Mel B has dedicated her MBE for her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid to other people who suffered in abusive relationships.
The Spice Girl, 46, was named in the New Year Honours for services to charitable causes and vulnerable women, and she declared: ‘This, for me, was all about them’.
Mel said receiving the accolade made her ‘incredibly proud’ as she remembered all the women she had met during her work and to her late father.
Notable achievement: Mel B has dedicated her MBE for her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid to other women who suffered in abusive relationships
Speaking to The Sun about learning she had received the honour, she said: ‘I thought about all the women I’ve met over the past few years who have been through terrible situations, women who have died, women who are still suffering.
‘This, for me, was all about them. It still is.’
She continued: ‘Receiving that letter telling me about the MBE . . . it was the first time I thought that I’d done something.
‘Not as a Spice Girl, but as Melanie Brown – this working-class, mixed-race kid from Leeds who has always done her own thing, regardless.
‘That made me feel incredibly proud of myself, of all women who’ve been through similar experiences and of all the people who have helped me along this path.’
Raising awareness: Earlier this year, the singer starred in a short film exploring domestic violence through dance, recreating a woman’s escape from an abusive relationship
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.
The dance was choreographed by Ashley Wallen, who has worked with stars including Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey, and on The Greatest Showman film starring Hugh Jackman.
Melanie split from her film producer ex-husband Stephen Belafonte in 2017 after a decade.
She claimed in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest that she had suffered abuse – allegations Belafonte has repeatedly denied.
Mel’s father Martin died from cancer following an eight-year illness in 2017.
The singer said that after telling her mother the news of her MBE, she had driven to his graveside to share the news with him.
Ex: Mel split from Stephen Belafonte, 46, in 2017 and claimed he emotionally and physically abused her during their 10-year marriage – something he vehemently denies (pictured in 2015)
Making a difference: Two years ago, the Yorkshire-born pop star released her memoir Brutally Honest, which led her to work with Women’s Aid after she detailed her marriage with Stephen
Pop star Mel said that, apart from the women who have suffered, she wanted to dedicate her award to her father.
She said he ‘started the journey I will be on for the rest of my life’, working as much as possible to raise awareness for domestic abuse.
The star, 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.
Bold: Mel, known as Scary Spice, rose to fame as a member of the Spice Girls in the nineties (pictured on stage at The BRIT Awards in 1997)
After the group went on hiatus in 2000, she established herself as a TV personality and talent show judge, with appearances on The X Factor, Celebrity Juice and America’s Got Talent.
The girl group reunited in 2019 for a stadium tour of the UK and Ireland, although Victoria did not join her former bandmates.
Mel is the second Spice Girl whose services have been celebrated through the British honours system.
Victoria was made an OBE by the Duke of Cambridge in April 2017 in recognition of her 17-year career as a fashion designer outside of the band.
For information and support on domestic abuse women can call The Freephone National Domestic Abuse Helpline on 0808 2000 247 while men can call the Men’s Advice Line on 0808 8010 327.
Pop legends: Mel won five Brit Awards and scored nine UK number one singles with the Spice Girls (pictured with Emma Bunton, Geri Horner and Melanie Chisholm and Geri Horner in 2019)