AT a time when so many pop stars appear more concerned about their public image and their ‘brand’ than their music, there is a refreshing honesty about Rebecca Ferguson.

The accent is full-on Scouse and our conversation is punctuated by giggles.

It’s an interview day, with Rebecca facing a seemingly endless series of calls from journalists wanting to talk about her new album, Superwoman, and major tour which comes to Manchester’s Bridgewater Hall on Monday, but she approaches the whole thing in a typically down-to-earth manner.

“So long as I get time to have a cup of tea in between, I don’t mind doing them at all,” she said. “I’m a typical northerner, I’ve got to have a cuppa. If I have, then all’s good.”

Rebecca rose to fame when she finished runner-up to Matt Cardle on the X Factor in 2010. Her first three albums - Heaven, Freedom and her tribute to Billie Holiday, Lady Sings the Blues - all made the top 10. And last week her fourth album Superwoman was released.

It’s an extremely personal album which reflects Rebecca’s own circumstances where she was writing it.

Finding herself pregnant with her daughter Arabella, her then boyfriend left her, leaving her to deal with her pregnancy and bringing up a family - Rebecca has two other children Lillie May, 12, and Karl, 10. from a previous relationship - on her own.

Rebecca admits it hit her hard.

“I think I was very frustrated when I was writing a lot of album,” she said

“I’d just had Arabella and been rejected by her father. He didn’t want to know me or Arabella. He completely rejected me and tossed me to one side as if I was nothing so I was in a very vulnerable place.

“I think I probably had a nervous breakdown it was that bad.

“I could very easily have told the press and my record company ‘oh I’ve had a baby’, sugar coated it and played the situation down - no one would have been that bothered.

“But then I thought ‘no that’s lying, there are other women suffering and going through the same thing and want to hear that they are not alone’.

“I was struggling to see the end of it but now I’m through it I can look back on it and hopefully I’ve made an album that people can listen to that will help them get through the bad days. That was my aim really.”

Considering what Rebecca was going through, the songs are remarkably upbeat.

“It’s not bitter,” she said. “I think music should uplift people. I’m not into being overly self indulgent with my music. People don’t want to hear about my breakdown, they want to know they are going to get through theirs so I write in positive way which says ‘yes I’m going through some crap but we’re going to get there’.

“I think the main thing with the album is about acceptance. It’s accepting that I’m flawed and that I’m not perfect but being comfortable in your own skin. It is about going through bad times but coming out the other end and life being all right.”

Life is certainly all right now for Rebecca who is devoted to her children - Arabella is now almost two.

“Life’s good,” she said. “But I still get nervous and still worry like any normal human being.”

She recalls talking to fellow pop star and The Voice judge Paloma Faith at an awards ceremony.

“We were both laughing that we would both have to start college next year if things don’t work out. Even when it seems everything is going good you still worry,” she said.

“Success is good but you do have to be humble because success is fragile as well.

“It can be so up and down and that’s where some people go wrong.

“One thing my mum taught me was to be humble. The problem I had was that I couldn’t balance the two.

“I was too humble in the sense that I couldn’t accept a compliment or I was unable to say that a song was good and I’d done a good job.

“Now I’m learning that it’s OK to be humble but it’s also OK to say I’m proud of myself.”

For her Superwoman tour, Rebecca will be performing songs from the new album plus fans’ favourites.

“It’s lovely to be playing these shows,” she said, “but I don’t overthink these things.

“When I come home and I’m with kids, I’m just a normal mum then when I’m on stage, I think to myself ‘OK this is what I do’.

“Balancing a career and the kids can be quite hard. But they give me a sense of normality. If I didn’t have kids I’d probably go to a lot more events, probably drink lot more champagne and maybe be a bit of an idiot.

“But I think I have a good balance because I’ll go on stage and then come home then still have nappies to change, which brings me down to earth.”

Superwoman the album is out now.