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Peter Andre opens up on his strict Jehovah’s Witness upbringing and new outlook

Peter Andre is a British singer, songwriter and television personality.

Andre achieved success in the mid-1990s as a singer, topping the UK Singles Chart with "Flava" and "I Feel You" in 1996. After featuring in the third series of I'm a Celebrity...Get Me Out of Here! in 2004, Andre found renewed popularity and his 1995 hit "Mysterious Girl" reached number one upon a reissue. He has continued his career in music and television, notably competing in the thirteenth series of Strictly Come Dancing (2015) and starring in the Katie & Peter TV franchise (2004–2009) with his then-wife Katie Price, whom he met when both partook in I'm a Celebrity.

Peter Andre was born to Greek-Cypriot parents in northwest London, the United Kingdom, before moving to Australia with his family when he was six years old.

The second youngest of five boys and one girl, Andre recalls they were the “only ethnic family” in the Gold Coast, where he grew up. His parents were devout Jehovah’s Witnesses and Andre spent much of his childhood either at church during the weekdays, or doorknocking on weekends.

Andre recalls being badly bullied and “beaten up” throughout his childhood, and found church was a “sanctuary” to escape.

“One of the things that kept me going as a Witness was that I knew the people I loved in the music industry were Witnesses,” Andre told The Australian.

“Michael Jackson’s family were all Witnesses. Even Prince became a very devout Witness towards the end. And I still feel quite protective about it.”

Peter Andre with his parents.

At 16 years old, Andre took part in Australia’s New Faces talent contest where he received his first record deal. From there, he fell into a whirlwind of nightclubs, photoshoots and groupies, though he said he’s never touched drugs as it “would have broken [his] parents’ hearts.”

These years led Andre to have a nervous breakdown at 25 years old, which saw him spend six years in and out of psychiatric units and therapy.

He’s had two marriages, one to ex-wife Katie Price which produced two children, and now Emily. They also share two children.

“She has made me be like I was when I was really young. I sort of went into this crazy life from my late teens to 40 and then all of a sudden she has brought out the simple part of me again,” Andre told The Australian.

Nowadays, Andre reflects strongly on his childhood and said it was “amazing” because “it actually instilled in us a lot of purity and a lot of good messages, and I am so grateful for what [my parents] taught me.”

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