Spice World Not So Nice

Even as Melanie Chisholm, a.k.a. Sporty Spice, announced plans to leave British pop giants the Spice Girls to concentrate on her solo career, the group’s spokesperson denied the group was breaking up.

“I don’t intend to do any more work with the Spice Girls,” Chisholm told Reuters on Thursday. “I’ve not been comfortable being in the Spice Girls for probably the last two years. It doesn’t really feel that natural to me anymore.”

But today Spice spokesman Alan Edwards denied the split, while conceding that the supergroup’s future plans remain on hold while its four members pursue solo careers.

“Mel C has not left the Spice Girls and the Spice Girls have not split up,” he told Reuters. “What Mel said was correct in that there are no Spice Girls plans at the moment. I think they will sit down and take a view at the end of the year, although there is no date in the diary.”

The Spice Girls’ latest album, “Forever,” was considered a commercial flop when it was released last November.

Still, the British tabloids are lamenting the demise of what is arguably the most popular girl band of all time, having amassed over $38 million in global album sales. With only three members left — Emma Bunton (Baby Spice), Melanie Brown (Scary) and Victoria Beckham (Posh) — newspapers predict there would be little chance the group would survive. The band started out with five Spices until Geri Halliwell, a.k.a. Ginger, quit in 1998 amid internal squabbling.

Chisholm, 27, is widely considered the most talented of the group and has had success on her own with 1999 debut album, “Northern Star,” which became a huge international hit.