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Mel B announces death of her father: 'Be free Dad'

Gemma Strong

Mel B has confirmed that her father, Martin Brown, has died after a five year battle with cancer. The former Spice Girl, 41, took to Instagram on Sunday to share the sad news, posting a black and white photo of her and her sister Danielle holding hands with their dad. "It is with great sadness after a 5 yr battle to multiple myeloma cancer our loving father Martin Brown passed away age 63 peacefully yesterday," Mel wrote alongside. "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 their amazing care and support over the years. Please respect our privacy and let us as a united family grieve. With love and respect. Melanie and Danielle Brown." She concluded the message by writing: "Be Free Dad."

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Mel B announced the death of her father Martin Brown in a touching Instagram post

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Martin's passing seems to have helped to heal family rifts. Earlier this year, it was reported that the two sisters had reconciled after eight years of estrangement, but Danielle quickly shot down speculation. "Just 2 put the record strait! I've not seen my sister for 8 years, there is no family reunion planned, it is what it is. #dontbelievewhatyouread," she wrote on Twitter back in February. Mel reportedly distanced herself from Danielle and mother Andrea because they disapproved of husband Stephen Belafonte, whom she married in 2007.

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The former Spice Girl pictured with her dad and her husband, Stephen Belafonte

Meanwhile, according to TMZ, America's Got Talent has cancelled filming on Monday and Tuesday in light of judge Melanie's sad news. It comes just a few weeks after the show's new season suffered a setback when host Nick Cannon announced he would not return as the host, citing creative differences between him and executives at NBC.

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