Mel B was brought up next door to a prostitute and a drug dealer.
The Spice Girls singer grew up in Hyde Park in Leeds and admitted that life in the working class area was a "struggle".
Speaking during an episode of Channel 4's 'Born Famous', Mel said: "Living in Hyde park you become very aware from a very young age that you don't have it as good as anyone else but you're in a community where we're all the same.
"Everyone is struggling on the breadline or taking extra jobs. Growing up in that kind of neighborhood you become very aware life isn't that easy. There was a prostitute on one side and a drug dealer on the other."
And Mel, 44, admitted that her children, including eldest daughter Phoenix Chi, 19, have had a very different upbringing to her.
She said: "She's been exposed to a lot which is really different to how I was brought up. I was brought up with nothing."
Phoenix went to spend some time in her mother's old neighbourhood for the show but, despite initially vowing to prove her mother wrong, admitted she was too overwhelmed to spend the night in Mel's childhood home.
Phoenix first said: "My mum thinks it's so bad and the worst and I can't handle it and I'm so used to Beverley Hills and LA - and I'm ready to prove her wrong."
However, she later confessed: "I'm feeling scared, a little bit of loneliness. I'm in her room right now. This was her, this is what my mum was before me, before the Spice Girls, before any of the fame, money - this was her reality - and that was mine. I think I'm going to have to take a little break and sleep somewhere else.
Viewers of the show also saw Phoenix - whose father is former dancer Jimmy Gulzar - work at Pizza Hut and a coffee shop and spend time at her late grandfather's former place of work.