Cheryl Cole is one confident lass. She's rich and successful and she's gorgeous. She's lived through a life threatening illness and had her fair share of personal ups and downs in the full beam of the media. Judged potential talent on the X Factor and survived a few spats with Simon Cowell along the way. But with all the fortune and fame, is she a girl allowed to simply be herself and live a relatively normal life? You would think so, but sometimes even the fame has other ideas.

The girl next door

Cheryl views her whirlwind career as one incredible journey, yet you can't help feeling that even she finds the success she's achieved - both with Girls Aloud and her solo career - hard to take in. This is maybe what makes her so endearing, like the Girl Next Door. Throughout, she has remained one very grounded superstar, even with her phenominal global success and all the wealth and trappings that go with it.

As well as her work with Girls Aloud and her contributions to their autobiography "Dreams that Glitter", she appeared with Cameron Diaz in "What to Expect When You're Expecting" and graced the covers of Elle, Harpers Bazaar and British Vogue magazines. Subsequently becoming a fashion icon as the face of L'Oréal.

As if that wasn't enough, she conquered Mount Kilimanjaro in 2009 for Comic Relief. Quite an impressive resumé.

But with fame, there is inevitably no hiding place, and Cheryl has had to summon up every ounce of her Geordie spirit to survive. But Cheryl Cole is a fighter and a feisty one at that. And survive she has, and how.

'Cheryl, My Story' every goal is possible

Never one to shy away from a challenge, she released her autobiography - "Cheryl, My Story" - a frighteningly honest account written from the heart about her rise to fame from a tough Tyneside council estate.

An uplifting story of a girl who simply refused to let her dreams slide. It highlights gritty determination, the highs and lows. Above all it shows that every goal is possible with enough self-belief.

A self-belief that became so evident since her first sequence dance lessons aged four, and her spell at the Royal Ballet summer school. It makes one rivetting read.

Yet, despite the jet-set lifestyle, Newcastle is still home and her mum remains her rock and the woman she looks up to most.

Cheryl admits she wouldn't change one thing in her life thus far, as she's a firm believer that each experience sets out to make you a stronger person - and she would know all about that.

Now that she has reached the very pinnacle of her astonishing 15 year career, with most of it played out in the media spotlight, surely this has to be the point where she pauses for breath and has a chance to reflect.

She appears to be in a happy place with her new partner, and in control of her life with a possible new album set for release later this year.

And I reckon the message she posted on her website at the end of last year sums everything up: ..."I wish you to live, love and laugh...." Cheryl has done plenty of each.

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