Cowell signs 10-year-old spotted on YouTube
Thursday 17 February 2011
She is only 10 years old and has already been hailed as the next Mariah Carey and Justin Bieber rolled into one. Now, after taking the internet by a storm, the Canadian has become the latest talent to be signed by Simon Cowell.
Heather Russell, who cites her musical influences as Prince, Justin Timberlake, Queen and Alicia Keyes, is not new to the limelight. She wrote her first song on the piano at eight, and now, after posting a clip of her single "Every Step of the Way" on YouTube last July, has attracted the attention of Cowell, the music mogul and American Idol creator, and Rob Fusari, the producer who helped launch Lady Gaga.
In a rise to fame that has already been compared with fellow Canadian teen idol Justin Bieber, who was discovered four years ago on YouTube at the age of 12, Russell reportedly caught Cowell's eye from the moment they were introduced.
"Simon just loved her. He said she was amazingly-talented from the first time he saw her," a spokesman from Syco UK, the company founded by Cowell, told The Independent.
Russell first gained attention when she auditioned for an amateur singing contest at the age of eight. Despite being too young to enter the contest, the musical director, John Santos, worked with with Russell for almost a year.
"As soon as I heard her, me and my wife said 'Wow'," Santos said. "I thought she was incredible and I still do – she is a diamond in the rough, with a very bright future."
Less than a year after Russell's mother, Monica Cidade, posted the clip of her daughter singing with her father online, the video had attracted more than 100,000 views.
Her talent then brought her to the attention of Zack Werner, the Canadian Idol judge and founder of Venus Records. He says he managed Russell unofficially until Cowell swooped. "Simon will put his stamp on her, but there is something rare about this child. She is a natural entertainer and sings for all the right reasons."
For Russell's mother, her daughter's success comes as no surprise. "We're more than excited, but Heather deserves it. She is the hardest working 10-year-old I know. She is committed and real," she said.
Is the comedy album making a comeback?comedy
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 What if 35 Palestinians had died, and 800 Israelis?
- 2 Disney heiress Abigail disowns her share of family profits in West Bank company
- 3 The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
- 4 'Women should not laugh in public,' says Turkey's Deputy Prime Minister in morality speech
- 5 Ross Burden dead: MasterChef and Ready Steady Cook star dies at age 45 after suffering from cancer
Led Zeppelin to release alternative Stairway To Heaven after 43 years
Best movies on Netflix UK and US: 32 films that will end your endless scrolling
Freddie Prinze Jr on 24: 'Kiefer Sutherland was the most unprofessional dude in the world – I hated every moment of it'
50 best running songs: From Avicii and Pharrell Williams to the classic 'Eye of the Tiger'
The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies trailer unveiled at Comic-Con
The secret report that helps Israel hide facts
Woman and two children killed by mob in riots over 'blasphemous' Facebook post in Pakistan
A day in the life of Vladimir Putin: The dictator in his labyrinth
Putin is 'thuggish, dishonest and reckless', says British ambassador to US
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – Britain as others see us
Were 'Poor Doors' added to mixed developments so wealthy residents don't have to go in alongside social housing tenants?
- < Previous
- Next >