Spice Girls Could Return Before Year's End

Speaking with Reuters, Spice Girl Mel C. said that the group's long-awaited third album (its first since 1997's "Spiceworld" and the departure of Geri Halliwell in 1998) is close to completion and should be in stores in November. A spokesperson for Virgin Records confirmed to MTV News that the next Spice effort is tentatively set for a late November release, but notes that the date could easily move back to later in the year.

The artist often known as Sporty Spice also told Reuters that the foursome will soon shoot a video for the first single from the upcoming album. Virgin's U.S. reps said that they had yet to receive any details about a single or video or a title for the album.

With her solo album "Northern Star," Mel C. has been perhaps the most musically active of the Spice Girls during the three years since "Spiceworld." Consequently, she has had plenty of face time with the press, and had used much of it to talk about the next Spice album. "It's a bit

more mature. It's not a mature album, but [it's] a little bit more mature than the first two," she told MTV News last fall. "[It's] still very poppy, quite R&B based... we feel vocally a lot stronger now after the world tour and being a four-piece."

She also said that the group had been working with production gurus Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis as well as Rodney Jerkins, who has crafted hits for Jennifer Lopez, Brandy, Monica, Whitney Houston, and others (see Mel C. Promises 'More Mature' Spice Girls Album").