A TWELVE-YEAR-OLD singer has beaten thousands to the semi-finals of a national competition which she hopes will help her secure a record deal.
Shaleah Maraj (CORR), of the Western Avenue, Ealing, sang 'All I Want To Do', a song she composed herself, at auditions two weeks ago to become one of just 18 people competing in the South East regional finals of Live and Unsigned.
The youngster has sung professionally since she was just eight and has already impressed the professionals.
Troy Miller, Amy Winehouse's drummer, is among her supporters and will be accompanying her on the piano at the semi finals at the Beck Theatre, in Hayes, on October 10.
And Alexis Grower, an entertainment lawyer for the likes of Led Zeppelin, The Who and Beverley Knight, has even compared her to Ella Fitzgerald and Celine Dion.
She said: "I'm overjoyed that people like that have said such positive things about me.
"I've been singing since I was four, I just love it. I love the feeling of being creative and being yourself, whatever song it is you get to do it your own way.
"I'm not really nervous, I'm more excited. I really like to entertain people so when I start singing I just get into it and forget about any worries.
"My dream is to become a recording artist, work with major labels and show my voice to the world."
If she makes it through, Miss Maraj will compete in the national finals at the O2 in January and be able to showcase her talents in front of top producers, record label executives and other music industry experts.
Her mother Bianca Henry, said: "She's got an amazing gift and it's all she wants to do. When you hear her singing it's like a person beyond her years.
"Pride isn't a word big enough."