2017 was a rough year for Former Spice Girl Melanie “Mel B” Brown.
At the beginning of the year, the America’s Got Talent judge had to step away from filming after revealing that her father, Martin Brown, passed away after a long fight against multiple Myeloma, a form of cancer that starts in the bone marrow’s plasma cells.
“It is with great sadness after a 5yr battle to multiple myeloma cancer our loving father Martin Brown passed away age 63 peacefully yesterday.” wrote the 43-year-old singer in the caption of a photo in which she and her sister are holding hands with their dad in his final moments.
“Both of us his children were by his side and would like to say thank you to St Gemma’s and all the doctors and nurses for there amazing care and support over the years,” she continued. “Please respect our privacy and let us as a united family grieve With love and respect. Melanie and Danielle Brown x Be Free Dad”
The devastating news came just a month after the entertainer announced her separation from her husband of 10 years, Stephen Belafonte.
Mel B accused Stephen of abuse, sexual exploitation and threatening her life, and in April, 2017, she was granted a restraining order against him.
Through it all, the mom-of-three was dealing with a complication issue that bothered her almost her entire life.
During a recent appearance on the British talk show Loose Women, Mel B revealed that she was diagnosed with dyslexia last year, and opened up about how it affected her life and career.
“All my life, I’ve just thought that maybe just my brain is wired different,” she said. “I’ve kind of hid it, but I didn’t know what I was hiding. When I’d see words backward, or I’d have to memorize a script over and over and over again, or it’d take me five months to read one chapter of a book because I couldn’t compute it.”
The International Dyslexia Association defines the condition as a “neurobiological” learning disability “characterized by difficulties with accurate and/or fluent word recognition and by poor spelling and decoding abilities.”
Mel B’s experience prior to finding out what’s going on, wasn’t great. She told the hosts that she often felt “dumb,” especially when she was in school.
“To get diagnosed with that helped me really — I felt really relieved,” she confessed. “All these years, and now I know why I’ve struggled so much, and especially at school…That was just a nightmare.”
This is one of the main reasons why she continued to pursue a career in the creative arts.
“That’s why I like the entertainment world and writing and singing and dancing — that kind of creativity,” she admitted.
The singer added that she now has strategies that help her cope with her learning disability, including using “colors on paper and writing.” She also said being open about her struggles have also helped her immensely.
“And then just talking about it too and not feeling so embarrassed and ashamed.”
While it’s a condition we hear people with kids bring up occasionally, it doesn’t get nearly as much attention as other conditions like autism spectrum disorder.
Mel B is not alone with her struggle as there are a few other celebrities who have spoken out about being dyslexic. Jennifer Aniston, Steven Spielberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Tom Cruise, Anderson Cooper and Cher are just a few examples.
Do you or anyone you know suffer from dyslexia? Let us know in comments!