You Believe
9. Don’t Let Me Go
10. Immune
11. May Your Heart
12. Out of Time
13. I Want Candy

Books by Melanie Chisholm
Like her fellow Spice Girl Emma Bunton, Melanie C has not released any books of her own yet, and has so far been featured in both official and unauthorized books about the Spice Girls.