Rebecca Ferguson thinks having a child when she was 18 was the ''best thing'' to ever happen to her.

The 'Nothing's Real But Love' hitmaker - who has Lillie, 14, and Karl, 11, with ex-boyfriend Karl Duress and Arabella, four, from a past relationship - insisted becoming a parent so young was ''hugely positive'' because it gave her the drive to keep going and focus on reaching her goals.

She explained: ''Having kids at that age was the best thing that ever happened to me. I'm not promoting it, but for me it was a hugely positive thing.

''It pushed me forward and made me want to chase my dreams.

''It gave me so much strength.

''When you have kids, you can't just collapse in a heap when life gets you down, you've got to keep going.''

And the 28-year-old star - who shot to fame after competing on 'The X Factor' in 2010 - always wanted to be an inspiration and a good role model for her children.

She added to Closer magazine: ''It was also really important to me that my kids saw me succeed, and so I made sure I did.

''I want them to be inspired and to do well - that's why I've worked so hard.''

Rebecca has been in a relationship for the last 18 months and wants to marry and have children with her mystery man.

She said: ''He's lovely. He makes me feel so special and he's everything I've wanted.

''He's not fazed by celebrities or anything - he doesn't like all that.

''I think I've found The One. I'd love more kids in the future but I want to get married first.

''I want a big white wedding, a really girly one with the dress and everything. I'd have to rally up my music friends to sing at it.

''He doesn't know this yet though!''