Jessie J: ‘Having a stroke made me a better artist’

Singer says health scare made her take risks and appreciate life

Jessie J has said that having a stroke helped to make her a better artist.

The ‘Do It Like A Dude’ singer suffered the health scare when she was 18, but told Contact Music that it had made her appreciate life and express herself artistically.

“I think what happened to be with my health in the past – when I was younger I had a minor stroke – it made me realise that you can’t guarantee life every day,” she said.

She then went on to add:

However old you are, however much you love life, however happy you are, however healthy you are, it doesn’t matter, nothing’s guaranteed. And I think it made me want to take that risk to expose myself as me and not as a version of myself.

Talking about her refusal to adopt a stage persona, she added: “I don’t become Jessie J. I might put a nice pair of heels on and a cooler outfit but I’m still that naughty girl who likes a slice of cheesecake on my day off.”

Jessie J topped the BBC Sound Of 2011 poll in January and, after the release of her debut album ‘Who You Are’, went on to claim four gongs at this year’s MOBO Awards.

Last month, meanwhile, Britney Spears claimed that the success of artists such as Jessie J and Adele gave her the inspiration to “want to do better”.