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Monday all the best: Musician Lisa McHugh

By Kerry McKittrick

The Enniskillen-based 25-year-old is one of Irish country music's rising stars, with two albums under her belt and performances on some of the industry's best-known stages.

My best moment

It would have to be when I sang on the Grand Ole Opry stage in Nashville in 2011. I made a very quick trip to Nashville to record a duet with a musician called Gene Watson. Just before I went he phoned me and asked me if I would be his guest at the Opry. I couldn't speak for about five minutes because it's the holy grail of country music and to do it so early in my career was phenomenal.

My best song

It's Carrie Underwood's Good Girl. She has a phenomenal voice and the song is so catchy.

My best way of relaxing

I like going to the gym as it relieves stress for me. Then I like to go home, take off my make-up and get into my pyjamas.

My best job

I have worked in a few offices and in a call centre – I felt like I was chained to a phone 24/7. I was also an office manager for my dad before I moved over here but now I can support myself through my music. I'm delighted to be able to do that.

My best advice

Don't take no for an answer – so many people on the music scene have told me that one. The two people who really impressed it on me were Daniel O'Donnell and Philomena Begley. I'm a very determined person anyway, though – if someone tells me I can't do something then I'll strive to prove them wrong.

My best gift

The Takemine guitar that my parents gave me for my 21st birthday. You have to use these things and I've had some of the best moments of my career using that guitar and written some of my best songs on it too. I have it on stage with me at every show.

My best achievement

Getting a chart hit with my own song. It's called Hey, I'm A Woman and it got to number three on the Billboard Country Chart last October.

My best buy

I was working on a cruise ship a couple of years ago and I was very busy right up to the sailing and also while I was on the ship. One day I was having a wander around the shops on board and bought a diamond ring. I thought, 'No one else is going to buy it for me', so I treated myself. I still wear it all the time.

Lisa McHugh will be performing at The Mellon, Omagh, this Friday, and The Elk, Toomebridge, on Friday, July 11. For details, visit www.lisa-mchugh.com

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