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My new self-titled album was very much inspired by my time on stage with the Spice Girls last year.

It’s probably more surprising to me than anybody else. It was such an incredible experience; a magical moment where we began to feel the enormity of the impact we’d had on a generation of young people. It made us feel so proud and really lucky to have been given that opportunity.

I was nervous in the weeks leading up to rehearsals because I thought, ‘Can I be Sporty Spice again? Can I jump around on stage and sing Wannabe?’ It’d been a long time! The last time we’d performed together was at the 2012 London Olympics and a lot has happened since then. But as soon as I got into rehearsals I realised that I don’t become Sporty Spice, I am her – she’s within me and she’s not going anywhere. It all felt very natural.

I started to feel very reflective, not only as a Spice Girl but as a solo artist, and all of the experiences I’ve had in both my personal and professional life. I felt like it was time for me to truly embrace all aspects of myself and celebrate not only my successes, but the tough times and obstacles I’ve overcome.

“I realised that I don’t become Sporty Spice, I am her – she’s within me”

A few days after our final show at Wembley Stadium I was on a plane to Brazil to start a tour of Prides all over the world with Sink the Pink. The LGBTQ+ community has always had a big presence in supporting the Spice Girls and our solo careers. I’m a proud ally and have so much to thank the community for. I knew I’d have an absolute blast with the queens but never realised how profoundly the experience would affect me. It was like the final piece in my little voyage of self-discovery.

My crazy, amazing 2019 made me realise I wanted to make an album that felt empowering not only to perform, but I hope, also, to the listener.

Melanie C is released via Red Girl Media on 2 October