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Rebecca Ferguson: Nile Rodgers took me under his wing when I was losing hope

British singer Rebecca Ferguson has said Nile Rodgers took her under his wing at a time when she was “losing hope” and “really needed someone”.

The Liverpool-born singer, who found fame on The X Factor in 2010, discussed her friendship with the Chic co-founder, as well as her new record Heaven Part II, and said she has been “through so much” since the release of her debut album.

Speaking to Anita Rani on BBC Radio 2, she said: “He’s (Rodgers) just someone that took me under his wing at a time that I really needed someone in the industry to take me under their wing.

Royal Variety Performance 2022
Nile Rodgers has helped Rebecca Ferguson (David Parry/PA)

“And I’m so grateful to him for that.

“He believed in me when I was starting to lose hope and that, to me, was just everything and working with him, he’s such a genius, just the way his brain works is so fascinating.

“I was talking about him the other day.

“He literally draws inspiration from everything, whether it be the wind or nature, rain, like whatever it is.

“He’s just a fascinating person to be around.”

The 37-year-old, who has previously criticised music managers and agents she claims manipulate artists, said that being vocal about her experience in the music industry has brought her “a lot of peace”.

She said: “I feel like the minute you get completely authentic and completely honest, and you stop holding secrets, you just become totally free.

“I felt like it was the best thing I’ve ever done.

“Just acknowledging what has happened. Being vocal, speaking out, it brought me a lot of peace.

“Suddenly I just felt unafraid and I did feel like it was empowering.”

She added: “I hope the conversation continues as well and that the music industry starts to improve.”

Ferguson previously called upon media watchdog Ofcom to conduct an investigation into reality TV shows to “ensure the future safety of contestants”.

Global Gift Gala 2016 – London
Rebecca Ferguson has released a new album called Heaven Part II (Matt Crossick/PA)

In 2023 she posted a screenshot of an email to her X account which she said she sent to ITV and Ofcom in 2021 making a “formal complaint” in relation to the treatment of contestants on reality shows but said “my concerns appeared to be fobbed off”.

A spokesperson for Ofcom said they “listened carefully to the extent of her concerns about the treatment of contestants during her time on The X Factor in 2010″ when they met her virtually in 2021.

A statement from ITV said the broadcaster was “committed to having in place suitable processes to protect the mental health and welfare of programme participants”.

Ferguson also gave evidence to MPs on the Women And Equalities Committee as part of a 2023-2024 report into misogyny and discrimination in the UK music scene.

The singer said her new album serves as a nod to her debut album Heaven, released in 2011, and explained it is the record “that people should have got after the first”.