Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Mel B: My father gave me the strength to leave my marriage

Mel B reveals she went to her father’s grave to share news of MBE (PA)
Mel B reveals she went to her father’s grave to share news of MBE (PA)

Spice Girl Melanie Brown said her father would be “so proud” of her for being awarded an MBE for her work with domestic violence causes – and hailed him as the one who gave her the “strength” to leave her marriage.

The pop superstar was given the accolade in the New Year Honours for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women, following her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid.

The 46 year-old, known to fans as Mel B or Scary Spice, said receiving the recognition was “still a little bit shocking and very overwhelming”.

The singer previously revealed that, after telling her mother Andrea Brown the news, she had gone to her father’s graveside to share the announcement with him.

Brown’s father, Martin Brown, died from cancer in 2017 aged 63 following an eight-year illness.

Speaking on Steph’s Packed Lunch on Channel 4, she said: “He gave me the strength to leave my marriage. On his death bed I promised him I would leave.

“Then, three weeks later, when I got back to LA, I left.

“I know he would be so proud of me and wouldn’t actually be able to believe Mel B, mixed-race kid from a council estate in Leeds, has done that and achieved this.”

The singer has dedicated the award to all the women she had met during her work and to her late father.

“I’m standing up for something I truly believe in, that I’ve experienced myself, so to be awarded for that… I’m really proud of it”, she added.

“If I can shed light on it and help in any way, I’m not going to stop.”

2017 MTV Video Music Awards – Arrivals – Los Angeles
Mel B achieved success in the entertainment world as one fifth of the Spice Girls (PA)

Earlier this year, the singer starred in a short film exploring domestic violence through dance.

The video, which was directed by and featured the music of composer Fabio D’Andrea, saw her recreating a woman’s escape from an abusive relationship and was inspired by the stories she heard while a Women’s Aid patron.

She added: “It’s not about what I’ve done, I’m the voice for all those other women – and men – that have ever suffered an abusive relationship.

“This is for all them lot that don’t have the platform that I have to speak up about it.”

Brown also explained that, when she was raising the issue in 2017, she found that people shied away from talking about it as it was considered “taboo and dark and shameful”.

She said only one publisher would take on her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest, which documents her personal struggles behind the spotlight.

Brown divorced film producer husband Stephen Belafonte in 2017 after a decade, and within the book wrote she had suffered abuse – allegations Belafonte has repeatedly denied.

The singer, originally from Leeds, won five Brit Awards and scored nine UK number one singles alongside her fellow Spice Girls – Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm and Geri Horner.

Steph’s Packed Lunch airs weekdays at 12.30pm on Channel 4 and All 4

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]