'In 10 year's time? I just want to be alive!'
In a spirited interview, singer Anastacia tells us:
With one of the biggest voices in the music industry, Anastacia has belted out songs about never being defeated, surviving misery and life going on. And she's living proof that, no matter what's thrown at you: 'You have to get back up again.'
She's been battling the digestive disorder Crohn's disease since she was 13, has survived breast cancer, has a rare heart condition, and is currently going through a painful marriage break-up.
So the title of her new TV show Don't Stop Believing couldn't be more appropriate.
'The title very much represents me and what I like to stand for. I've never lost faith, no matter how crazy the cards have been,' she says.
'You fall apart first, but then you have to get back up. Even if you crash and burn, then you move on.'
Born Anastacia Lyn Newkirk, the 41-year-old singer has a huge smile and an even bigger personality when we meet, as her voice booms around the cosy drawing room of London's Soho House.
Only the subject of her very recent marriage split is off limits, as she tells us she's not one for regrets: 'I don't really believe in them. Instead, I call them "oops moments" and try to learn from them.'
Despite the sunny personality, the Chicago-born star tells us she's been through more in her life than most, and has learnt to take each day as it comes.
'I don't worry about the cancer coming back,' she says. 'I deal with it on a day-to-day basis and have annual check-ups. If I worried about it, I wouldn't be able to move on. We waste too much time worrying about tomorrow.'
'When I'm asked where I want to be in five or 10 years' time, I say I just want to be alive and healthy - touch wood.'
The only thing she will admit to hoping for is a family. In April this year, Anastacia filed for divorce from husband Wayne Newton, her bodyguard before the couple married in April 2007. During the marriage, she was a stepmother to his two sons and they had decided not to have children together.
Now she reveals she would love children one day, saying: 'Having children has been a hope for me since I was very young. For a period of time [when I was married] I was saying no, but I'd have to be 60 to give up hope.'
'I would adopt, like Sandra Bullock. There doesn't have to be a father, a mother, two dogs and 2.5 children to be a perfect family.'
Until Anastacia is ready to face that challenge, she's looking forward to her approaching 42nd birthday and: 'Graciously accepting my wrinkles as they come along.'
But she does confess to having Botox: 'Without it, my frown scares me, let alone everyone else! I get it from my mum who has a perma-frown. It's a family trait. So I prefer to get rid of it with Botox in two places on my forehead.'
'I've been having Botox since 2003. That's when I went to have my breasts reduced and found out I had cancer. When you walk into a plastic surgery clinic, you find out about all the stuff there is out there.'
She adds: 'I would have surgery if I felt like I needed it. I think it can be addictive if you have poor self-image but I'm alright with the way that I look, although it's taken a long time to get here.'
'Everything I've been through has affected my confidence. It's all chiselled away at my core. But there's always a bit of putty to mend it. It's sexier now with a little scar or chip. I'm definitely growing more comfortable in my skin.'
'When I was a teenager, I was a tomboy and the ugly girl of the group. I still kind of think that way, but I'm happier now when I catch sight of myself in the mirror.'
And what about being watched by millions as a judge on Five's new talent show, Don't Stop Believing?
'I just hope I'll be a good judge,' she smiles. 'Luckily, I'm not the only American on the panel, so hopefully I won't need subtitles.'
￭ Five's Don't Stop Believing starts on Sunday 18 July