Nicole Scherzinger used to give blood just to get money.
The former Pussycat Dolls singer's family couldn't afford to pay for her to go to college, so she took on a series of low-paid jobs, and found other ways to boost her income.
She said: "To put myself through college, I did everything from working on a make-up counter to singing opera at an Italian restaurant called MAcaroni Grill.
"[The poorest I've ever been] was at college, and I used to give blood to get money.
"For food, I used to make these pancakes where you just added to water, because they were filling."
But the 39-year-old beauty feels very proud of the lengths she went to in order to follow her dreams.
And Nicole admits it's "gratifying" to have earned her own career success, rather than having it handed to her.
She explained to Cosmopolitan magazine: "We couldn't afford for me to go to vocal or dance lessons, so in primary school, I found out that if I went to a specific secondary school that was in the projects in Kentucky, I could get into the performing arts school I wanted to go to.
"I love my family and they have lots of love, but I never had anybody to buy me a car or put me through school. I did all that myself by working, so that's gratifying in itself, making it happen on your own."
After years of struggling for money, the 'X Factor' judge admits she is still very thrifty now, much to the amusement of her friends.
She said: "It's given me an appreciation for everything in life. Everyone makes fun of me because I'm still very careful with my money. I never take anything for granted."
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