Melanie Brown is an English singer, dancer, songwriter, TV personality, and actress. Mel B, also known as Scary Spice, achieved international fame in the 1990s as a member of the famous British girl group Spice Girls. The group is considered one of the most successful girl groups of all time.
Mel B pursued her solo career after separating from the Spice Girls in 2000, but she was only a shadow of the glorious one she had with the Spice Girls. After that, she hosted several awards and TV shows and managed to carve out a niche for herself as a television personality. In 2007 she took part in the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars and finished second next to her dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy. The former Spice Girl also served as a juror for the British and Australian versions of The X Factor. In June 2013 she joined the jury of America’s Got Talent.
In 2017, Mel B demonstrated her acting talent in the Broadway musical Chicago and in the 2017 comedy Chocolate City: Vegas Strip alongside Vivica Fox. In 2007, she returned with the Spice Girls on a highly successful reunion tour. The group will come back together again when they perform at Prince Harry’s royal wedding with Meghan Markle in May 2018.
Mel B Bio, Ethnicity and Age
Mel B was born Melanie Janine Brown on 29 May 1975 in Harehills, Leeds. Her mother Andrea Brown (née Dixon) is English, while her father Martin Brown came from the Caribbean Islands.
Melanie Brown grew up in Burley, an inner-city area of Leeds. There she attended Intake High School, where she studied performing arts. She began her musical career at a young age with a group called “Touch”.
By 1994, Mel B was one of the hundreds of women who responded to a call for an audition in Stage Magazine. The auditions took place at several locations across the UK and of the over 400 people who responded, only four were selected: Mel B, Mel C, Geri Halliwell, and Victoria Beckham. A fifth singer, Emma Burton, was added to form the 90s girl group Spice Girls.
Their first album Spice, released in 1996, was a worldwide sensation. The first single Wannabe was a monster hit that stormed the charts in many countries around the world. The group released their second album Spiceworld in 1997, followed by their own movie Spiceworld: The Movie and both had great commercial success. In 1998 the group was reduced to 4 due to Geri Halliwell’s decision to quit.
While Mel B remained a member of the group, she continued to work on her solo career. She hosted several awards and television shows. She also began work on her first solo album, Hot, which was released in November 2000, just one month before the Spice Girls disbanded.
When she saw that her first album wasn’t going so well, Mel B decided to try other options in the early 2000s. Her autobiography Catch a Fire was released in 2002. Her earlier acting roles were in the BBC3 series Burn It and in the romantic comedy The Seat Filler.
In 2005 Mel B tried to revive her music career with a second solo album L.A. State of Mind, but the album was commercially very badly received. In 2007 she joined the fifth season of Dancing with the Stars and made it to second place alongside her dance partner Maksim Chmerkovskiy.
In 2007 the Spice Girls announced that they would get back together. They worked on a reunion tour which was quite successful. The group also got back together for a performance at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
Mel B became a member of the jury of America’s Got Talent in 2013 and has been in office for 4 seasons. Previously she was a judge for The X Factor Australia and UK. She is currently 42 years old, only a few months before her 43rd birthday.
Husband and Family Life
Melanie Brown is currently not married. However, she has been married twice in the past. Her first marriage was with the Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar in 1998. Gulzar was a background dancer for Mel B’s music group Spice Girls. They got engaged on 13 May 1998 and exactly 3 months later they got married. The couple separated in 2000, and the marriage was annulled in the same year. Mel B was sentenced to pay alimony of 2.8 million dollars to Gulzar.
In her second marriage, she married Hollywood film producer Stephen Belafonte. The couple began their relationship in February 2007 and entered into the marriage in June 2007 in a secret ceremony in Las Vegas. The couple separated in December 2016 after 9 years of marriage. In March 2017, Mel B filed for divorce, alleging the emotional and physical abuse of Belafonte.
The divorce of Mel B from Belafonte was quite bitter and was made very public. According to Mel B, Belafonte had physically abused her on many occasions and also blackmailed her to silence. She admitted that the abuse was so great that she tried to take her own life in December 2014.
Beyond Brown’s allegations of abuse, she was also tempted to reveal very private details about her sex life. In an effort to obtain a restraining order against her estranged husband, Brown told the court about Belafonte’s extramarital affairs with her former nanny Lorraine Gilles. This led to a libel suit by the former nanny against Mel B and the revelation of more graphic details about the estranged couple. While Mel B insisted that her estranged husband was having an affair with the former nanny, the former nanny admitted that she and the couple were involved in a threesome on several occasions. Their divorce was finalized on December 15, 2017.
During her divorce battle with Stephen Belafonte, Mel B lost her father to cancer. All the stress associated with her dwindling finances took its toll. At some point, she joked about her colleague, American Got Talent Judge Simon Cowell, and left the show because Cowell had made a comment about her failed marriage.
Melanie Brown currently has 3 children. She had her first child during her first marriage with the Dutch dancer Jimmy Gulzar. On February 19, 1999, she welcomed her daughter Phoenix Chi Gulzar.
In 2006, Mel B had a short-lived but very popular relationship with the popular Hollywood actor Eddie Murphy. Their relationship led to the birth of Mel B’s second child. Four months after the end of her relationship with Eddie Murphy, the British-born singer welcomed her second child, a daughter named Angel Iris Murphy Brown, on April 3, 2007. It took a court-ordered DNA test in June 2007 to get Eddie Murphy to acknowledge paternity.
Mel B had her third child, a daughter named Madison Brown Belafonte, on September 1, 2011, during her marriage to Stephen Belafonte.
Mel B Net Worth
During her time as a member of the Spice Girls, Mel B acquired a fairly large fortune. The girl group sold millions of albums worldwide with numerous sold-out concerts. Mel B is said to have earned about 50 million dollars (38.3 million pounds) during her time with the Spice Girls.
However, it is unclear how much of this fortune is left because of her extravagant lifestyle and the series of legal disputes in which she was involved. One of her corporate accounts is currently said to have a balance of £961, and for a former multimillionaire, this is a frightening bank balance.
When Mel B divorced Jimmy Gulzar in 2000, she had to pay him about $2.8 million (£1.6 million) in alimony. During her divorce from Stephen Belafonte in 2017, it turned out that Mel B had squandered her entire fortune because of her extravagant lifestyle. She also spent several thousand dollars in legal fees for herself and Belafonte.
When her divorce from Belafonte was finalized, the former Spice Girl was ordered to pay him £6.5 million over a three-year period. Belafonte could have received much more than this amount if she had not signed an ironclad prenuptial agreement.
In an effort to rebuild her diminished fortune, Mel B demanded a pay rise to remain a judge of America’s Got Talent. With the help of her co-judge Simon Cowell, she was able to push through an 18% raise, which would raise her salary to a whopping £2.15 million per season.
Height and Body Measurements
- Height: 5′ 5″
- Weight: 59kg
- Bust Size: 38 inches
- Waist Size: 26 inches
- Hip Size: 36 inches
- Dress Size: 8 (US) or 10 (UK)
- Shoe Size: 8.5 (US) or 6.5 (UK)