Joanne Valda O'Meara is an English singer-songwriter, television personality and actress. One of the lead singers of pop group S Club, she launched a solo single after the group's split in 2003, which cut short the production of a proposed album following an appearance on Celebrity Big Brother.
Jo grew up close to her family and loved spending time with them but, sadly her school days were far from happy as she was bullied from a young age.
'I was quiet at school and I didn't have a lot of confidence as a kid, probably because the bullying started when I was about seven and went on for years.
'My brother and sister are quite a bit older than me so I didn't have anyone at school to protect me from the bullies, and I tried to deal with it myself by ignoring them. It was really hard. I was treated as a bit of a freak so I went completely into my shell.'
Jo was too scared to tell her parents about what was going on at school because the bullies had warned her against it.
'Bullies always tell you not to tell, and they make you think that something terrible will happen if you do. But that's rubbish. When I did eventually tell my parents about what was going on, they got me out of the school straight away and I was so relieved.'
During the hard times, music became Jo's main comfort. Little did she know that it would play such a massive part in her later life.
'I enjoyed quite a lot of my subjects at school, especially history and English, but the school didn't really concentrate on music very heavily, so I would do that in my spare time. It was a huge comfort to me. Somehow just being around music made me feel better.'
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