Van Morrison finds listening to music to be "a spiritual experience".

Van Morrison

Van Morrison

The 69-year-old icon's passion for music came from listening to jazz and blues records shipped over from America when he was a youngster, and said he "absorbed" the tunes because of the strong "energy" they emitted.

He said: "It was some sort of a spiritual experience. I just absorbed it. I reacted later, but I was absorbing it when I was first hearing it ... there was some sort of energy."

During his musical awakening, the 'Brown Eyed Girl' singer said he was influenced by Louis Armstrong, Lead Belly and gospel music, which was introduced to him by his father and ultimately shaped his career.

He explained to The Guardian newspaper: "He had Lead Belly records when I was very young ... He had been in the States before that, and he turned me on to the music with his record collection.

"He used to take me to this record shop every Saturday when I was a kid. Atlantic Records, on the High Street in Belfast. Solly Lipsitz was the guy who ran it. His sister lived in New York and he was importing records from there.

"To me this was normal, being around people who were listening to jazz and blues. I didn't know until later on that that was fairly unique. Apparently. There wasn't any name for these type of people."