Ly drink, do drugs... eci­ate my life se I nearly lost it

Ag­ing Si­mon Cow­ell as a TV tal­ent judge – Jessie J’s by the same iron will that beat a life-threat­en­ing ill­ness...

The Irish Mail on Sunday - TV Week - - FEATURE - Louise Gan­non

I re­ally be­lieve in. I’m re­ally ex­cited about it and it’s the show I want to do. When the BBC asked me to do The Voice I thought they were mak­ing a mis­take. I was re­ally wor­ried and I kept say­ing to them, ‘Are you sure you want me? Peo­ple might not know who I am.’ I’m along­side real, true le­gends — Tom Jones, Will. i. am — and Danny O’donoghue from The Script, who’s just this amaz­ing song­writer and in­cred­i­bly ex­pe­ri­enced mu­si­cian. I kept think­ing, ‘Why do you want me?’ But they were un­be­liev­ably sup­port­ive, they knew ex­actly how I would fit in and I’m lov­ing it. What’s great is that peo­ple get to see ex­actly what I’m all about. I’m in con­stant con­tact with Will. i. am. We text each other all the time, be­cause we’re both go­ing through ex­actly the same things with the show at the mo­ment. We get on re­ally well; we have this sort of cheeky thing go­ing on. I get his sense of hu­mour com­pletely and I love that lit­tle twin­kle in his eye. Nei­ther of us lets the other one get away with any­thing. He re­ally makes me laugh. Never leave your phone on top of a toi­let. My big­gest nightmare was when I was at a gig and I went to the toi­let, put my phone on the top and it slipped into the bowl. I pulled it out, put it on a ra­di­a­tor, but it com­pletely died and I had to get an­other one. To­tal dis­as­ter. I couldn’t live with­out my mo­bile. I spend a lot of my life on it, mes­sag­ing friends, lis­ten­ing to mu­sic, speak­ing to my fam­ily. I was banned from the school choir for be­ing too loud. I was 11 years old and the only thing I loved to do was sing. I was per­form­ing in the West End at the time, but I was told by my teacher I couldn’t join the school choir be­cause my voice was too loud and I’d drown out all the other kids. I was gut­ted. They were all learn­ing a song for a big per­for­mance at the end of term and I re­ally wanted to be part of it. It was the main song from Whis­tle Down The Wind, which was the show I was ap­pear­ing in ev­ery night in the West End. It was a bit mad. Adele and I were in the same year at the Brit School. Leona Lewis was in the year above us. We were sep­a­rated be­cause they did mu­sic and I did the jazz-hands mu­si­cal theatre, but I do re­mem­ber singing with Adele and think­ing she was great and a lovely per­son. It’s fan­tas­tic what she has achieved. I’ve had a lot of tough times in the busi­ness. I was in a girl band that didn’t work out, then I got signed and my record com­pany went bust, and for a long time that was it, be­cause there was Amy, Duffy and just too many girls — no one wanted to take a risk on yet an­other girl singer. So I went to Amer­ica and got a pub­lish­ing deal and started writ­ing songs for peo­ple and per­form­ing, but all the time I just wanted some­thing to hap­pen back here. I’m very aware it could all end to­mor­row. You have to be re­al­is­tic in this busi­ness. Suc­cess is re­ally all about sur­vival, which is why I’m in awe of Tom Jones. He’s been do­ing this for decades. I know he’s proud of me, be­cause he knows how tough this busi­ness is. I’d like to think I’m in it for the right rea­sons. It’s about mu­sic; it’s about be­ing as good as you can be. I get ter­ri­fied be­fore ev­ery per­for­mance I give. I get un­be­liev­ably ner­vous and wor­ried but then I think that’s what it should be like. I don’t ever take this for granted. Tulisa made me send her naughty tweets. We were both sit­ting in a ho­tel room in LA and she said, ‘Do you think if you send me a cheeky tweet and I send one back it’ll get into the pa­pers?’ I was like, ‘Errr, yeah.’ But we did it any­way for a laugh. Ten min­utes later we were both in my room check­ing out which hand­bag she wanted to bor­row. I’m to­tally hon­est about be­ing bi­sex­ual. I don’t lie about who I am, but I don’t see the big deal. I be­lieve in telling it like it is — don’t b******t about who you are and what you be­lieve in. Get over it. The Voice UK, BBC1, Satur­day, 6.30pm Golden girl Far left: Jessie with her fel­low Voice UK judges Danny O’donoghue, and Tom Jones; be­low, per­form­ing at last year’s V Fes­ti­val

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