Saturday, January 27, 2007

Baby Spice gets maternal

Baby Spice is about to pass on her moniker to someone more suitable.

Former Spice Girl Emma Bunton announced Friday she's expecting her first child with her boyfriend of more than eight years, British boy-band alum Jade Jones.

"We are so happy, it's unbelievable news!" Bunton and Jones said in a posting on her Website. "We're really looking forward to having a family together and to the rest of our lives."

"I guess I will be handing over the 'Baby' tag now to a deserving little owner," she said.

While a due date has yet to be announced, BBC News reported the stork delivery would likely come sometime this summer.

The baby news comes in the wake of a revelation by Bunton last year that she had been diagnosed with endometriosis, a condition that makes it difficult to conceive.

But just a few weeks ago, Bunton said things were looking up.

"I went back to my doctors recently, and they seemed to think it was easing off, which would make it hopeful for me to have children," she told the BBC.

Since her girl-powered '90s heyday as the pigtailed Baby Spice, the 31-year-old graduated into a successful solo career in the U.K. She issued a limited-edition CD of cover tunes, Life in Mono, last month, and her version of the Petula Clark hit "Downtown" cracked the Top Five in Britain. She also placed third in Strictly Come Dancing, the British inspiration for Dancing with the Stars.

The 27-year-old daddy-to-be, meanwhile, is a former member of the boy band Damage and has forged his own solo pop career.

The impending birth nearly completes the Spice Girls circle of procreation.

Bunton's former bandmates Victoria Beckham, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Brown (whose impending child may or may not be Eddie Murphy's) all have children already. Sporty Spice Melanie Chisholm is the only one sans offspring.