James Morrison reveals he was 'meant to die' after being born premature and catching whooping cough

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James Morrison has revealed that he was ‘meant to die’ when he was a baby after being born premature and catching whooping cough.

The singer, 37, opened up on his difficult start in life during an appearance on Thursday’s This Morning, explaining how doctors came close to switching off his life support machine as his health deteriorated.

Speaking to hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, James explained that the illness is what led to his distinctive raspy voice.

Shocking: James Morrison has revealed that he was'meant to die' when he was a baby after being born premature and catching whooping cough

Shocking: James Morrison has revealed that he was ‘meant to die’ when he was a baby after being born premature and catching whooping cough

The You Give Me Something was on the ITV show to discuss the release of his Greatest Hits album when Alison brought up the fact that his unique vocals are the result of his near-fatal childhood illness.

He explained: ‘I nearly died, well I was meant to die, I nearly died, technically died. I was born really young, premature and my sister came into hospital to visit me and she had whooping cough. She gave me whooping cough and nearly killed me!

‘They were going to turn my machine off, they were saying “he’s not going to make it” and my mum got a priest to come in and pray at the side of the bed.’

Wow: The singer, 37, opened up on his difficult start in life during an appearance on Thursday's This Morning, explaining how doctors came close to switching off his life support machine as his health deteriorated

Wow: The singer, 37, opened up on his difficult start in life during an appearance on Thursday’s This Morning, explaining how doctors came close to switching off his life support machine as his health deteriorated

After surviving the ordeal and growing up to become the performer he is today, James often reflects on how lucky he is to be alive and notes that his gruff voice is useful in everyday life. 

He said: ‘That’s never left me, I always feel super lucky to be here. It helps me in being honest, trying to get to the point when I’m talking and feeling an urgency when I’m singing or I’m performing.

‘It’s always there in the back of my mind that I could’ve easily not have been here.’

Meant to be? Speaking to hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O'Leary, James explained that the illness is what led to his distinctive raspy voice

Meant to be? Speaking to hosts Alison Hammond and Dermot O’Leary, James explained that the illness is what led to his distinctive raspy voice

'She nearly killed me!' I nearly died, well I was meant to die, I nearly died, technically died. I was born really young, premature and my sister came into hospital to visit me and she had whooping cough'

‘She nearly killed me!’ I nearly died, well I was meant to die, I nearly died, technically died. I was born really young, premature and my sister came into hospital to visit me and she had whooping cough’

Saviour: 'They were going to turn my machine off, they were saying "he's not going to make it" and my mum got a priest to come in and pray at the side of the bed'

Saviour: ‘They were going to turn my machine off, they were saying “he’s not going to make it” and my mum got a priest to come in and pray at the side of the bed’

Dermot then noted that the only light side to that is that he’d always have that over his sister, with James then quipping: ‘Yeah you nearly killed me! 

‘She’s always saying “well that’s why you’re the way you are!'” 

James was in hospital for six months at the time and technically died four times, with doctors fearing he’d be brain damaged. 

Making light: Dermot then noted that the only light side to that is that he'd always have that over his sister, with James then quipping:'Yeah you nearly killed me!'

Making light: Dermot then noted that the only light side to that is that he’d always have that over his sister, with James then quipping: ‘Yeah you nearly killed me!’

Performance: James then went on to perform a version of his 2009 duet with Nelly Furtado, Broken Strings

Performance: James then went on to perform a version of his 2009 duet with Nelly Furtado, Broken Strings

WHAT IS WHOOPING COUGH? 

Whooping cough, medically known as pertussis, causes coughing bouts which can last for up several months.

It is spread through sneezes, and the first symptoms are often a runny nose, watery eyes and sore throat.

The infection has its name because between coughs children can make a ‘whoop’ sound when they gasp for breath, the NHS says.

Complications of whooping cough can include breathing difficulties, weight loss, brain damage and even death, in some cases.

Complications of whooping cough can include breathing difficulties, weight loss, brain damage and even death, in some cases

He previously attributed the whooping cough to his husky voice, telling The Mirror in 2019 that his voice was due to a node on his vocal chords caused from the incessant coughing, while he has a deviated septum caused by wearing an oxygen mask for a long time. 

The chart-topper went on to say to Alison and Dermot that he looks after his voice by drinking Chinese throat syrup.  

James then went on to perform a version of his 2009 duet with Nelly Furtado, Broken Strings. 

Meanwhile, James recently told how he never used to do anything ‘good’ for his voice, admitting that in the early day, he ‘didn’t even drink water.’

He told The Daily Star:  ‘I never used to do anything that was good for my voice at all. I didn’t even drink water! I was so naive and learned how to sing in pubs, so smoking, drinking, loud talking and all that stuff was natural to me.’

The Undiscovered singer went on to say how it took him quite some time to learn to strike a ‘balance’ between living a healthy lifestyle and partying. 

He said: ‘It took me a long time to learn the balance between how and when to turn off the party. All that stuff is really important. I always used to see super healthy people and I’d think that could never be me.’

The Rugby native added that his beliefs stemmed from his ‘poor’ upbringing and that he struggled to discover what he was really capable of, stating: ‘I grew up on a council estate and we had a poor upbringing. 

‘But now I know that you can be whatever you want. So yeah, I just suppose it took me a long time to try and see what my potential is.’

Uh oh: Meanwhile, James recently told how he never used to do anything'good' for his voice, admitting that in the early day, he'didn't even drink water'

Uh oh: Meanwhile, James recently told how he never used to do anything ‘good’ for his voice, admitting that in the early day, he ‘didn’t even drink water’

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