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Cher Lloyd talks about her single, family and being Gypsy

CHER LLOYD is set for No1 tomorrow with debut single Swagger Jagger but insists she is just a normal girl from a council house - with no plans to move anywhere posher.

The singer and rapper, who only turned 18 last week, stormed to fame with an unforgettable first audition on The X Factor just 11 months ago. Now her first release, which features the melody from US folk song Oh My Darling, Clementine, is on course to knock JLS - another former X Factor act - off the top spot.

But the pint-sized star has no intention of painting the town red and instead says: "I'll probably celebrate by having a night in with a Chinese and a glass of bubbly - because I'm 18 now so I can drink. And I might buy myself a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes."

But aside from designer footwear and a chart-topping track, much of Cher's life looks like staying the same as it has been since she finished fourth on The X Factor last December.

Despite a vague plan to move to London later this year, she and her family - parents Darren and Dina, brother Josh, 15, and sisters Sophie, 14, and 12-year-old Rosie - look set to stay in Malvern, Worcestershire.

Cher says: "I'm still rough and ready. I've got a new job but that doesn't make me any different. I still have my mum, dad, brother and sisters. I reckon my mum and dad will never leave Malvern. They are in the same council house, nothing has changed. My dad still has his makeshift conservatory that leaks when it rains."

Even so, at least dad Darren does now have a car that works. Cher reveals: "I bought him a Range Rover because we have always had rubbish, embarrassing cars. When I needed to get to a gig once I had to push the car up a hill. It was awful."

However Cher's gift to her dad has not stopped him poking fun at his daughter.

She adds: "He always says to me, 'What were you wearing for that performance? You looked dreadful.' It's funny and I love it, it keeps me normal."

Cher's tight-knit family have Romany-gypsy roots and the singer lived in a tiny caravan when she was baby before her family settled in a house.

While she was at school she encountered taunts of "pikey" and "gyppo" and is now keen to defend the community publicly. Sitting in The Sun's office, she says: "The TV show Big Fat Gypsy Weddings is not how every gypsy person is. I don't have anything against it but they picked one group and didn't feature the rest."

"It doesn't give an overall view of what a gypsy's life is. I live in a house, not in a caravan but I'm still from that community. It's hard to explain but if I can get people to listen to me and understand it they will have a different view."

Preparing to audition for The X Factor, Cher honed her rapping and singing skills by watching videos of US stars such as Keri Hilson, Nicki Minaj and Lil Wayne. And now she admits to being a fan of outspoken stars such as Lily Allen, Jessie J and Liam Gallagher.

She says: "I like outspoken stars when it's necessary for them to mouth off. When you are on stage and having a laugh it's appropriate. I just know what I want and I have opinions.

"That's why I'm outspoken. And I'll admit I do have a little brat strop here and there.

"I liked Amy Winehouse a lot. I liked the way she did what she wanted and she wasn't fazed about the Press being on her back. I loved her songs so much.

"I used to find the instrumentals online and I would sing along to every one of them. She won't ever be forgotten."

But Cher is sure she can avoid the drug problems that Amy encountered. She continues: "I think it's going to be hard for me to keep on track but I've got so much help and support around me from my family that I know I'm going to be fine.

"Bad things happen sometimes but I can't always cry about it. Now I do that at the end of the day. I tuck myself away and I have a cry and let it out."

And if Cher needs a very powerful shoulder to cry on these days she has her label boss Simon Cowell. The X Factor mogul called her "special" at her first audition, which has now been watched online 16million times.

The pair still work together closely, whereas Cher is no longer in touch with her TV mentor Cheryl Cole.

She says: "Cheryl is not involved in making my album but it's cool. She's really busy and I get that. I have a brilliant team around me.

"Simon calls me 'Trouble' all the time - he says, 'Hello, Trouble!' I'm comfortable around him and we just chat like normal people. We text each other now and again. He asks me how I am and that's really nice.

"I wouldn't say he worries about me because I'm a tough cookie but at the same time I've just turned 18 and I've been thrown into this crazy business."

As if to reinforce her "tough cookie" image, Cher has a vast array of tattoos, despite being so young. Her arms are covered in eight designs, including a bird, a cage, a musical silver clef, a Spanish phrase and the word Daddy. She says: "There was a story around that Simon didn't like my tattoos but he's never commented on them.

"They are stuck there now so there isn't much he can do about them. I love them."

And talking of love, during her visit to The Sun Cher admits for the first time that she is crazy about boyfriend Craig Monk.

She says: "It is serious. I'm in love. I've never spoken about Craig before but I think he's the bee's knees. I'm not embarrassed, we've been together ages.

"He doesn't work in the music industry, he is your day-to-day person. He used to work on a building site." In fact Craig is now a trainee hairdresser. He met Cher when he helped to apply her hair extensions at the salon where he worked in London's Mayfair - though no longer, it would seem.

She says: "Craig's a lovely guy - but he doesn't do my hair!"

Swagger Jagger has split public opinion but Cher thinks the negative comments about her song are more to do with her than her hit.

She says: "I think these opinions are not on the song but about me as a person. Because I was on a TV show, things get edited and I come across a lot different from real life.

"Going to No1 proves a lot of people wrong and it's amazing, knowing that people like the single. I'm over the moon."

source.
Tags: cher lloyd, interview
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