Wednesday 20 September 2017

Byrne hopes for gig of her life -- to sing for visiting Obamas

Mary Byrne: returning to till number 40 this Friday
Mary Byrne: returning to till number 40 this Friday

Ken Sweeney Entertainment Editor

Her voice has captivated millions. Now 'The X Factor' star Mary Byrne wants to play her biggest gig yet -- entertaining the US president when he visits his Irish homeland in May.

Byrne, who is currently finishing the remaining 30 dates on the 'The X Factor' tour, yesterday offered to reschedule gigs if invited to entertain Barack and Michelle Obama during the state visit.

"I'd love to sing for Barack because I think himself and his wife Michele are outstanding people," she said.

"Being the first black American president and first lady is some achievement and I would drop everything to sing for them in Dublin. My phone is on if anyone wants to offer me the gig."

The former checkout operator is now more at home entertaining crowds in packed arenas than totting up grocery bills.

But Bryne will return to the Ballyfermot branch of Tesco, where she spent more than a decade working, to sign copies of her debut album this Friday.

For the 51-year-old, her return to checkout number 40 at the store will be a homecoming to savour.

"I'll be throwing my arms around the customers," she told the Irish Independent. "The till I used to work on was opposite where they sold the CDs. I used to dream about having my own album in that rack -- now it's finally happened."

Her debut album, 'Mine & Yours', will be available to buy from Tesco stores here and in Britain and her promotional tour will include an appearance on Friday's 'Late Late Show'.

Her first single, 'I Just Call You Mine', is number 12 in the Irish charts, and the star said she would be "happy enough" if her album made the top 10 in the UK or Ireland, rather than hit number one.

"I'd be happy to get that because there are so many great albums out right now, like Adele's second album," she said. "That's why I can't see it getting to number one in England. That said, I'd love my album to get to number one in Ireland but just to have it out is great."

Three months after the latest series of 'The X Factor', the mother of one revealed she was one of the few finalist still getting calls from her mentor on the programme.

"Louis Walsh rings me nearly every day but I know other contestants haven't heard from their mentors. I'm just lucky to have Louis who is already picking out songs for my second album," she said.

Irish Independent

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