I've also gotten messages from men and women who are not the most attractive, in their minds, or are self-conscious about their weight. They're thanking me for doing songs like 'Proud Mary' and shaking a tailfeather, because they say I seem real comfortable in my skin and it made them want to be comfortable in theirs.
I grew up in Christianity. They preach a lot that you should get married and be a wife and be a virtuous woman and all of that. So I was so eager to do that, and I didn't really take the time I needed to grow into my own. And I ended up running into a really bad situation. I didn't even really date my ex-husband. We just kind of jumped into it.
Today, not to take away from any of the present artists, but music has gotten a little shallow, in my opinion. Everybody's talking about the same thing: sex, money, clothes, cheating... I want to open up not necessarily better conversations, but, in my opinion, more important ones, and touch on things that are actually going on.
I haven't always been confident. I actually suffered with low self-esteem growing up. Eventually, I got to a point where I was just like, 'OK, this is taking too much energy.' After that, I started accepting myself for who I was, and I was like, whoever is not going to accept it, they weren't really meant to be in my life in that way.
I do what I do to inspire people. They can't be inspired by an ego, a big-headed person. It doesn't work. It doesn't match. And I really want to be that role model for people, for children. I want to be real. To my fans, I want them to view me as a real person. Don't put me on a pedestal. I'm human. I make mistakes, I cry, I hurt - just like you.
Growing up, Tina Turner was definitely one of my influences, and, um, I take things from different artists, and I put them in my music, and I put them in my persona and my - they help me form into the artist that I am, so - for people to actually hear that come through the music is exciting.