Ella Eyre became a singer when ear infections ended her swimming dreams.

The 21-year-old star initially wanted to pursue her sporting passion when she was younger but gave it up after frequently getting ill, something which she now regards as a ''blessing in disguise''.

She said: ''I wanted to be a swimmer when I was growing up - I trained so hard, but at 13 I had to give it up as I kept getting really bad ear infections.

''It was obviously a blessing in disguise, because I started drama and eventually moved to The Brit School.''

And Ella planned to become a musical theatre actress until her vocal coach suggested she try singing full-time.

She added: ''My coach introduced me to the man who is still my manager today, we worked together for a year just experimenting with different sounds, and a month after leaving The Brit School, I was signed by Virgin.''

The 'Gravity' singer is stunned by how far she has come in such a short space of time.

She told Glamour magazine: ''You know when people ask, 'Where do you see yourself in five years?' Well, never, not for one second, could I have imagined what might happen over just one year. To play Glastonbury and a sold-out UK tour and now being the face of a perfume [Emporio Armani's Diamonds] - it's crazy.But there's still so much to do.''