Summer 1999: As thousands of preteen girls squeal with glee, the Spice Girls mount the stage at Madison Square Garden. Melanie Brown, aka Scary Spice, steps up to the microphone, pumps her fist and shouts—"Mommy Power!" The squeals turn to squirms.
It could happen. Two weeks ago, Victoria Adams, 24—better known as Posh Spice—told a friend that she and her fiancé, English soccer player David Beckham
, 23, are expecting a child. Then came news that Brown, 23, is carrying a baby of her own. She and her fiancé, dancer Jimmy Gulzar, 26, have declined to comment publicly. Rick Sky, a former Sun reporter with close ties to the group, told PEOPLE that both Spices are about three months pregnant.
Adams met Beckham in March 1997 after a soccer game and exchanged engagement rings with him on Jan. 24. She reportedly broke the news to Beckham by phone from the U.S. while on tour—cheering him up after his humiliating expulsion from a June 30 World Cup match for kicking an opponent. Under a hail of British brickbats, Beckham promptly flew to New York City to be with his expectant fiancée.
Adams, who lives with her parents in Goffs Oak, the appropriately posh London suburb in which she was raised, plans to tie the knot next summer, and the couple recently bought a luxury penthouse apartment near Manchester, where Beckham plays. "David is very family-minded," says his friend and ex-teammate Simon Davies. "He obviously loves Victoria, and a baby is the next natural step."
The steps in Brown and Gulzar's relationship have been taken quickly. The couple met last February, when Gulzar performed on the Spice Girls' world tour; he proposed in May. They called off their engagement once over the summer, only to reconcile 10 days later. Though they have no firm wedding plans, Brown reportedly bought an eight-bedroom home in North London recently and is having a nursery installed.
Adams and Brown each believe they can have it all. Earlier in the year, Brown told reporters, "I would love to have a little baby, a miniature me. It would be great to be a mum. I could handle the group and still have a kid." Adams echoed the sentiment on a talk show. "I want to have children," she said, "but I still want to have a career." For now, the two mums-to-be have decided to remain with bandmates Melanie Chisholm (Sporty Spice) and Emma Bunton (Baby Spice, who might want to start thinking about a new nickname) and to complete their current world tour, which wraps in London on Sept. 20. "We are sisters and love each other and love being together as a band," the group said in an Aug. 24 statement. "We plan to continue on, perhaps adding two new members to the Spice family."
But not everyone sees the pregnancies as blessed events. "Young girls really look up to the Spice Girls," says Chad Nykamp, spokesman for the conservative Family Research Council. "It sets the example that sex outside of marriage is okay." And many in the recording industry believe the group's pregnant pause may become permanent. After all, notes Jim Irvin, features editor of the music magazine Mojo, "pop music is ephemeral. When the Spice Girls cease to be girls and start to be the Spice Middle-Aged Women, that's a whole different ball game."
Joanna Blonska in London and Anne-Marie Otey in Los Angeles