I loved the music of Chris Rea and his lovely huskey voice that always sounded American, it never occurred to me that he might be English and from the Midlands. Chris Rea is a man that has been to hell and back. He's had numerous operations for cancer and he is staying alive.
He said 'If cancer hadn't nearly killed me, I'd be just another selfish celebrity'. Chris was blessed to have a loving wife and family that helped him to get through it. Although nobody knows what it is like to live it but the person themselves. Chris is rare in the music industry, he married his childhood sweetheart.
Chris who was only 44 at the time of his diagnosis, also said that 'his illness helped him to realise that success is not measured by money' and that 'The thing that frustrated me is that some people think that success is all measured by money.' Unfortunately, that is the state of humanity, its the difference between the 'way of man' and the 'way of Spirit'. Those that are ruled by man, judge by its standards and live by its measure instituted by governments.
He has written his autobiography, 'The Road to Hell And Back' and he admits that he found out who his real friends were due to the illness. At the start of his success one of his old friends said to Chris 'Don't forget, those people in Tin Pan Alley will always be your acquaintances - never your friends'.
My friends never said that to me, they said 'When you are famous, come back and speak for us'. The publishers said the same, they asked for first option. They didn't know that I would renounce it. They didn't understand what it means to look death in the face at the age of 18.
When a person is faced with cancerous cells it is a big eye opener, you are never the same person afterwards. My condition was minor compared with the amount of major operations that Chris and Robin have been through.
In the featured article from 2009, Chris tells of how he was going to tour the US before events overtook him. I know how he feels. The USA is not the place for you Chris, nor is it the place for yours truly. I knew in 2008, that there was no way that I could live in that kind of energy.
He took up painting and grows tomatoes and most of all he said 'I've learned how to be happy. And I am happiest just being at home'. He said, after he 'saw the light' his life improved. 
Only those that have been to hell and back can truly understand where he is coming from. After everything he has been through he can stand tall. He can say 'I have seen the light'.
One of his songs was 'Steel River'. In the song there is a mention of salmon who have left the river and then returned again. Its about his home town and the steel industry. Clearly, his heart stayed close to home, and that can be a saving grace.
He has released a new album, SANTO SPIRITO with a song ‘A Chance of Love’.
God bless you Chris, your wife and children. May you live long life, peacefully and happily.