Cheryl Cole counts will.i.am as her "fairy godfather".

The Girls Aloud singer said that before she was contacted by the Black Eyed Peas frontman - who produced tracks on her debut solo album 'Three Words' - she had never considered embarking on a project away from the group, and was flattered that the 'Boom Boom Pow' hitmaker would even consider working with her.

Cheryl said: "He's like a fairy godfather to me. He's my mentor. I was doing Girls Aloud and I was very happy with that. About a year before we agreed to take a break, I was watching TV with the girls and Will was on it and he was asked, 'Are there any British acts you'd like to collaborate with?' and he said, 'There's two: U2 and Cheryl Cole.'

"We all burst out laughing because the two just didn't seem in the same league. From then on her was persistent.

"He said, 'Let's make a record', he told the girls 'It doesn't have to affect you. Cheryl can do it and she can come back.' He's a genius."

Cheryl - who is presently attempting to break the US following her split from soccer star husband Ashley Cole, after he cheated on her with a string of women - also said she has had to make some tough decisions in order to start on her solo career.

She added to Now magazine: "There was a moment in time just after Girls Aloud took a break where I thought, 'Do I do a solo record, or do I start a family?'"

The 'Fight For This Love' singer added that she doesn't read about her personal life, so she can keep her concentration on her music and career as a panelist on UK TV show 'The X Factor'.

She added: "I focus on what I'm doing, which is putting out my music. The rest of it, I just let it be what it's gonna be, but it's not in my head, so it's not disturbing my mind or controlling me emotionally.

Cheryl's Debut album, 'Three Words' is available now.