Winehouse gives instant fame to god-daughter, 12

When you are 12 years old and your godmother asks you to take part in a sing-a-long session at a friend's house, you might be forgiven for not seeing it as a passport to instant stardom and a transatlantic musical career.

Unless, that is, your godmother is Amy Winehouse, her friend Pete Doherty – and the four-minute clip is broadcast on YouTube and subsequently watched by tens of thousands.

Until recently, Dionne Bromfield was just another shy schoolgirl from Kent, whose only claim to fame was that she occasionally had to battle through the paparazzi when the Ivor Novello award-winning star came to pick her up at the school gates.

But after a brief recording of her singing with Winehouse accompanying on guitar was viewed by an army of adoring fans, Dionne has become an overnight hit – and the Back to Black star believes she could be the next big thing to hit the British music scene.

"Dionne is the one – I love her to bits," said Winehouse, who is personally sponsoring her god-daughter on a 10-day intensive singing programme in Los Angeles this summer. "Dionne really is special, she's better than I was at her age," she added.

Taking a break from her hectic recording schedule, the singer admitted it was a risk putting the schoolgirl in the spotlight at such an early age, but denied she was being unfair to other young hopefuls.

"Dionne is young but she has more potential than any girl I've ever seen," she said. "I know she's got an advantage by knowing me but I'd put her in a room against anyone and she'd do the business."

As of yesterday more than 80,000 people had clicked on to watch Dionne's performance of Alicia Keyes's If I Ain't Got You. The footage from Doherty's home, which shows an attentive Winehouse, 24, in her trademark beehive strumming away as her protégé sings powerfully into a microphone, was described as "mesmerising" by some fans. "Wow, that's lovely. I like it better than the original!" said one, while another remarked: "Talent! Amy is a great mentor!"

Dionne is grateful to Winehouse for giving her the chance to make her voice heard in the music industry. "She's really good – she just wants me to do as well as I can," she said. "She's really supportive and thinks I've got a great voice. She's helping me to go to America in the summer – so I can learn more about singing. I'm really excited about it, and a bit nervous."

Asked how she feels when her mentor is featured in the press for her drug problems and tumultuous love life, she said: "It's not very nice. We do nice things together, though. She does my hair. She likes straightening it."

Dionne, who attends the prestigious Voxbox singing school in Camden, north London, will fly to the US in July where she will come under the strict tutelage of Seth Riggs, whose alumni include the likes of Michael Jackson, Stevie Wonder and Ray Charles.

Lucy Phillips, Dionne's music teacher, said her pupil's age was no barrier to future success. "Dionne is talented enough to have a very long career. Of course I am concerned that she is so young, but she has a great support network around her and, despite what people think of Amy, she is absolutely great with children."

Winehouse has had a very positive effect on Dionne's career, she added. "She even bought her a guitar and is teaching her the chords. Amy is Dionne's biggest fan. I think that is why she was willing to take the risk of putting her out there. She knows what talent she has."

Dionne, who cannot sing this week because of a throat infection, is circumspect about the fanfare around her online exposure. She knows she must concentrate on her education at Beaverwood School in Chislehurst.

"I know I've got to take things slowly," she said, adding: "Not many of my friends at school have seen the video. One of them saw it and said it was good."

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick