Liverpool news X Factor star feared he would die if he was paid in full for tour PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - The singer told the ECHO how he bounced back from addiction struggles to record a new album
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Anthony Russell has opened up on his road to recovery as he prepares to release a new album. The singer, known as "Tighto", shot to stardom as a fresh-faced 17-year-old on season four of the X Factor. The 2007 audition is just over two minutes long, but features some of the show's most iconic moments as he memorably explained the origins of his nickname and issued a perfect response to Simon Cowell's criticism: "Nice one, Si." Anthony was raw on his first appearance on the show and was eliminated at the boot-camp stage. He returned as a more accomplished performer in 2017, but was hit with another setback when personal troubles saw him withdraw from the competition to complete a four-month stint in rehab. READ MORE: ITV Good Morning Britain viewers say Scouser 'should be next PM' after 'heroic' act It seemed Anthony's redemption finally arrived the next year, when he captured the hearts of the nation and finished in third position following a succession of stunning performances that truly showcased his vocal range. However, there was another twist in the tale for the Bootle musician as his issues with drink and drug addiction re-surfaced during the X Factor tour. Anthony was found in a hotel room in Hull and was forced to quit the tour in scandal. The musician is now aged 32 - and he told the ECHO how he channelled his lowest moment to transform his life. He said: "I used that to get sober because the news came out about me and my family were devastated. If I did stay on the wagon and stay on the tour and came home with the full pay check, the way I was going, I could have been dead with the money I was getting. "If I never got caught and come off that with a clean sheet and the full pay packet, I knew what I was doing. I was going to go to my mates' bars and go shopping because that was the kind of ego and the addiction what fed me. Taking cocaine and drink that was what traits came with it. God knows what the end of the story would have been there." Anthony credits X Factor bosses for how they handled his exit as he received half of his wage packet and used the money to get the support he needed. He added: "I could have used the money to go for it and party - or I could become a person in society who can help others and maybe prosper on the way. I could either continue to be selfish and be a deadbeat father and son. Or I could clean up my act." Anthony thankfully followed the second path as he dedicated himself to overcome his demons. He entered rehab programmes and can proudly reveal he has been sober for over two years and last relapsed in January 2020. The singer was preparing to go full time as a performer when the pandemic hit and crippled the entertainment industry. However, Anthony credits this time with giving him the space to truly get on top of his addiction problems. He said: "I did want to go full time performing and I was with management, but, at the same time, I was early days in recovery. It might have been too much for me to go right in the deep end. I could have fell off and relapsed. "It give me the chance to step back, breath and decide what avenue I was going to go down for real and be the person who I wanted to become. It humbled me." Anthony hopes to release By the River before the end of the year (Image: Liverpool Echo) Anthony has gone back into construction work to fund his music career and is currently employed as a groundworker at Wirral Waters. He revealed how he enjoys the craic with his colleagues on site and joked how he still gets called "Tighto" even though he is no longer tight with his sweets.
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. I'm not a snotty nose kid whose keeping Liquorice Allsorts and Haribo. I'm giving them out. I've always got Lockets on me and I offer them out on site. Say if we're digging a ditch, I'll say, 'have a Locket, lad'." However, Anthony's career shift meant he was dealt a cruel blow in the lockdown as he was denied an SEISS grant because he had spent the previous two years chasing his dreams in the music industry. Anthony moved back in with his mum in Bootle and alternates between there and his dad's home. Although he has had to face trying times over recent years, he says he is grateful for the whole period as it has allowed him to rebuild relationships with his parents and six-year-old daughter, Nola. He said: "I can pick my daughter up from school, go for something to eat with my mum or for a coffee with my dad. "They take my word for it. They know my word is good instead of building people's hopes up and making fake promises." Anthony also used the time in lockdown to focus his creative energy to finish writing his debut album. By The River is slated for release later this year and the singer describes it as a fusion of Indie and Soul music. He said: "It's been an absolute honour making the album. The actual struggle of going through life and going back to work and singing in bars. The normality of living back from when I was touring and doing shows. It's really made me grateful of my path and getting sober again has been worth it because it helped me grow." The 12 track album is a mixture of original songs and covers - and was produced by Christopher Griffiths from renowned Liverpool band, The Real People. The album also has a deep personal connection as he co-wrote two of the songs with his current girlfriend, Sarah. Anthony funded the album independently and was given an added boost when he received a helping hand from his retired mum, Jane, and dad, Tony. He said: "I thought if they're investing in this I must be doing something right so let's go full speed ahead and stop beating yourself up. "Let's chase this dream and get sober while doing it. Whatever life throws at you, you've got to take it as a blessing and it's got to make you stronger and make you a better person." Debut single Gimme Reason is expected to be released next month and Anthony spoke about how he is excited for the next chapter in his story. He said: "Things are good. I'm living in Bootle at the moment and I'm on the 12th floor. I'm not in a penthouse. I'm still in a Sefton council flat and I'm looking across the Docks and I just feel really grateful. "Instead of living in my past and going out and getting drunk and using drugs, I'm looking forward and living life. It's a blessing how my life has turned out and I couldn't be more grateful." By The River is slated for release before the end of the year and will be available on all streaming platforms Receive newsletters with the latest news, sport and what's on updates from the Liverpool ECHO by signing up here READ NEXT ITV Emmerdale's Jeff Hordley 'saddened' as co-star's exit date confirmed Coronation Street's Faye declares love for former co-star after Merseyside day out Good Morning Britain's Richard Madeley announces 'lengthy' break from ITV show Johnny Vegas 'walks off crying' as Josie Gibson issues apology on This Morning Who Wants To Be A Millionaire fans brand Craig Charles a 'genius'
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