Belfast Telegraph

Editor's Viewpoint: Nadine's appeal is aloud and clear

Fame is a two-edged sword. While it may open many doors and bring varying degrees of wealth, it can also bring an unwelcome intrusion into personal as well as professional life.

And it is clear that Londonderry singer Nadine Coyle is feeling the pressure over personal criticism directed at her by the tabloid media in recent times.

Her apparent loss of weight, her romance with an American footballer and poor initial sales of her debut single have all been the centre of attention. But she is most annoyed at the fun poked at her strong Derry accent, likening it to bullying and even hinting at a little racism by suggesting she is being targeted because she is Northern Irish.

Admittedly she has a very distinctive accent when speaking, but that should not detract from the fact that she is a very talented singer. Indeed, when the Girls Aloud group was producing hit singles and albums on a regular basis, she had the main musical input and was regarded as the lead vocalist.

Today, Nadine is compared unfavourably in some quarters with former bandmate, Cheryl Cole, who has become something of a national sweetheart thanks to her high-profile marriage and then divorce from Premier League footballer, Ashley Cole, and appearances on X Factor. Nadine has tried to remain aloof from the comparisons or from fuelling tabloid stories of "battles" with other members of the group.

Instead she has spent more and more time in the US and concentrated on pursuing her own musical direction. It is a courageous move which at least gives her personal satisfaction if not immediate professional acclaim. But while her records are fair targets for comment, good or bad, she is right to complain about the unflattering personal criticisms directed at her.

It is not every day that Northern Ireland produces an entertainer known worldwide. We should be proud of our own pop star, one who is right to tell - in whatever accent she likes - the character assassins to find another victim.

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