James Morrison admits he's 'been generous to the wrong people' over the years

·3-min read
MILANO, ITALY - 2016/04/26: James Morrison performs live at Alcatraz. James Morrison is an English singer-songwriter and guitarist from Derby. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
James Morrison performs live in Italy in 2016. (Photo by Mairo Cinquetti/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)

British singer-songwriter James Morrison said he enjoys being able to treat his family with his wealth, but has also had to learn the hard way not to give too much to the wrong people.

The musician, who is married with two daughters, spoke on White Wine Question Time about his early chidlhood in poverty, and how in wanting to give back, it has ended up sometimes coming back to bite him.

Morrison, who has had huge hits including duetting with Nelly Furtado, told Kate Thornton how he had bought houses for his family when he started to come into money, but also found himself paying huge bar tabs for strangers.

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

He said: "I never thought that generosity would be something that would bite you in the ass. I always thought being generous is a good thing.

"But you can be generous to the wrong people. And I have been generous to the wrong people over the years.

People would recognise him in the pub, he explained, and call him over for a drink. "Big bottle of champagne, getting all the drinks in! I've spent five grand before on a bill for my hotel, just because I was buying everyone drinks. I'd just say: 'Say James Morrison at the bar, they'll give you free drinks.'

"And then I got up in the morning, it's like: five grand. I love being generous. But it's a fine line between being generous to make yourself feel good and being generous because you're being generous to help someone. 

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

"In the beginning, I did want to feel like I was the hero. I wanted to feel like: I'm the hero, I saved my family, I bought a house and took them out of poverty. And then after the years had gone by, I didn't want that.

"I didn't want to be a hero. I just wanted to quietly do my bit to help them, not trying to solve every single problem that gets thrown my way.

"And that's something I've had to learn, something I've had to have therapy about. It's really helped me a lot to organise my thoughts, organise the way my brain thinks." 

He added that buying his mum's house outright for her was a really important way he could give back to her after hearing her say that paying off her mortgage was a lifelong dream of hers. He then went on to buy houses for the rest of his family.

"That was a no brainer," he said. "We were brought up always with no money and my mum was always like: 'If I could ever pay the mortgage off that would be a massive, lifelong dream. So the first thing I did when I got my record money was buy her house. I bought it outright. 

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

"The first thing I did was buy my mum's house, do it up for her and get her sorted. That was my number one goal, because obviously that's my mum.

"Part of me was just like, if I'm going to do this, I'm gonna put myself out there, put myself out on telly, and sing from the heart and sing about things that are personal, I want to be living the best life I can be living.

"Not some safe, secure, not dreaming as big as I could be dreaming, just to be safe. I just thought, well, I want to dream bigger than I've ever could imagine. And I'm going to go for that."

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

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