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Ulster's youngest pop star (10), launches CD

By Maureen Coleman

Northern Ireland's youngest popstar was celebrating today after launching her new CD.

And 10-year-old Rachael Stewart, who won Citybeat's Young Star Search competition, received some advice on how to handle the limelight from another singer who was discovered through a talent contest.

X Factor winner Shayne Ward, who was in Belfast recently, took time out to give the Newtownards girl some valuable tips on the pitfalls and positive sides of success.

Shayne told her: "Always believe in yourself and make sure you enjoy yourself when you're performing.

"It's great you've achieved this at your age - you're clearly a very talented young lady and well done on recording your very own CD."

Rachael polled the majority of over 30,000 listener votes on the Citybeat radio contest with her version of the Celine Dion song My Heart Will Go On. She even managed to bring a tear to the eye of Eurovision winner Dana, who helped judge the final at CastleCourt in July.

Since winning the competition Rachael has enjoyed a VIP weekend, which included a summer shopping spree and a makeover. She also won the chance to record her own CD in a studio and gain expert advice from X Factor winner Shayne.

Telling her how to handle knockbacks and negative comments, Shayne said: " As long as you know you're good, that is the main thing. You need to get some knockbacks along the way to make you stronger but as long as you rise above them you'll be fine."

Rachael was back on stage at the weekend in her hometown, playing in front of hundreds of people at the Festival of the Peninsula.

After her performance, her CDs were all snapped up.

Rachael said: "Before the summer I had never even thought about singing seriously but now, after all this, I'm sure I want some kind of career in the music business.

"I'm still very young and my mum keeps reminding me that it's now time to knuckle down to my school work again but I've had a fantastic summer."

Belfast Telegraph

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