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When you think Marc Anthony, you probably think J. Lo. (We do too!) But did you know the guy has been an international pop sensation for almost 30 years? (Bruno Mars and Pitbull go to him for advice.)

But Anthony didn't always have a phone book filled with celeb-status friends and awards to hang his hat on. In the June issue of Men's Fitness, the Grammy-winning singer-songwriter opens up about his long (and rocky) journey to stardom. Growing up as a skinny kid in East Harlem wasn't easy. Anthony told the mag the had to buff up because "there were people who would test you." At nine years old, he says he could bang out triple-digit pushups in a day!

But we were more shocked to hear about one of the ways Anthony told the mag he built up confidence-all courtesy of a little bit (or, well, a lot) of tough love from his dad.

Anthony told Men's Fitness, "My dad would tell me, 'Son, I'm ugly and you're ugly-work on your personality.' I swear to God. I told him a couple of months ago, I said, 'Dad, you remember telling me that when I was little?' He's like, 'I'll tell you that sh*t today, too!' I think it served me well. I think confidence is a powerful thing."

Ouch. That's one way to make a point. (And by the way, Marc, we don't agree with your dad.) But though harsh in his delivery, Mr. Anthony senior's message (or what we think he meant!) clearly came through strong to his son: Believe in yourself-and strengthen not just your body, but who you are at heart-and you'll come out on top.

To read the entire interview, pick up the June issue of Men's Fitness, on newsstands May 19, and check out some of the interview at