Suggs says music has got him through ''difficult times''.

The Madness frontman - whose real name is Graham McPherson - credits music for keeping him going after his mother's passing in 2018.

He shared: ''Last year, I was working with Paul Weller on a duet of the Ray Davies song 'Nobody's Fool' for a London show. He was being a real perfectionist, so one day I sent him an email saying, 'Look, it's only music.' He emailed back saying, 'No, it's not only music.' And he was right. Though Madness always worked hard, we've never taken what we do too seriously. But I've come to realise that music for me isn't just the tunes. It's an emotional tool I've been able to use to get me through difficult times.''

And at the moment his mum's track was played at her funeral, it felt like a time for ''shared reflection'' for everyone there.

He added: ''It was very hard when my mum, Edwina, died in 2018. She was a club singer, but many at her funeral had never heard her perform. So I found an old CD she'd recorded, with the song 'A Foggy Day (In London Town)' on it, and played it during her funeral service. That was really something for me. It became a moment of shared reflection.''

With the current coronavirus pandemic, Suggs admits music is keeping him sane and describes it as ''an exercise in meditation''.

Speaking to the Daily Mail newspaper, he said: ''Music, for me, is a great way of losing yourself. When you listen to it, you're not intellectualising or over-analysing your life. I'm isolating in my home in Whitstable at the moment, and music is my escape from the turmoil that's going on around us. I don't have good wi-fi down here, but I've found an old jazz CD and it's been so nice to sit through a whole album without skipping any tracks. The news is so depressing, but the music is like an exercise in meditation.''