Inside Naughty Boy’s ‘lonely’ struggle with mum’s dementia as he gears up for I’m A Celeb

Having been pictured arriving in Wales to begin his two-week quarantine period, it looks as though Naughty Boy – real name Shahid Khan – is getting ready to hang up his headphones in favour of the I’m A Celeb red gilet, heavy jacket and walking boots.

The award-winning musician and rapper has worked with the likes of Beyoncé, Emeli Sande, Lily Allen and Rihanna and is one of the UK’s most in-demand producers.

But away from the studio, the Watford-born artist has opened up about his life outside of the world of A Listers, from looking after his mother following her dementia diagnosis to kickstarting his career after bagging a gameshow win.

We take a look inside the I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here! contestant’s life…

Dealing with his mum’s dementia

After his mother, Zahida, was diagnosed with vascular dementia in 2019 following a stroke two years prior, Naughty Boy has spoken openly about his experience.

During lockdown, the DJ told Sky News that watching his mother’s condition worsen was his “biggest struggle” and had taken its toll on his mental health.

“As a family [dementia] can seem like a lonely experience… you don't think anyone will understand. It does affect your mental health,” he said.

Despite her worsening health, Naughty Boy has found relief in using music to connect with his mum, regularly playing the piano to help calm her.

“It's not the best experience – but as long as I get a glimpse of mum, a smile, something that reminders her of a happier day… that's enough for me right now. I'll do this until the day I die,” he explained.

Game show beginnings

Having applied to study Business and Marketing at London Guildhall University, the 36 year old dropped out during his first term after successfully being granted £5,000 from The Prince’s Trust.

While working as a pizza delivery driver in Watford – where he was eventually sacked for being too slow – the producer applied to become a contestant on Deal Or No Deal.

Appearing on the 26th episode of the acclaimed game show, he turned down the banker’s offer of £35,000 and cashed out of the show with a hefty £44,000, using the money to set up a recording studio and record label.

Finding chart success

Releasing his debut album Hotel Cabana in 2013, Naughty Boy went straight to number one with the single La La La featuring Sam Smith.

Since then, the multi-talented artist has spent 65 weeks in the UK Top 40 and has collaborated with a range of artists, including Emeli Sande, Beyoncé and Ed Sheeran.

He also appeared as a guest on The X Factor final in 2017, where he performed a duet with winners Rak-Su, playing their original track Dimelo.

His One Direction beef

Back in March 2015, Naughty Boy caused quite the stir among One Direction fans after being photographed working with Zayn Malik just days after the star announced his departure from the band.

What followed was months of Twitter spats between the producer and Zayn’s former bandmate Louis Tomlinson.

Louis hitting a pinata decorated with Naughty Boy’s face during a concert and Naughty Boy even telling The Sun that the 29 year old shouldn’t mess “with a sleeping lion”.

However, sending Twitter alight, later in the same year, Zayn and Naughty Boy’s friendship came to a shocking end after their demo ‘No Type’ leaked online.

Though reports suggested that the La La La hitmaker was not the person who leaked the demo, Zayn lashed out on social media, telling him to “stop pretending we’re friends”.

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