EXCLUSIVE Rebecca Ferguson interview

Marie Claire chats to Rebecca Ferguson about the Olympics, One Direction and falling out with her management company

We met up with Rebecca Ferguson to chat about her role in the Olympics, to find out what she thinks of ex-boyfriend Zayn Malik’s success and to get the lowdown on that big bust-up with her management team.

You performed a special gig for the mother’s of the Olympic athletes, as part of the P&G Thank you Mum campaign, why were you so keen to get involved in the Games?

I think being a mum is the hardest – but most rewarding – job in the world and as well as the athletes, the mums have had to make a lot of sacrifices as well. They’re ones who drove their kids to the swimming pool or gym at the crack of dawn! The Global Family Home set up by P&G was nice, it had such a fun environment and gave the mums a chance to get pampered a bit. It was the least I could do for Team GB!

As a single, working mum do you find it hard to juggle motherhood and a career ?

Yes, it’s the hardest thing in the world but as long as you’ve got a good support network around you, it can be done. It’s also so important to teach your kids the value of hard work and being able to be independent. I am lucky in that I love what I do but it can still be hard to be away from the kids for long lengths of time. At the end of the day, all I want is to be with my kids, but it’s worth it to create a future for my family.

Do you think women, especially mums, are treated fairly in the music industry?

I think this industry can be tough on everyone.You have to surround yourself with supportive people and know when to put your foot down and do what’s best for you and your family. The first few years in the music industry can be a steep learning curve and I’ve definitely developed a thicker skin!

How else has being a mum changed you?

I think being a mum gives you extra qualities. I’m more feisty, fiercely protective and less selfish. The main trait I want to instil in my kids is kindness. I think it’s the most important thing. If you’re kind, you’ll go a long way.

It’s been in the news recently that you parted ways with your management company, amid claims they overworked you. What happened?

I’m not allowed to talk about that because of legal issues but what I will say is that I’m feeling much better! My leg is on the mend (Rebecca broke her leg earlier this year) and I’ve got a great team around me now. I’m in a good place and I’m very happy.

The new season of X Factor starts soon, will you be watching it?

Definitely. I love that show. I look back at it with such fond memories but it also feels like a lifetime ago. When I watch the show now, you just know exactly how the contestants are feeling; what they’ve been doing in the run up to the show, how they’ve been hanging out in the dressing rooms. It’s such an intense experience because you know that you’re on the brink of changing your life and having your dream come true.

What do you think of this year’s judging panel, with Nicole Scherzinger taking the place of Kelly Rowland?

I absolutely love Nicole Scherzinger. She’s worked really hard to get to where she is and really knows her stuff. Tulisa, Gary and Louis are all great too, and I can’t wait to see the fashion the girls will be rocking this series.

Speaking of the X Factor, you used to date Zayn Malik from One Direction, do you still speak to him? What do you think of the incredible success the boys have been having?

Do you know what, I don’t speak to him. When I’m done with something, I’m done with it. But I’m so pleased at the success they’ve been having all over the world. They work so hard and really deserve everything that’s happening for them right now.

Rebecca Ferguson is helping P&G, the company behind brands like Ariel/Tide, Pantene and Gillette, to say ‘Thank You Mum’ by officially welcoming the mums of the world’s Olympians to London.

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