By ALYSSA LITOFF and LAUREN EFFRON
Pop singer Jason Derulo has earned a reputation for having an intense work ethic both inside and outside the studio. He says that he works out about three hours a day even while he is touring. It was while he was practicing one of his stage stunts that he almost lost his life.
Two years ago, Derulo was rehearsing a back flip when he fell and broke his neck.
"The odds are crazy. I was either supposed to be paralyzed or not here at all," he told "Nightline." "It was a crazy break, freak accident. I'm blessed to even be able to sit here, let alone get on stage and still dance. It's totally a miracle."
Despite the severity of his injury, Derulo said he was able to get up and walk himself out to the car, where his mother drove him to the hospital.
"I'm in excruciating pain," he recalls feeling at the time. "Every single bump feels like death."
Derulo spent seven months in a neck brace. Looking back on it now, he said the incident changed his outlook on life.
"Life is short. All those cliché lines that you've heard a million times go in one ear and out the other, it became my reality," he said. "I truly live my life like that. I don't like to stay upset anymore. I don't like to be in places that don't make me feel good. I don't like doing things that don't make me feel good. It's like, every second counts and I could be gone tomorrow."
Derulo first made a name for himself writing pop songs for other artists before breaking out as a pop star in his own right. His accident, he said, helped him grow as a musician.
"I almost wasn't here anymore. It was like, I got to be me. It was a revelation," he said. "I got to be me and I got to do me. It worked."