Spice Girls set to announce reunion decision


LONDON -- Speculation is mounting that 1990s pop phenomenon the Spice Girls are to reunite, with the announcement that the five singers have called a news conference for Thursday.

U.K. tabloids reports claim that Geri Halliwell, Melanie Chisholm, Melanie Brown, Victoria Beckham and Emma Bunton (more commonly known as Ginger, Sporty, Scary, Posh and Baby) have been paid £10 million ($19.9 million) each to undertake a 24-date world tour taking in all major territories, including a first-time visit to Shanghai, China and a stop-off in Japan.

The tour is said to be commencing in December in London, to coincide with release of a Virgin Records greatest-hits album for which two new tracks have been recorded, though reports say there are no plans for new singles and they are unlikely to re-form permanently.

A statement issued by Spice Girls management 19 Entertainment read: "Following weeks of speculation, the Spice Girls are set to make an official announcement to the world regarding future plans on Thursday, June 28. No further information can be given at this time, but given the band's unique history you can be sure to expect the unexpected! Details regarding the announcement will be released in the coming days."

The Spice Girls released their first single "Wannabe" in 1996, going on to release three studio albums and 10 singles selling 53 million records worldwide. Their Universal film "Spiceworld" grossed $75 million. If the tour does go ahead, it will be the first time all five singers have performed together since 1998, when Halliwell left the group.