Alesha Dixon has revealed she turned down a major record deal with Mis-Teeq to quit the band.
The singer and Britain’s Got Talent judge, 42, said it was her decision to walk away from the group after their relationship became “intense” after years of touring and recording together.
The R&B girl band, whose hits included Scandalous and All I Want, formed in 1997 but split in 2005 shortly after their label Telstar went bust.
Dixon said some had believed then that the demise of Telstar had been caused by its signing of Victoria Beckham.
Appearing on Apple Music 1 for a special Black History Month interview, she recalled their split.
She said: “I don’t know how many people know this, but we started working on a third album. We were in America, Scandalous was a top 10 radio hit in America.
“Whilst we were out there having success with Scandalous, our record company in the UK went bust.
“A lot of people blamed Victoria Beckham at the time because they were an independent label, they were signing all these acts, there was this whole thing in the media because they’d signed Victoria Beckham, they were a tiny label and they’d spent a fortune signing her.
“They spent a lot of money on that project. They had Craig David, they had some successful acts, but they were still the underdog.
“So anyway, cut a long story short, they went bust. We’re in America, we’d started working on a third album, but that was the point when I decided I wanted to leave the group, so that’s why we didn’t do a third album.
“I spent several weeks debating it with my close people, it wasn’t a decision that I made lightly but we got offered another deal, we got offered a major deal.
“I knew if I signed that deal, I’d be tied into the group for several more years. I thought, ‘Here’s a clean out. Here’s a way out without me having to fight. I can just walk away.’
“It wasn’t that I wanted to be a solo artist. It wasn’t that I was in the group thinking, ‘It’s my time now’. I genuinely needed time out.
“It was a really intense eight years of my life, and it changed my life. Had I been happy, because to me well-being is more important, I would have stayed.”
Following her departure from Mis-Teeq, Dixon spent more than a year working on her debut album, Fired Up, but was dropped from her label, before her marriage to MC Harvey from So Solid Crew ended.
Dixon said that by the time she left Mis-Teeq “there were conflicts within the group”.
She added: “We’ve been on an emotional rollercoaster as a group, it’s just an intense relationship.
“We’ve had moments where we’ve not connected and we’ve not got on. We’ve been very respectful of one another in the sense that after all these years, we’ve maintained dignity.
“Anything that’s ever happened with Mis-Teeq, we’ve kept it very private and between the three of us. We still communicate to this day.”