Mel B


Birthday: May 29, 1975


Melanie Janine Brown, also known as “Mel B” and “Scary Spice,” was born on May 29, 1975, in Harehills, Leeds, England. She was raised by her English mother, Andrea, and her Nevisian father, Martin, in Burley, Leeds. After studying performing arts at Intake High School in Leeds, Brown went on to become a songwriter, dancer, actress and author.
Brown started her music career after responding to an advertisement in The Stage magazine for an all-female pop act and recording deal. She sang “Greatest Love of All” at her audition and was chosen, along with Geri Halliwell, Victoria Beckham, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm, to become a member of the Spice Girls. The group signed with Virgin Records in September 1995, and released their debut single, “Wannabe,” in 1996, which hit No. 1 in more than 30 countries, and instituted them as a global phenomenon. The song became the biggest-selling single by an all-female group. In November 1996, the Spice Girls released their debut album, Spice in Europe, which was enormously successful.

After the Spice Girls broke up in 1998, Brown pursued a solo career. Her first single, “I Want You,” with Missy Elliott sold 80,000 copies in the first week, giving Mel B a solo No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart. Hot, her debut solo album, was released in 2000, and produced three Top 5 singles. Her second album, L.A. State of Mind, was released in 2005, and included the single “Today.” The album was considered a flop.

In 2002, Brown starred on the BBC3 sitcom Burn It, and in 2003, she made her theatre debut with The Vagina Monologues in London. She then went on to star as Mimi in the Broadway musical Rent. Brown has also appeared in feature films such as LD 50 and The Seat Filler, and hosted the television shows This Is My Moment, Top of the Pops, Access Hollywood, Dancing With the Stars and the Australian version of The X Factor.

In 2002, Brown released her autobiography, Catch a Fire, which chronicles her experiences as a Spice Girl and pop star. The book reached No. 7 on book sales charts. She also launched a signature fashion line, Catty Courture, and was contracted to be the face of Ultimo Underwear in the United Kingdom. Additionally, Brown signed a record deal with EMI Music in 2012.

In August 2012, Brown performed along with other members of the Spice Girls at the closing ceremonies of the 2012 Summer Olympic Games, held in London.

In 2013, Brown was announced as the newest judge on America’s Got Talent, joining Howie Mandel, Howard Stern and Heidi Klum on the judges’ panel for season 8 of the series.