John Legend was "traumatised" by the death of his grandmother.
The 43-year-old singer lost his maternal grandmother at the age of 10 back in 1988 and was forced to become the "main cook" of the household when his mother Phyllis abandoned the family in the aftermath.
He said: "It was tough, very emotional and traumatic, for all of us. Dad would go to work all day, so we had to be independent. Our parents had always encouraged us to be able to do things on our own. And when my mom left it felt like she had prepared us for her absence because we were able to fill in the gaps when we needed to. She showed me how to cook early on, so I ended up being the main cook. We had to figure out a way of taking care of ourselves."
The 'All of Me ' singer went on to explain that occasionally his mother would return to the family home but had become "addicted to drugs" and he coped by finding distractions.
He told The Telegraph: "She wasn't good [when she visited]. She looked unhealthy, she was addicted to drugs. I don't think she wanted us to see her like that, and we didnít want to see her like that. I'd try to block it out. Part of the way I coped was to focus on things that would distract me."
These days, John is married to model Chrissy Teigen,36, and has six-year-old daughter Luna as well as four-year-old son Miles with her and the pair are expecting a third child.
The 'Tonight' hitmaker explained that he and Chrissy don't want their children to experience family separation and find ways to "make it work" even through hard times.
He said: "We don't want our kids to go through that, or go through that ourselves. We want to find ways to make it work even if we go through hard times. There are plenty of couples who have said that to themselves and for some reason it falls apart. But I feel optimistic."