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Seal on homelessness, hits and love: ‘My father gave me one beating too many – and I was out the door’

After 30 years in music, the man who sang Crazy, Killer and Kiss from a Rose still hasn’t come to terms with fame. He talks about life in a shelter, the celebrity ‘circus’ – and almost becoming a fashion designer

On his 60th birthday earlier this year, Seal thought he had died. Opening the door to a friend’s house, the singer was confronted by 200 people from every aspect of his life – his old manager Rob Cavallo, who he hadn’t seen for 18 years, his sister, children, housekeeper and even the tennis coaches he had hired to lead a boot camp years previously. “They say that when you die you will see all the people who love you,” he says, “and for a split second, that’s where I thought I was.”

He came to from the shock and swiftly had another realisation. “There was only one reason they were all at this party, these people that I was really fond of and people I thought I was more fond of than they were of me; it’s because they love me and they cared enough to make the effort. It was a rare moment where I faced the reality that I am worthy of being loved. And that was just too much – it was really overwhelming.” He spent much of the rest of that night crying.

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