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Will.i.am thrills Emma with a birthday dance

TOP model Emma Quinlan celebrated her birthday in style this weekend when she took to the stage alongside The Black Eyed Peas' Will.i.am at the Academy on Sunday night.

The Diary spotted the brunette beauty being plucked from the audience to join Cheryl Cole's rumoured new squeeze during his set at the Abbey Street venue, after she had been introduced to the Boom Boom Pow singer through a mutual friend.

Bscene model Emma (26) explained how she was out on the town with two members of chart-topping band Florence and the Machine, having attended their gig at the Olympia earlier that night, when Will.i.am called her up to dance with him in front of the packed venue.

"I had been chatting to him before he went on because Brian, the guy who had him over to the Academy to perform, is a good friend of mine," she explained.

"It was a great laugh. He called us up to dance with him and then later he invited us all backstage to his dressing room, where we were partying until all hours.


"He's really nice, really unassuming and very intelligent. I loved his dress sense as well.

"We were chatting about everything from horoscopes to dance music and we all swapped email addresses at the end of the night.

"He had two of his new artists from the States with him as well. There was no sign of Cheryl Cole, although there were rumours that she had turned up for a while backstage to see him perform.

"He didn't mention her or say anything about whether they are actually going out," she added.

Emma, who is due to pose for a saucy shoot for Hugh Hefner's Playboy magazine this summer, revealed how Will.i.am issued her with an open invite to attend any of his future Black Eyed Peas' concerts, given that she didn't make it to either of Saturday or Sunday night's sellout gigs at the O2.

The leggy beauty, who is the niece of property mogul Derek Quinlan, continued the birthday celebrations last night when she turned on the style once more to attend Florence and the Machine's second performance at the Olympia, as a VIP guest of the band.


"It was actually my birthday last week but I believe in keeping the celebrations going for a full week so I decided why not go see them again while they're in town.

"It's not just that I'm friends with them. I really love their music. I'd go see them every night of the week if I could.

"I brought my younger sister along on Sunday night and she had a ball, she was delighted when I was able to get her backstage afterwards to meet them," the model added.

Emma, who is well known for her unusual love of snakes, explained how she won't be turning down any party invites over the coming months, given that she will soon have her head buried in the books full-time.

The ambitious model has decided to return to her studies in UCD next September to complete a degree in Economics. Emma admits that her decision is largely due to the downturn in the modelling industry both at home and abroad and says it's now becoming increasingly difficult to make a living as a full-time model.