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Friday People: Frances Black

We ask personalities about the special relationships in their lives

MY HUSBAND BRIAN

We met through a friend. She was going out with Brian's best friend and she introduced Brian to me one day and that was it. We started to go out in the Eighties when I was in my 20s. We've been together almost 30 years now and we're still very happy. Brian managed me for years but recently he decided he would like to do something else. I had set up a charity called the Rise Foundation in 2008 which helps the families of addicts and Brian now works for it full-time.

MY CHILDREN

My children are from my first marriage. I was 19 when Eoghan was born and 21 when I had Aoife (right). It's now really nice to have adult children. It was tough at the beginning but it was meant to be and I realised that. They are two very grounded people and they're doing ok.

They're both in the music industry. Eoghan is a musician although he has gone back to college to study psychology. Aoife is currently travelling with her band but she also works periodically as a production manager for a TV station. The music industry is a very difficult career but they love it.

MY BEST FRIENDS

I have a few best friends. There's Siobhan Foran who I met years ago when she came to work for me. Irene Sherry lives in Belfast and has been involved in different festivals and gigs in the city and our friendship has grown over time. My other close friend is Imelda Crone Murray. I've known her for 40 years since we met at school. They are all very good friends. They're the kind that you know that are there for you if you ever need them, no questions asked.

MY PARENTS, PATTY AND KEVIN

My father came from Rathlin Island and played the fiddle as well as the mandolin and accordion. He was a plasterer and mum looked after us before they moved to Dublin and opened a shop.

We lived in tenement housing. Life was a struggle for them financially as there were five of us to raise. Their only social outlet was a sing-song. My father was brilliant at bringing people together in Dublin and my mother was a wonderful singer. She could remember hundreds of songs and had such a passion for live music. The family has started performing again together and it is lovely.

WHO I GO TO FOR ADVICE

I go to all of my friends for advice. I'll go to different ones for different advice and they always deliver.

MY MENTOR

It would be my sister Mary who is a well-known singer, even though she probably doesn't realise her influence. I would have always gone to her for a lot of stuff in my life. I've always looked up to her.

She's been an inspiration to me throughout the years.

My secret crush is ... James Taylor

I fell in love with James Taylor when I was about 13 – he has always been the love of my life. I still dream of one day singing with him. I met him briefly backstage once. It was probably one of the few times in my life I was speechless. I couldn't talk I was so in awe.

MY FANTASY DINNER PARTY

Nelson Mandela would be the first person for a political point of view. For a funny point of view I would ask Larry David from Curb Your Enthusiasm. I would invite Lady Gaga for her personality and what she would bring to the conversation. She seems very bright and intelligent and very artistic and obviously I would bring in James Taylor as well. Finally, I would like to choose Rosa Parks, the 'mother of the freedom movement', who refused to give up her seat to a white person.

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Frances will be performing at the Market Place Theatre, Armagh on January 4. For tickets and information go to www.marketplacearmagh.com

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