Akon [Courtesy]

Senegalese-American singer and songwriter Akon recently sparked controversy when he talked about what celebrities go through, claiming the rich and famous go through more issues than the poor.

At the time, he was reflecting on the death of The Wire actor Michael K. Williams, stating that many renowned artistes show a ‘façade of success’ but are fighting many battles.

"This business creates an environment where everyone's wearing a mask. No one tells you really is going on in your life,” said Akon.

"The famous in the rich go through more issues than the poor... You know, when they say, 'More money, more problems,' that's a real thing."

Speaking during an interview with TMZ this week, Akon said he does not have any regrets about his sentiments as they represented exactly what he went through.

“I was a young African kid barefooted playing soccer in the village with no electricity, no running water…I knew what that felt like.

“I know what poverty looks like and I know what success looks like and from my personal experience, I am having more problems now than I had when I was poor,” he said.

Further, Akon said the statement was not meant to portray arrogance in any way.

“Money is not always the cure. There are rich people out there committing suicide and doing drugs. It is not the money; it is the mindset.

“Money creates and breeds so much jealousy…it brings about a lot of evil.”

Akon [Courtesy]

He also opined on how money changes people saying if you are not humble enough to receive those blessings it might change you into someone else.

Also read: Autopsy shows Michael Williams died of drug overdose

The Lonely singer also had a word of advice for those who turn to drugs in a bid to forget their problems saying there are alternative ways of handling personal issues.

“I would advice anyone who is on any kind of drugs or addiction to let it go. There are other ways to cope with issues and challenges in life besides drugs and alcohol,” he said.

Akon also said that he often faces his problems head-on because if he does not do so they will haunt him later.

“I am not afraid to ask for help…if I need help I will ask. The least they can do is say no and no has never killed nobody [sic].”