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Brave singer's battle to win Open Mic competition in Liverpool
AS she continues to battle breast cancer, mother-of-four Emma Howard hopes her luck is about to change after winning through to the next round of a singing competition.
The 30-year-old from Sutton wowed judges at the fiercely contested regional heat of the Open Mic contest with a rendition of a song Just to hear you say that you love me by country star Faith Hill.
However, she admitted that a rush of adrenaline helped her overcome her nerves.
Emma, who has held down a number of temporary jobs, was diagnosed with cancer in 2009 when she was just 26.
She explained: “I’ve just over 12 months to go before I’m in remission, so at the moment I go back to hospital every year for a check-up.”
Supported by her mum Ann and eldest daughter Ellie, 11, Emma took to the stage at the Liner Hotel in Liverpool when the competition was held.
She said: “It was only after I sang that I had a bit of a panic, especially when you have a row of judges in front of you all from the music industry.
“I went out on stage with five other acts and we would each sing a song until the judges said stop. Luckily I got through.
“But the next stage there will be hundreds of people in the audience. And they have given me 25 tickets that I have to sell before the next round.
“I’m still a bit up in the air about what to sing next, but I’m thinking about the Emeli Sande song Beneath Your Beautiful.
“I’ve been practising all day singing around the house. I think my neighbour is going to end up knocking on my door saying she has had enough.”
Emma, who also has daughters Madison, six, Faye, two, and nine-month-old son Joshua, says the whole family and partner Steve Perry, have been wholly supportive of her.
But she admitted that the illness has had a lasting effect: “The cancer has changed me; I’m sick of struggling. I think I have always had that hunger to succeed inside, but I had my first daughter aged 21, then did part time work and didn’t have the time.
“And after the rest of my children I was preoccupied. My grandma always told me I had a God-given talent and shouldn’t waste it.
“But even on the day I nearly didn’t go, but my mum persuaded me and cried when I got through.
“I’ve not had a lot of luck over the years, so if I can make something out of this our lives will change.”
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