R+B star Akon credits his spell in prison for car theft with inspiring his burgeoning music career.

The LONELY sensation - real name ALIAUNE THIAM - was sentenced to three years in a New Jersey prison for stealing cars and selling them on.

And he spent his confinement rethinking his career and writing music, which led to his transformation into a wealthy singer.

He says, "Each day felt like the longest in the world. You sleep, you wake up, you sleep, you wake up.

"That's when I decided music was better than stealing cars. I wrote a lot of songs when I was in that place."

06/07/2005 09:09