Leona Lewis has claimed that music helped keep her from getting into trouble while growing up in the East End of London.
Lewis, who was brought up in Hackney, said that many of her childhood friends have ended up being violently hurt after straying into trouble.
She told Cosmopolitan: “Most of my friends have been shot, stabbed or beaten up. Not so much the girls but the guys.
“There was 17-year-old boy shot dead before Christmas in my area. All my friends have been in trouble. It’s part of being young in London.”
The singer added: “I always had a goal, which kept me off the streets. I didn’t get involved in trouble because I was so focused on singing. My parents had rules, like when it was dark they wanted me home.”