Cheryl Cole has claimed that it was will.i.am who persuaded her to have a solo career.
The singer's debut album 3 Words was released in 2009.
She admitted that she did not want to take a break from Girls Aloud and said she wanted to start a family with Ashley Cole, her husband at the time.
Cole told Pop Justice: "It was actually him [will.i.am] that convinced me to do a solo record. I never would have done a solo record without him.
"At the time, I would have had a family. At the time I was still married! But it was actually Will saying to us, 'You know you're going to do a solo record, right?', and I was saying, 'I don't want to, not yet'.
"And he was like, 'I think you should. You need to'. He said, 'I'm excited, I want to be involved with it'.
"So he was involved from day one. I recorded my first ever solo song ['Heartbreaker'] with Will."
Cheryl implied that the executives at Universal Music were not keen on signing her.
She said: "I think the label were a bit dubious at the time when Will suggested it.
"I think they were like, 'Statistically it doesn't work'. I was married, I was sorted! It was Will who said, 'Come in and write'. And the first thing I wrote was 'Heaven'."
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