A 16-year-old girl gave Hugo Duncan the surprise of his life when she broke into song at the Big Splash Triathlon and River Festival in Portglenone.
Asked by the BBC Radio Ulster DJ to sing a song, the teenager gave a near flawless rendition of the Randy Travis tune, ‘Forever and Ever, Amen’.
Posting the video on Facebook, the Radio Ulster team said: “Clodagh McGurk blew us all away with this unexpected treat! What talent!”
Since Friday, the video has since been viewed more than 376,000 times.
Despite all the fuss since, Clodagh told the Mail that while she loves singing, she has no plans to pursue a musical career.
“I just sing at weddings and do community and charity events,” she said. “I’ve been doing it since I was 12 or 13. It was just a one-off thing to start with and then it went on from there. I used to do singing lessons for a while, but I gave them up when my GCSEs came along. I’m in the Rasharkin Youth Choir though.”
Having just completed her GCSEs, Clodagh is hoping to go on to study history, religious studies, English and health and social care studies. Of her impromptu festival performance, she said it had been completely unexpected and that she’d spontaneously gone to the event with her mum and aunt after dropping her sister off at the airport.
“My mum said she wanted to go see Hugo in Portglenone and I said I would go with her on the condition she didn’t tell him I could sing,” said Clodagh. “My auntie came too and when he asked if anyone could sing, they told him I could! I wasn’t expecting to be asked.”
Initially, Clodagh chose another song to perform, but asked for something more upbeat by ‘Uncle Hugo’, she broke into her rendition of the Randy Travis tune. A fan of country music, she described Randy as “kind of my idol”.
As for the overwhelmingly positive response she’s received since the festival, Clodagh told the Mail she was still somewhat in shock at it all.
“I just can’t believe it’s real,” she said. “It’s hard to take in. It’s just so shocking that people are watching it and liking it. But it’s really nice to see. There are Facebook messages from people all over the world – from Texas and Australia.”
Despite all the praise about her voice however, Clodagh hasn’t quite been sold on the X-Factor idea, and said she feared taking part in a competition like that might put her off singing.
She added: “I don’t think I’m good enough to be honest.”
What the future holds for this young singer remains to be seen, but in the meantime, she’s also recently been named one of Young St Vincent de Paul’s (Young SVP) ‘17 under 17’.
Naming the 17 teens as future potential leaders in the country, Clodagh, the youngest of five siblings, is surely one to watch...