Rebecca Ferguson, who came in second place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010, has publicly opened up for the first time about her rough childhood. In an interview with British tabloid The Sun, she talks about having been in foster care and the struggles that come with living in a low-income family.
Ferguson, a 25-year-old single mother of two chldren, also dicusses what she learned from dating 18-year-old Zayn Malik, who is a member of singing group One Direction. Ferguson and Malik dated for about four months before splitting up in July 2011. One Direction came in third place on “The X Factor” U.K. in 2010.
So why is Ferguson making this confession about her childhood now to a British tabloid? It probably has a lot to do with the fact that her debut album, “Heaven,” is set for a U.K. release on December 5, 2011.
According to The Sun:
Just over a year ago the single mum was struggling to bring up two kids and just about making ends meet by working as a secretary.
Rebecca — who spent many years in care while growing up in Liverpool — had already triumphed over adversity thanks to her steely grit and perseverance, and her X Factor journey was still to come.
Last December she was runner-up to Matt Cardle on the ITV talent show. But she is now tipped to be the most credible artist to emerge from the programme, with critics raving about her debut album Heaven.
The 25-year-old says: “Growing up, we didn’t have anything. My mum wasn’t well so I was in three care homes then foster homes before me and my little brother went back to her. I was passed from pillar to post.
“When I was 16 and my mum had moved to London, we were living in this flat. We were really struggling to do things like put money in the gas meter.
“Constantly having to think about money is not nice. People used to say, ‘Being rich doesn’t make you happy’. And I’d think, ‘I’ve got no electricity, nothing — tell that to my empty fridge’.
“I never mentioned any of this during The X Factor because I didn’t want it to be a sob story. I didn’t want people thinking I was trying to get votes through sympathy.”
Rebecca has always been determined to make it in music, even turning up at singing lessons held at a posh private school.
She says: “I did have determination when I was little. I just saw things around me and thought, ‘I’m going to get out of this, this is not going to be my life, this is not going to be my mother’s life.'” …
In the interview, Ferguson had this to say about her relationship with Malik:
“It’s not easy being in a high-profile relationship. I’m glad it started early in my career because it was a great big lesson for me.
“I was getting a lot of criticism and it’s not nice to be attacked. I was 24 and he was 18 so it’s not perfect but it’s not that bad. If I had been a man, nobody would have batted an eyelid.”
Rebecca is now forgetting about men and focusing on her music career. The star and her kids — Lillie, seven, and five-year-old Karl — have relocated from Liverpool to her dream home in the Surrey countryside so she is closer to London for work.
On November 20, 2011, Ferguson returned to “The X Factor” U.K. to perform “Nothing’s Real But Love,” the first single from “Heaven.” “Nothing’s Real But Love” is set for a U.K. release on November 27, 2011.
Former “X Factor” judge Cheryl Cole was Ferguson’s mentor when Cole was a judge on the show. The two singers keep in touch. In October 2011, Cole was seen hanging out with Ferguson in Liverpool.