Charlotte Church says she 'rebelled against celebrity' after soaring to fame aged 11

The Welsh singer-songwriter soared to fame as a child opera singer. Credit: PA Images

Charlotte Church has spoken about the struggles of growing up in the public eye, saying she "rebelled against celebrity" and was determined to "be normal".

The Welsh singer-songwriter, now 35, rose to fame as an 11-year-old classical singer, with her debut album Voice of an Angel selling millions of copies worldwide.

Speaking on Kate Garraway's Life Stories, Ms Church explained that having found fame as a child with a pure and angelic image, she struggled to live up to that as she grew older.

Charlotte in 1998 holding a platinum disc for 'Voice Of An Angel', presented to her by TV stars Fiona Philips and Lorraine Kelly.

She told the ITV presenter: "All of the normal ways in which we grow and how puberty happens and how girls become women, was stifled and such.

"I felt I had to be this other eternally young, innocent, you know, little girl and that's not where literally biological life was taking me."

Ms Church explained that after reaching the age of 16, having spent a number of years in the spotlight, she had to "cut the ties" with her younger self in an attempt to experience a normal adolescence.

The singer later moved into pop music but said she struggled to shake of the public perception of her as an 'innocent child'. Credit: PA Images

"You've got to remember and put me in my context, which is like an impressionable young girl and who's trying to fit in," she said.

"So no, there was definitely no conscious rebellion. The only thing I rebelled against was celebrity. My rebellion was: I will be normal.

"I will have this life that I'm supposed to have - this life of Charlotte and Cardiff with her friends. This whole showbiz nonsense, which is a facade - this isn't my life."

Charlotte Church meets the Queen backstage after the 1999 Royal Variety Performance. Credit: PA Images

Voice Of An Angel was released in 1998 and went double-platinum in the UK and US, catapulting her into the public eye.

Ms Church said her younger image was such that some people genuinely believed she was an angel.

"People often would say that I was an actual angel. And you know, this is particularly in religious America and stuff where people really thought that I had some sort of, you know, divine power."

Church recalled that during the early years of her career, she met one man backstage at a concert in New York who informed her that listening to her music had cured his cancer.

"I remember having fans at signings and stuff who would be shaking from head to toe to meet me, and that was weird," she said.

The 35-year-old appears on Kate Garraway's Life Stories. Credit: PA Images

She added: "And there was another guy backstage at a show in New York, who was absolutely convinced I'd cured his brain cancer through listening to my music. It's like, you know, I doubt it happened. But he was absolutely convinced. So I was like, 'fair enough babes'."

Ms Church later moved into pop music and has carved out a television career, as well as becoming involved in politics.

She recently appeared on hit ITV show The Masked Singer, where she came runner-up to Australian singer Natalie Imbruglia.

The mother-of-three has been married to musician Jonathan Powell since 2017.

Kate Garraway's Life Stories, featuring Charlotte Church, airs on February 17 at 9pm on ITV and ITV Hub.