News, Culture & Society

I’ve got ADHD – it’s a gift, not a flaw, says, pictured, is he founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, music producer and coach on The Voice

The founding member of the Black Eyed Peas, music producer and coach on The Voice talks about growing up in a ghetto, a brush with death in a swimming pool, and how he sees his Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder as a gift…

I’m going to be an awesome husband… I just haven’t got round to it yet. When I do get married, I’ll probably take the other person’s last name as I don’t even know my dad.

My mum Debra ignited my passion in music. Although we were very poor – Mum raised me in the ghetto in Eastside LA – she gave me a Fisher-Price Talk-to-Me Book, Walt Disney’s Ghost Chasers, one Christmas. I was about three and I loved it because it had miniature records. I had to use a battery-powered hand-held record player to listen to them.

As a single mum, she did a good job of raising me. She was tough on discipline. I’ve travelled the world but my fondest memories are of being in the ghetto. Although there were gangs and drive-by shootings, you had a sense that everything was OK because neighbours cared about you.

Cheryl Cole is so happy and settled after having Bear. Before she was always looking for that real thing but in these kind of ping-pong relationships. Now we’ve just got to find Nicole Scherzinger a husband…

In 1985 I died but came back to life. I didn’t know how to swim but I got into a pool in LA. I accidentally wandered into the deep end, lost my footing and started to drown. I was hauled out by lifeguards after four minutes and given CPR and they used defibrillators on me. That didn’t seem to work and they wrote on a piece of paper that I had passed away – but then I came around.

I’ve suffered from ADHD for years. But I’ve learned how to control it. I can talk, look at that person, think about what I have to do now and what am I going to eat later. I don’t see if as a flaw. 

  • The Voice is on ITV on Saturdays at 8pm.


Find local lawyers and law firms at