Mel C worried about letting Spice Girls fans down by not being a part of their reunion plans.
The ‘Northern Star’ singer had mixed feelings about whether or not to reunite with former bandmates Mel C, Mel B, Geri Horner and Emma Bunton for their 20th anniversary, as she worried about putting herself under pressure and scrutiny, but didn’t want to leave people feeling disappointed.
She said: "At the start of the year, I was in limbo. I’d been working on a solo album but the Spice Girls’ 20th anniversary was looming and we’d talked about doing something to celebrate.
"Choosing between the two was a really hard decision to make.
"Financially I’d have done really well out of a reunion, but more importantly, I didn’t want to let the girls or our fanbase down.
"These days, people who were fans at a very young age approach me all the time anf tell me we inspired them in their careers or gave them the confidence to come out as gay.
"We were such a big part of so many people’s childhoods and that’s the thing I’m most proud of."
As well as her fears about returning to the group, Mel was also put off the reunion because Victoria Beckham didn’t want to be involved.
She added: "At the same time, I had concerns about Victoria not being involved and started having second thoughts.
"When I’m a solo artist, my life is my own but when you become part of the group again, it’s much higher profile.
"You become part of something you can’t control. In the past, I haven’t always enjoyed that level of pressure and exposure.
"One day I woke up and realised I couldn’t do it. First I called Emma, who has always been my closest friend in the band, then I told the others."
And Mel – who has seven-year-old daughter Scarlet with ex-partner Thomas Starr – admits deciding not to take part in the anniversary celebrations was "life-changing" for her.
She told Grazia magazine: "Afterwards I felt a huge relief. It was a life-changing decision to put myself first.
"In my younger years, I often felt other people knew better or wanted to keep the piece.
"Being a mum to a little girl means I have to set a good example and treat myself better than I used to.
"I want her to be a strong woman, so I can’t allow myself to be walked over. I have to lead by example."