John Legend sometimes wishes he was ''more tortured'' as a youngster.

The 34-year-old singer - whose real name is John Stephens - shot to fame in 2001 following a series of collaborations with successful artists, but admits he might have been a more appealing musician if his childhood was a little out of the ordinary and his parents were a bit stricter on him.

Speaking in an interview with The Guardian newspaper, he said: ''I sometimes wish I was a little more tortured. Maybe it would make me even more interesting as an artist.''

Despite insisting he wasn't tormented as child, the star admits his life hasn't always been a smooth ride because he had to watch his parents, Phyllis and Ronald, go through bitter divorce and see his family fall apart.

He explained: ''I don't know [why I wasn't tormented]. Everybody has their demons. I went through my parents' divorce and there have been issues with my family, things that have been hard. But I have a very even temper. I just don't have a lot of emotional extremes.''