Daniel Bedingfield now… from near-death horror crash to blue haired backpacker

This year marks two decades since a 21-year-old Daniel Bedingfield stormed the charts with his debut single, Gotta Get Thru This.

Recorded in his bedroom in Brixton, the track and accompanying album catapulted him to global fame, winning him the BRIT Award for Best Male Artist in 2004.

He subsequently signed a six-figure deal with music giants Polydor, but his follow-up album, Second First Impression, failed to emulate the success as first and all suddenly fell quiet.

But that was in no small part due to a violent car smash that almost cost Daniel, now 41, his life.

The New Zealand-born star had been visiting his parents in his home country when his SUV ran off the road and flipped over several times.

The star and his friend were trapped in the mangled wreckage and had to be cut out out by firefighters.

“Right now, I feel okay and very grateful to be alive,” Daniel said in a statement, having been rushed to hospital with severe head and neck injuries caused by the car rolling on him.

“I don’t remember much about what happened but I’ve seen pictures of the car and feel blessed to have got out of there at all.”

According to his sister and fellow singer, Natasha Bedingfield, Daniel was just inches away from death.

“He had the whole weight of the car above his body as he lay upside down,” she said.

“If it had moved just one inch he would have died straight away.

“By chance a nurse and a lifeguard turned up at the scene. They arrived to find another man trying to free Daniel from the wreckage.

“The rescuer thought the jeep was going to explode but the nurse stopped him.

“If Daniel had been moved he would have died. It’s incredible that two medically-trained people were there. They saved my brother’s life.”

He was discharged from hospital a week later but needed months of rehabilitation and suffered terrifying seizures.

“I had convulsions every few hours, and my father had to hold me down so I wouldn’t damage my spine. I could have died,” he told told YNetnews in 2011.

The smash meant that he was unable to properly promote his second album and when it failed to set the charts alight, he took a four-year hiatus from singing.

Daniel moved to the US and went on to work behind the scenes with other artists including Pixie Lott, SecondCity and Ben Haenow.

In 2012 he joined the New Zealand X Factor and mentored the winning act, Jackie Thomas.

He also spent time backpacking around the world, telling New Zealand website Stuff: “I tried being rich and it was fun but it got old really fast. I have no need to make that much money ever again.

“Boring. I like to be financially secure, but past that, the world is better when you are backpacking; it’s better when you’re couch surfing… I believe in friendships and land.”

In 2015 the singer was forced to reassure fans that he was alive and well after an internet hoax claimed he had died.

“So apparently I’m not dead according to Google. Fair enough,” tweeted the star, who likes to mix up his style and shared a picture of his blue hair with Instagram fans.

He made a brief appearance in West End musical The War of the Worlds as The Artilleryman in 2016.

However, he has said that he’s happy to let his solo career take a back seat in favour of his songwriting.

“I’m not doing much writing for myself,” he previously said. “I’m just enjoying being a human being. I was really young back then.”