CHERYL Fernandez-Versini feels "lucky" to have had great role models growing up.
The 'Only Human' hitmaker witnessed other young people from the "tough area" of Newcastle where she was raised turn to drink, drugs and crime and though her family weren't very well off, she is thankful they were so supportive.
She said: "I was lucky - I had role models around me who I could talk to in when times were hard. That said, growing up wasn't easy.
"We didn't have much money and there were times when me and my brothers and sister would have to go without so we had food on the table.
"I remember really wanting a Barbie doll, but because they were so expensive, I ended up having an old one from a girl up the road. I was also used to wearing cast-offs from my big sister and another girl up the street."
And the 32-year-old singer will always be "grateful" that her parents made sacrifices so she could pursue her performing dreams.
She added in a blog for the Huffington Post: "My family supported my ambitions of singing and dancing. Me mam and dad worked extremely hard so I could attend local dance classes from the age of four.
"Without them realising it they'd opened up a whole new world to me and for that, I am so, so grateful. They've made it possible for me to create an amazing life for myself, doing something I love every day."
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