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Belfast schoolgirl YouTube sensation Holly McCoubrey's voice raising thousands for charity

By Joanne Sweeney

Published 21/01/2016

Student Holly McCoubrey at her piano
Student Holly McCoubrey at her piano
Student Holly McCoubrey
Christina Aguilera

A Belfast schoolgirl is using her amazing voice to help raise money for worthy causes.

Holly McCoubrey (17) is a student from Belfast Royal Academy who is building up a growing following on social media for her cover versions of Beyonce and Christina Aguilera hits.

One of the north Belfast singer's videos uploaded on YouTube got just under 800,000 views as well as 30,000 likes on Facebook.

And so far she has raised around £5,000 for charities such as The Northern Ireland Children's Hospice, Northern Ireland Sea Cadets and the intensive care unit of the Royal Victoria Hospital, Belfast.

Holly also just released her third CD of six songs called Songs for Malawi to help fund a school trip to the African country in June so that she can help teach local children there.

But while her fans are urging her to think of entering talent shows like X Factor and The Voice, Holly says that's not the route for her. "Loads of people ask me about that but I feel that I want to get there myself with my own voice as I wouldn't want anyone to change how I sing, or change my look," said Holly.

The AS-level student made her first CD of songs when she was 13. As word spread about her talent, others wanted a copy and she began to sell her music to raise money for charity.

"I ended up raising £3,000 and I gave it to the Northern Ireland Children's Hospice and that was the start of it. Last Christmas I recorded another one to raise money for the intensive care unit," Holly said.

"Doing the CDs is a great way of getting my voice out there while helping others at the same time. So when I knew that I wanted to go on the annual school trip to Malawi, I thought that recording another CD would be a good way to raise the £1,600 that I need. I've been singing since I was no age and was a lot more confident when I was younger. If anybody asked me to sing, I would have got up and done it.

"While singing and my music is really what I'm trying to get out there, I would also really love to be a primary school teacher as I love working with young children."

The CD was recorded at the home studio of singer/songwriter Eugene Dunphy and also includes one of his songs called The Singer and The Song.

Holly's CD, Songs for Malawi, costs £5 and anyone interested in buying can message her on her Facebook music page at Holly Nadine McCoubrey.

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