Rebecca Ferguson’s life hasn’t been short on drama.
Raised by her mum after her parents split up when she was a small child, she later spent time with family friends, foster parents and in care homes, when her mum Anne, then battling a serious illness, was too unwell to look after her.
Money was always very tight, too.
Despite all that, Ferguson fought for a better life. Her dreams of becoming a singer were put on hold, though, when she fell pregnant while still a teenager and eventually became a single mum-of-two after her relationship with the father broke down.
She qualified as a legal secretary, but her lifelong dream of being a star bubbled on.
The determination paid off; in 2010 she got onto The X Factor and, despite finishing as runner-up, a hugely successful album soon followed.
It wasn’t just the chance of releasing a record she was so grateful for, but the opportunity to pay back her relatives and give her children a better childhood than her own. “I pay my mum’s rent and ‘leccy’ bills now,” she says proudly, in her soft Liverpudlian accent.
Unfortunately, The X Factor and subsequent No 1 album, Heaven, was only the start of another set of problems including a legal battle with her ex-managers.
She was going through all of these ordeals while writing her new album, Freedom. The title is perhaps a hint at how she felt previously - and she decided that dragging herself to the studio each day was the best way to work through her problems.
Ferguson’s keen not to let these negative experiences change her, although she admits that now when she meets people, she tries to figure out their motives and decide, within an hour, whether they’re for or against her.
Freedom deals with many aspects of Ferguson’s life, in particular being unlucky in love.