‘I was hungry all the time’ James Morrison opens up about his childhood on free school meals



LONDON, UK - FEBRUARY 9: James Morrison performs on stage at HMV Hammersmith Apollo on February 9, 2012 in London, UK. (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns)

James Morrison performs at HMV Hammersmith Apollo in 2012 (Photo by Christie Goodwin/Redferns)

James Morrison has spoken about his childhood in poverty when he would often go to school hungry because his mum couldn’t afford to feed the family. 

The Brit Award winning singer-songwriter said being able to give back to his family with the money he has made through music has been something he had to adapt to, as he got used to having money.

He told Kate Thornton on White Wine Question Time that until he got free school lunches, he was hungry all the time, and now just wants to be able to give his family someting that didn’t seem achievable in his childhood.

He said: “After my dad died [in 2010] I just saw I need to dream bigger. I was like, life’s too short to be playing it safe. 

WATCH: “I was playing for my supper.” James Morrison opens up about growing up on free school meals

“I thought I thought if I die tomorrow, I’ve been playing way too safe. So I just thought what is the biggest thing that I can dream of? What’s the biggest thing I would think I’d never be able to achieve? 

“It was always in my head when I was a kid to have a house with a swimming pool. Or a big garden… I haven’t got a swimming pool, that’s not happened yet. But I’ve got a nice pond! 

“I wanted to try and give my family something that would have been unachievable when I was a kid. I just wanted to give them what we all never had. [Such as] money to do anything, to travel even was a mission, getting enough petrol money so you can go see family or having enough food for dinner. 

“A lot of the times we never had breakfast or lunch. I used to go to school without breakfast on a regular basis. Until I got free school lunches, I was just hungry all the time. 

Listen to the full episode to hear James talk about his musical influences, and the crazy story of how he met his wife!

“So I just wanted to give my family a base. Where if everything’s going wrong, they’ve always got a base come to, in the countryside. Somewhere nice, somewhere with a little bit of space and to be in nature.

“I just wanted to give them that platform that I never had.”

He went on to explain that as a kid his mum had got him to sing in pubs to pay for their dinner.

Read more: James Morrison compares his daughter’s singing to Adele

He said: “We were struggling for so long. Even from a young age my mum used to get me to sing in bars and stuff to pay for the food. 

“It was really embarrassing. It’s embarrassing anyway, when you’re 14, to get up in front of people and say anything, but to get up and sing while people are eating their dinner, not knowing what’s going on. 

“They were looking at me like: Who’s this kid? Yeah, it was an awkward thing. But it was definitely character building and I still always remember that’s what it was like back then. I was playing for my supper.”

WATCH: James Morrison reveals music helped him ecscape poverty, win love and battle his mental health


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