Pendle teenager in bid to become UK's next singing sensation in final of top competition
A teenager from Pendle has beat off thousands of rivals to win a place in the final of a contest to find the UK's next singing sensation.
And it is the second time songstress Emma Rae Barker has sung her way through to the final of Open Mic UK.
Held every year to find the country's best singers, singer/songwriters, rappers and vocalists the competition attracts around 10,000 contestants.
Emma, who is 13, will sing in the grand final at London's O2 Arena on Saturday, February 1st.
She will be competing in the under 18s category along with around 25 other finalists. And music industry judges are looking for an act that has the potential to be successfully launched in the UK as a major recording artiste.
A pupil at Skipton Girls' High School Emma sang Birdy's Skinny Love at the area finals of the competition but chose a song she wrote herself, in collaboration with her singing teacher Kiki Deville, called Never Been In Love for the regional rounds.
Emma wowed the judges and earned her place in the final again. Kiki is best known for being on Team Will I Am on The Voice UK in 2014, and as a judge on seasons one and two of the hit BBC show All Together Now with head judge Spice Girl Geri Horner and host comedian Rob Beckett.
Emma lives in Barnoldswick with her parents, Nicola and Rafe, and her younger sister Lillie who is nine. Nicola works in HR for Barnoldswick based Hope Technology and Rafe runs his own company, Regal Engineering in Kelbrook. They are planning a weekend in London with several other relatives and supporters to cheer Emma on.
Nicola said: "We are so proud of Emma. She has worked very hard for this but she also has a great natural talent.
"Her confidence has really grown in the last couple of years."