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Nick Lachey has some advice on how to get through rough times: "You have to always have a good perspective and a good attitude and always take the high road. You never want to look back and regret the way you acted."
The singer, who split from Jessica Simpson in November 2005, tells PEOPLE: "Certainly I had some tough times in the past year. Hopefully I tried always to take the high road and make the most of the situation."
Lachey, 33, on Monday earned Cosmopolitan magazine's "Fun, Fearless Male of the Year Award," and his grace in the midst of his split, plus his hit album What's Left of Me, were a few of the reasons Cosmo honored him – but not the only ones.
"What makes us all fun and fearless?" Lachey asked the crowd at the award
ceremony at Manhattan's Cipriani restaurant. "Is it our passion? Is it our drive? Is it our love for our families? Let's face it – we're all just so damn good looking!"
Other Fun, Fearless Male honorees included Forest Whitaker, who scored a Best Actor Oscar nod for The Last King of Scotland on Tuesday, Entourage's Jeremy Piven, Superman Returns star Brandon Routh, New York Mets player David Wright and Rescue Me's Denis Leary.
Leary confessed to reading Cosmo for sex and romance advice, and thanked the magazine's original editor, Helen Gurley Brown, for all the tips. "I've been married for 25 years and you're the reason," he said.
Piven, on the other hand, quipped upon accepting his award, "Had I read this fine magazine, I wouldn't be 200 years old and still single."