Alesha Dixon says hitting "rock bottom" after Mis-Teeq's split and the end of her first marriage was the "making of [her]".
The 43-year-old singer shot to fame in the 'Scandalous' girl group - completed by Sabrina Washington and Su-Elise Nash - in the early 2000s and has reflected on the "intense" relationship she had with her bandmates during their eight-year career, and how she only ended up going solo after the trio's demise in 2005, because she needed to leave for her "well-being".
It was widely reported at the time that the cost of recording former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham's solo album led to the independent label Mis-Teeq were also signed to going bust and the girls were working on a third album that never got released after the entire roster was dropped.
Speaking to Dotty on Apple Music 1 as part of Black History Month, Alesha shared: "I don't know how many people know this, but we started working on a third [Mis-Teeq] album.
"We were in America, 'Scandalous' was a Top 10 radio hit in America.
"Whilst we were out there having success with 'Scandalous', our record company in the UK went bust.
"A lot of people blamed Victoria Beckham at the time because they were an independent label, they were signing all these acts, there was this whole thing in the media because they'd signed Victoria Beckham, they were a tiny label and they'd spent a fortune signing her.
"They spent a lot of money on that project. They had Craig David, they had some successful acts, but they were still the underdog. "So anyway, cut a long story short, they went bust. We're in America, we'd started working on a third album, but that was the point when I decided I wanted to leave the group, so that's why we didn't do a third album.
"I spent several weeks debating it with my close people, it wasn't a decision that I made lightly but we got offered another deal, we got offered a major deal.
"I knew if I signed that deal, I'd be tied into the group for several more years. I thought, 'Here's a clean out. Here's a way out without me having to fight. I can just walk away.'
"It wasn't that I wanted to be a solo artist. It wasn't that I was in the group thinking, 'It's my time now.'
"I genuinely needed time out. It was a really intense eight years of my life, and it changed my life. Had I been happy, because to me well-being is more important, I would have stayed."
Despite their differences in the group, the girls still keep in touch to this day.
Alesha continued: "By the time we got to the end of the group, there were conflicts within the group. We've been on an emotional rollercoaster as a group, it's just an intense relationship. We've had moments were we've not connected and we've not go on.
"We've been very respectful of one another in the sense that after all these years, we've maintained dignity.
"Anything that's ever happened with Mis-Teeq, we've kept it very private and between the three of us."
The 'Britain's Got Talent' judge - who tied the knot with the father of her two children, Azuka Ononye, in 2017 - was broke following the dissolution of the band and the end of her brief marriage to 42-year-old MC Harvey, of So Solid Crew fame, in 2006, but she believes losing everything was the best thing to happen to her.
She explained: "When I split up with the girls, I also got married that same year, my marriage lasted a year. So, I'd split up with the girls, I entered into this marriage, then in October 2006 I had no money, my marriage had ended, I had no record deal. I sat there and I thought, "All these years, everything that I've worked for. Why have I nearly lost everything? What's happening?" I felt like at the time, there was a lot of changes going on and a lot of things shifting and moving, and a lot of clearing out that had to be done in order for me to move on to the next level, next stage of my life. I had to hit rock bottom and that was the growth. That was the making of me. So the things that happened around that time that were toxic and negative, they were the making of me."
Dotty on Apple Music 1 as part of Black History Month and to hear the interview in full tune in today (7th October) from 3pm on The Dotty Show on Apple Music 1 at apple.co/_Dotty.