How Spice Girls’ Mel B went from $30 million net worth to $1,000 – then bounced back better than ever

Abu Mubarik January 05, 2023
Melanie Brown. Photo credit: NOEL VASQUEZ/GETTY via People

Melanie Brown, popularly known as Mel B, is an English musician, songwriter, dancer, actress, television presenter, and model. She rose to stardom as a member of the all-girl group Spice Girls.

The group became a global sensation following their breakthrough debut single, “Wannabe”, in 1996. The song became a hit in more than 30 countries. The success of their debut single influenced the release of their first album, which became the best-selling album by a female group in music history.

They subsequently released Spiceworld in 1997 and Forever in 2000 as well as the compilation of hits titled Greatest Hits in 2007. Aside from working for the group that she helped establish to become a global sensation, Brown also pursued her personal ambitions. 

She released her solo single “I Want You Back” with Missy Eliott on Virgin Records. The song made it to the top as number one on the UK Singles Chart. She later released her debut album, Hot, in 2000.

Besides music, Brown was also on television, hosting several shows like the Australian version of The X Factor. She was a co-presenter of the Australian version of Dancing with the Stars and a judge on America’s Got Talent. 

At the height of her career, Brown accumulated a net worth of $30 million, Celebrity Net Worth reported. However, she lost a chunk of her money to bad investment decisions. Her divorce left her with about $1,000 in her bank account at one point.

In 2017, she was ordered to pay her ex-husband Stephen Belafonte $40,000 per month in spousal support. She also had challenges with the IRS amounting to $2.5 million. However, she made a comeback following a series of money-making moves.

Being a judge on “America’s Got Talent” saw her make $240,000 per episode. She also went on a reunion tour with The Spice Girls which saw her earn some $1 million. Today, she has a net worth of $6 million, according to Celebrity Net worth.

Prior to hitting the limelight, Brown studied performing arts at Intake High School, in Leeds. Her career started as a dancer but she started singing after she joined a band called Touch. She later joined the Spice Girls whose membership included Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton, Geri Halliwell and Melanie Chisholm.

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