Mel B Explains Where The Nickname Scary Spice Came From

Here's how a "lazy journalist" changed Spice Girls history.

09/15/2015 03:55 pm ET | Updated Sep 15, 2015

Nearly 20 years since they crashed into the zeitgeist with "Wannabe," the Spice Girls are still affectionately known by their personality-defining nicknames: Scary Spice, Ginger Spice, Posh Spice, Baby Spice and Sporty Spice. The names are forever part of the Girl Power lore, but they weren't actually an invention of the Spice Girls themselves, Melanie Brown told HuffPost Live on Tuesday.

"It was actually a lazy journalist that couldn't be bothered to remember all our names, so he just gave us nicknames," Mel B said. "And we were like, 'Oh, well, that kind of works. I don't mind my name. Do you like your name? Baby? Posh?' We were like, 'Let's just go with it.'"

That "lazy journalist" was Peter Loraine, who was editor of the British magazine Top of the Pops and led the 1996 meeting in which the names were devised. "We laughed the most when we came up with Scary," Loraine has said. "Jennifer Cawthron, who was also from Leeds, came up with that one because Mel B was so loud and had tried to take over our whole photo shoot."

Almost two decades later, as she prepares to judge the "America's Got Talent" finale Tuesday night on NBC, Mel B said she's never felt offended that millions of Spice Girls fans know her as Scary.

"I'm very kind of in-your-face," she said. "I was even more so back then. I was, what, 17, 18, like, 'What! What do you want?!' So I guess I could have come off as Scary. But I like my name."

Watch the full HuffPost Live conversation with Mel B here. 

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