EXCLUSIVE: Rick Springfield On How Music and His Wife Barbara Help Him Battle Depression

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We've all happily sung along to "Jessie's Girl," but the stories behind Rick Springfield's hits might make you hear them a little differently.

"I'm kind of known through the ages as this kind of happy, shiny guy, but I was really dark," Springfield told ET. "'Don't Talk to Strangers' is sexual paranoia. It's all dark stuff."

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Springfield wrote about his lifelong battle with depression in his 2010 memoir, Late, Late at Night. In the book, he revealed that, at 16, he attempted suicide by trying to hang himself in his backyard shed, but the rope's knot unraveled, sparing his life.

The GRAMMY winner eventually found music as way to work through his darkest days.

"It has really helped give my depression a way to get the hell out of there," he said.

Music proved to be a rewarding way of dealing with his issues. In 2007, Rolling Stone voted his perennial hit "Jessie's Girl" as the No. 1 karaoke song of all time.

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Also helping Springfield deal with his darkness, he said, is his wife of 31 years, Barbara.

"She still inspires me," he said. "We've been married a long time -- been through a lot of ups and downs."

At 66, Springfield still has that rock star swagger with his new album, Rocket Science, and at least one of the songs, "Let Me In," was written for Barbara.

"In one of our down moments, I was the one saying, 'Let me in,'" Springfield explained.

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Rocket Science is the Australian's 18th studio album, and he still performs roughly 100 concerts a year. He told us the hardest part about touring: "It's not getting enough sleep," he said. "I could sleep for 14 hours every night. I love to sleep."

Springfield is performing at the iHeart80s Party, which will live stream on iheartradio.com on Saturday, Feb. 20 at 5 p.m. ET/ 8 p.m. PT. Rocket Science is available now.