Geri 'thrilled' at solo number one

Geri Halliwell has returned to the pop heights she knew
as a Spice Girl by scoring her first solo number one.

The 27-year-old's second solo single, Mi Chico Latino,
ousted Irish boy band Westlife from the top spot,
outselling them by two to one.

Critics had written the singer off, suggesting she would
fail to chart highly after her first solo single, Look at Me,
was held off the top of the charts by Boyzone earlier this

She said: "I am chuffed to bits and can't express how
excited I am.

"I am very grateful to everyone who has supported me
and am thrilled that people like my music."

'Latino crazy'

But experts believe that sales of Mi Chico Latino have
benefited from pop fans' enthusiasm for Latino beats.

Chart expert Jason Legg, from the HMV record shop
chain, said: "I think it's a case of perfect timing for Geri
with this record because Britain is going Latino crazy at
the moment.

"We've had Ricky Martin in the charts and there has
been lots of airplay for Enrique Iglesias and Lou Bega.

"It's exactly the right time for her to put out a song like

As Ginger Spice, Geri featured on seven of the Spice
Girl's eight number ones, the last being Viva Forever,
released after she quit the band.