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"Wannabe" is a song by the British pop group Spice Girls, released as their debut single, and widely considered to be their signature song. It was written by the Spice Girls, Richard Stannard and Matt Rowe for the group's debut album Spice.
"Wannabe" is an uptempo pop song with a touch of white hip-hop, rap and dance music; the lyrics are a demand of sincerity, with a feminist message of choosing friends over relationships, the song became an iconic symbolism of female empowerment and the most emblematic song of the Girl Power philosophy. Despite receiving mixed reviews from music critics, the song won Best British-Written Single at the 1997 Ivor Novello Awards and Best Single at the 1997 BRIT Awards.
The single was released in July 1996 in the United Kingdom, reaching the top of the UK Singles Chart for seven consecutive weeks, and received a platinum certification by the British Phonographic Industry (BPI). In January 1997 the song was released in the United States topping the Billboard Hot 100 for four weeks, becoming their only number-one single in that country.
By the end of 1996 it had topped the charts in 22 nations, and by March 1997 this number had climbed to 31, before it became the best-selling single by a female group in the history of recorded sound, selling over six million copies worldwide.
The music video for "Wannabe" was shot in April 1996, directed by Jhoan Camitz and produced by Mod Films. The clip appears to be one continuous take (although there were two barely noticeable edits) of the girls creating mischief at the Midland Grand Hotel in St. Pancras. Among their antics is Melanie Chisholm's back handspring on one of the tables. In their first book Girl Power!, Geri Halliwell wrote about the video: "I remember the chaos and the cold. It wasn't very controlled - we didn't want it to be. We wanted the camera to capture the madness of "Spice".
When the music video was released and first appeared on UK cable network The Box, it was selected so frequently that it reached the top of the viewers' chart within 2 hours of going on air, staying at number-one for 13 weeks, being aired up to 70 times a week at its peak and becoming the most requested track in the channel's history.
A promotional video for the song which includes clips from the making of the video was issued by Virgin Records before the official video was released. In the promo the group is seen singing "Wannabe" at the recording studio; they described the origin of "Spice" and their first impressions of each other, and they also sang the chorus of "One of These Girls", which would eventually was released as the B-side for their third single, "2 Become 1". The video won Best Dance Video at the 1997 MTV Video Music Awards. It was also ranked at number forty-one in the Top 100 Pop Videos of all time by Channel 4.