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Belleeks singer Amber (9) wins best female newcomer at NI Country Music Awards

Amber Campbell

One Co. Armagh girl went to school with her head held high on Tuesday morning after a big win at the Northern Ireland Country Music Awards!

Amber Campbell (9) from Belleeks, took home the ‘Best Female Newcomer’ Award at the prestigious event, which was held in the Armagh City Hotel on Monday night (January 29).

Although she had been asked to perform at the event, alongside some of her biggest inspirations in country music, Amber never imagined that she too would be recognised for her hard work and determination to make a name for herself.

Accompanied by a seven-piece band, Amber performed her debut single ‘Play Me the Waltz of the Angels’ – which was released on the same day – to a crowd of hundreds, receiving a standing ovation and many cheers from all in attendance.

Speaking to Armagh I, mum Mary says that Amber was one of the youngest to have ever performed at the awards!

“It’s amazing. She was absolutely blown away, She couldn’t believe it,” said Mary. “We didn’t tell her she was in for an award because we didn’t want her to be disappointed, but then when she got called out it was amazing. It’s the fact she is only nine as well – to be so young and go up against other artists and win it!

“She got so emotional on the stage because she was so shocked that she got it. She didn’t expect it all.”

Read more: Belleeks prodigy Amber (9) to take NI Country Music Awards by storm

The event proved a great opportunity for the rising country star, giving her the opportunity to meet with some of her favourites in the genre, who even threw in some advice for her going forward.

Added Mary: “Out of all the nights, last night topped it, because it was her biggest crowd to-date. She’d never played with a seven-piece band before and even they had sent a message to her on Facebook to say it was a pleasure to play along with her.

“It’s just lovely hearing the feedback as well from last night and the different wee comments that were made from some of the stars, some of the people that were watching and the band members. It’s lovely to hear.”

Amber, who is still on “cloud-nine”, went straight into school the next morning with her award under her arm, where she was met with a celebration organised by her teachers and classmates.

Some might think that balancing the school-life with country music stardom would take its toll on a nine-year-old, but her mum says she’s just “taking it all in her stride”.

Continued Mary: “She’s just really enjoying it all. For someone so small and so young, all the doors just seem to be opening for her. Opportunities are rising and she’s taking them and she’s doing well.

“She’s got a good wee following and good support around her. She’s just getting on with school and dealing with it very well.

“She has something on maybe once or twice a month and we’re just trying to control it and not to overwhelm her. Coming into the summer time she should be able to do a little bit more because she’ll be off school but it’s all going in the right direction for her.

“She’s really passionate about her music, she’s doing guitar lessons, she does singing lessons and then she does her wee gigs as well. She’s got a lot coming up but she just looks forward to it all. She just loves it.”

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