Melanie’s first solo venture was featuring on the hit single ‘When You’re Gone’ with Bryan Adams. Incredibly successful across Europe, it entered the UK charts at Number 3 and gave Melanie aspirations for more solo projects. As a solo artist, Melanie has released four solo albums. Northern Star (1999) and Reason (2003) were released on the Virgin Records label. After setting up her own label, Red Girl Records, in 2004, she released Beautiful Intentions (2005) and This Time (2007) as an independent. She has achieved over 3 million album sales, 2 Number 1 singles, 6 Top 10 singles and over 200 combined weeks on the UK chart.
Melanie’s solo success however reached far beyond the shores of her home country. In 2005 a track entitled ‘First Day of My Life’ was to become one of her biggest hits to date, selling over 400,000 copies in Germany alone. It also went on to chart at Number 1 in Spain, Sweden, Austria, Switzerland and Portugal where it helped to propel the album ‘Beautiful Intentions’ to double platinum status and kept it at Number 1 for 9 weeks.
In June 2007 came the announcement of the Return of the Spice Girls tour. Any initial reluctance to a reunion was diminished by spending time with four friends she had travelled the world with. Melanie relished the opportunity to perform in venues such as the O2 in London and New York’s Madison Square Garden, leaving audiences impressed by her energy, presence and live vocals. Melanie spent most of early to mid 2008 promoting and performing around Europe and headlining a tour of Canada. Melanie gave birth to her first child, baby girl Scarlet, in February 2009 and she embraced motherhood with the same dedication as her career.
As Melanie contemplated her return to writing and recording album number five, the opportunity to audition for Blood Brothers presented itself. The popular West End show had always been a favourite of Melanie’s so to play Mrs Johnstone was a challenge that she was delighted to accept. Her theatrical debut was phenomenally well received by audiences and critics; earning 5 star reviews from all the major newspapers, her performance was described as ‘absolutely sensational’ and the plaudits didn’t stop there. Melanie went on to gain a nomination for Best Actress in a Musical at the prestigious Laurence Olivier Awards, and also made the Evening Standard Theatre Awards short-list for the Milton Shulman Award for Outstanding Newcomer.
In 2011, Melanie returned from her hugely successful journey in musical theatre as she headed back into the studio to record her fifth album. Four years since 'This Time', the new material is more adventurous with Melanie's confidence showing in the new boundaries she is reaching as a songwriter. Co-writers on the album include previous collaborators Adam Argyle, Peter Vettese and Richard 'Biff' Stannard, while it also introduces new writing relationships with Cutfather, Ina Wroldsen and Dee Adam to name a few. The album title was announced in early June: 'The Sea' with its first global single release entitled 'Think About It'. A taster of what to expect from her writing time with the Cutfather team, the track saw Melanie return with a refreshing new sound incorporating a more electronic and layered production style. Her ability to write and express the very extremes of emotion are more than evident in the album; the first sample being uplifting, bright and much like the accompanying video, bursting with colour. Directed by Howard Greenhalgh, who has previously worked with Elton John, George Michael and Muse; 'Think About It' comes alive with imagery and backdrop graphics which complement Melanie's captivating performance, styled in a selection of stunning outfits. After the release of 'Think About It', Melanie toured the album live in concert in the UK and Europe and released two more singles, 'Weak' and 'Let There Be Love'.
In March, ITV1 and Andrew Lloyd Webber asked Melanie to join 'Superstar', the primetime TV show looking for the new Jesus to star in the UK and Ireland arena tour of 'Jesus Christ Superstar'. Melanie proved to be a hit with ITV and Andrew as she was soon asked to join the judging panel during the 'Superstar' live shows and also to play Mary during the arena tour. 'Jesus Christ Superstar' kicks off in London on 21 September before visiting Glasgow, Newcastle, Manchester, Cardiff, Birmingham, Belfast, Dublin, Liverpool and Nottingham. The tour culminates in Sheffield on 21 October. Alongside Melanie, 'Jesus Christ Superstar' will also feature Tim Minchin as Judas Iscariot, Chris Moyles as King Herod and 'Superstar' winner Ben Forster as Jesus.
'Jesus Christ Superstar' isn't the only thing Melanie C fans should be looking forward to in 2012. In June this year Melanie reunited with her fellow Spice Girls Emma, Geri, Victoria and Mel B for the first time since the 'Return of the Spice Girls' tour in 2008. The fab five came together to announce the upcoming West End musical, 'Viva Forever!'. With songs from the Fab Five, Judy Craymer has assembled a creative team that includes script writer Jennifer Saunders (Absolutely Fabulous, French & Saunders) and director Paul Garrington to bring the fresh, original story of 'Viva Forever!' to the stage. 'Viva Forever!' tells the story of a beautiful, talented girl and her best friends who get swept up in the obsession of today's TV celebrity culture. As she follows her dream, the musical charts her journey into the world of overnight fame and its impact on her relationships with her mother and the friends she thought she'd have forever. 'Viva Forever!' will preview from Tuesday 27 November and officially opens in the West End on Tuesday 11 December 2012.
Alongside her involvement on both 'Jesus Christ Superstar' and 'Viva Forever!', Melanie also has been busy putting the finishing touches to her new album 'Stages' in the last year. The record, produced by long time collaborator Peter-John Vettese, features a collection of songs from the theatre that have been important to Melanie at various stages of her life. During the finale of 'Superstar', Melanie already previewed one of the songs she recorded for the album: 'I Don't Know How To Love Him'. Alongside the 'Jesus Christ Superstar' classic, 'Stages' contains 11 other tracks including 'Maybe This Time', 'Tell Me It's Not True', 'Both Sides Now' and 'I Know Him So Well', which Melanie has recorded with fellow Spice Girl Emma Bunton.
'Stages' is released September 9 on iTunes and all other major digital outlets worldwide.