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Spice Girls’ creator dies

Herbert formed 'girl power' group, managed Five

Bob Herbert, the Svengali who created the Spice Girls, was killed Monday in a car accident in the U.K. He was 57.

Herbert, a resident of Camberley, south of London, was killed instantly after he lost control of his car in heavy rain and it collided with another car in Windsor, west of London. Two people in the other car were injured.

Herbert most recently managed the male teen ensemble Five, which is endeavoring to translate international prominence into Stateside success. The band’s self-titled bow has sold more than 1 million copies in the U.S. since its release last year.

Herbert and his son, Chris, sought candidates for the Spice Girls by placing an ad in a trade magazine in 1996. Through auditions they selected the five girls and developed their style and image.

The group fired Herbert in 1997 and hired Simon Fuller (who was in turn fired last year).

“We were all shocked and saddened to hear the news,” the Spice Girls said in a statement Tuesday. “Our deepest sympathy goes out to his family. We know he will be sadly missed.”

Besides his son, Herbert is survived by his wife Ann and daughter Nicky.

Funeral arrangements are pending.

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