Entertainment

Mel B receives MBE in New Year’s list of honors for service to victims of domestic violence


Mel B has dedicated her MBE for her work with Women’s Aid, a domestic violence charity, to others who have suffered from abusive relationships.

The Spice Girl, 46, was named in New Year’s honors for service to charitable causes and vulnerable women, and she said: “This, to me, was all about them.”

Mel said receiving this honor made her “incredibly proud” as she remembered all the women she had met in the course of her labor and her late father.

Notable achievement: Mel B dedicated her MBE for her work with domestic violence charity Women’s Aid to other women who have suffered from abusive relationships

Speaking to The Sun upon hearing that she had received this honor, she said: “I thought of all the women I have met over the past few years who have been through terrible situations, women who have passed away, women who still suffer.

“This, to me, was all about them. It’s always like that.

She continued, ‘Receive this letter telling me about the MBE. . . it was the first time that I thought I had done something.

“Not as Spice Girl, but as Melanie Brown – that mixed-race working-class kid from Leeds who always did her own thing, no matter what.

“It made me incredibly proud of myself, of all the women who have had similar experiences and all of the people who have helped me on this path.”

Outreach: Earlier this year, the singer starred in a short film exploring domestic violence through dance, recreating a woman's escape from an abusive relationship

Outreach: 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 produced by and featured music by composer Fabio D’Andrea, saw her recreate a woman’s escape from an abusive relationship and was inspired by the stories she heard while that she was a patron of Women’s Aid.

The dance was choreographed by Ashley Wallen, who has worked with stars such as Kylie Minogue and Mariah Carey, and on the film The Greatest Showman starring Hugh Jackman.

Melanie split from her ex-husband, film producer Stephen Belafonte in 2017 after a decade.

She claimed in her 2018 memoir Brutally Honest that she suffered abuse – allegations Belafonte has repeatedly denied.

Mel’s father, Martin, died of cancer following an eight-year illness in 2017.

The singer said that after telling her mother the news of her MBE, she went to his grave to share the news with him.

Ex: Mel split from Stephen Belafonte, 46, in 2017 and claimed he abused her emotionally and physically during their 10-year marriage - which he vehemently denies (pictured in 2015)

Ex: Mel split from Stephen Belafonte, 46, in 2017 and claimed he abused her emotionally and physically during their 10-year marriage – which 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 detailing her marriage to Stephen

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 detailing her marriage to Stephen

Pop star Mel has said that apart from the women who have suffered, she wants to dedicate her award to her father.

She said he “began the journey that I will be on for the rest of my life”, working as much as possible to raise awareness about domestic violence.

The star, from Leeds, has won five Brit Awards and scored nine number one UK singles alongside 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 '90s (pictured on stage at the BRIT Awards in 1997)

Bold: Mel, known as Scary Spice, rose to fame as a member of the Spice Girls in the ’90s (pictured on stage at the BRIT Awards in 1997)

After the group’s 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 band mates.

Mel is the second Spice Girl whose services have been celebrated by the UK honor system.

Victoria was named OBE by the Duke of Cambridge in April 2017 in recognition of her 17-year career as a fashion designer outside the group.

For information and help on domestic violence, women can call the toll-free national domestic violence helpline on 0808 2000 247, while men can call the men’s helpline 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)

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)

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