Geri Halliwell has announced her surprise return to music, crediting the support of her loyal Southern Hemisphere fans. The former Ginger Spice will release her first single in eight years on Sony Music Australia.
"I couldn't have asked for nicer people than the way you lot have been to me and the way you've all embraced me," Halliwell told the Sydney Daily Telegraph. The singer has enjoyed a new burst of fame down under since joining the judging panel for Australia's Got Talent, prompting this unexpected musical comeback.
Half of Me, which is due for release on 25 October, is "about love, hope and optimism, with a splash of humour". In addition to signing with an Australian label, Halliwell worked with an Aussie songwriting team: production duo Anthony Egizii and David Musumeci, aka DNA Songs, who have created hits for domestic stars including Reece Mastin, Samantha Jade and Jessica Mauboy.
"[Australia is] so friendly and open," she said. "I felt really connected and supported and embraced, so of course I am going to release my first song there." She also praised Sony Australia's "old school" boss, Danis Handlin, for reminding her that "it is all about the music".
"This is the first time I've released a solo record in a long time," she admitted. "So there's a bit of hesitation because you want it to be perfect when you are putting your toe back in the water."
It has been almost two decades since Halliwell first bounced to fame in the Spice Girls. She was the first to quit the group but later helped spearhead their not entirely successful stage musical, Viva Forever!.
Halliwell, 41, hasn't released any new music since 2005's Passion, which barely scraped the top 50 of the UK album chart.
Get those Aussie sales.