Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 17 April 2014

Voice in a million Andrea Begley set for superstardom

Sunday Life Features
The Voice UK Final winner Andrea Begley with Danny o'donoghue and other Northern Ireland finalist Leah McFall
The Voice UK Final winner Andrea Begley with Danny o'donoghue and other Northern Ireland finalist Leah McFall

Tyrone songbird Andrea Begley has landed herself a £100K record deal, a legion of fans and a promising music career after being crowned the 2013 winner of hit TV talent show The Voice.

The 26-year-old civil servant held back tears as she was announced the public's favourite after battling it out with fellow Northern Ireland star Leah McFall, country singer Mike Ward and Londonder Matt Henry.

Andrea, who is the niece of Irish music queen Philomena Begley, now looks poised to be a bigger star than her country-crooning aunt.

She will now sign on the dotted line with music label giant Universal, with celebrity mentor and coach Danny O'Donoghue already vying to mange the Pomeroy woman’s career.

The Script star says he will make the visually-impaired singer a star — and already has an album full of material for her to release.

Last night the angel-voiced singer once again captured the nation's hearts with a series of moving performances on the live finals as well as an upbeat duet with her superstar coach.

She made it to the final three after Matt Henry was the first to lose out in the live finals.

Andrea looked stunning as she sang chart-topping hit Hall of Fame with The Script. She raised huge cheers from the crowd — including mum Anne and dad Ciaran — as she opened the song with her pitch-perfect voice, dressed in trendy black hipsters and leather jacket.

Earlier she sang an emotional rendition of US group Evanescence's My Immortal, described by mentor Danny O'Donoghue as “hair-raising”.

He said: “Not one hair wasn't standing on my body when you sung that song — you are an inspiration.”

Rival coach Jessie J said: “I just want to say how proud I am of you. You were dedicating that song to everyone back home.”

Andrea also performed the song that catapulted her to fame in the show's blind auditions — Sarah McLachlan's Angel.

Looking angelic in a white dress, Andrea gave a mesmerising performance of the song she described as her favourite of the series.

Judges described her performances as hypnotising

Jessie J said: “The one thing that you have that no-one else has is a powerful energy. It feels like you have taken over my whole body.”

Tom Jones added: “She gets me every time.”

Responding to presenter Holly Willoughby on what sets the Pomeroy singer out from the rest, mentor Danny O'Donoghue said: “I would put her in the timeless singer basket, like Eva Cassidy, singing timeless songs.”

“You are inspirational.”

Just before Saturday's live shows, The Script frontman gave the biggest hint yet about his protégée’s future.

 “Andrea will have a deal whether she wins or not,” he said.

“She's got two hit songs already that I've heard.

“I'd love to work with Andrea going forward — if she'll have me.”

An emotional Andrea, who gasped when Holly Willoughby announced her as the show's winning star, said: “I joked during the week that I should have picked Tom as my mentor. But it looks like I made the right choice.

She added: “I want to thank everyone for voting for me, I will try my best to use you vote and be a success”

Danny responded: “You are an inspiration to me and to everyone.”

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