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new talent Irish teenager Amy Rigney gets online voice coaching from Righteous Brother as she aims for stardom

The budding Beyoncé has landed online vocal coaching from Bucky Heard of The Righteous Brothers, whose hits include Unchained Melody and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.

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Amy has been working hard with the famous singer via online lessons

Amy has been working hard with the famous singer via online lessons

Amy has been working hard with the famous singer via online lessons

While many Irish teenagers are struggling amid lockdown these days, rising star Amy Rigney has been turning it to her advantage.

Junior Cert student Amy (15), from Trim, Co Meath, has been using the time to pursue her passion for singing.

And the budding Beyoncé has landed online vocal coaching from Bucky Heard of The Righteous Brothers, whose hits include Unchained Melody and You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.

The Las Vegas entertainer decided to work with Amy after being blown away by her performances on popular online music platform The Ivory Sessions, which is hosted by Irish producer Mark Cahill.

"Amy is incredibly talented, but she also has the drive to succeed," Bucky tells the Sunday World on the phone from his Nevada home.

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Bill Medley and Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers

Bill Medley and Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers

Bill Medley and Bucky Heard of the Righteous Brothers

"As a vocal instructor I've come up with my own method of teaching. I call it PREP vocals, which is an acronym for the four things I believe a singer has to have to be successful - pitch, range, endurance and power.

"And for such a young artist, Amy has grasped these concepts that I'm teaching her so quickly in the three weeks that we've been working together. I work with her every Saturday and then I send her vocal drills to do at home for the week.

"Her mom said, 'Your vocal drills have become part of the family.' It's the students like her, the ones that are mature and driven enough to take their craft seriously and want to take it to the next level, that will succeed.

"I don't think this kid is going to give up until she achieves everything that she wants to, and if she keeps on the path that she's on, which I believe she will, there is nothing that's going to stop her.

"Amy can do whatever she wants because she has the talent, but more importantly she has the drive.

"That is so important because you will get shot down and there is way more disappointment than there is victory in this business. It's the ones that are persistent and stay in and keep at it who are going to succeed.

"Her mum, Kim, is absolutely incredible too, and it's so refreshing to see parents that are really supportive of their kids in helping them to pursue their passion.

"My teenage daughter wants to be a dancer and we are doing everything we can to facilitate that and make it happen.

"That's why I take it to heart when a parent like Kim says to me, 'I want you to work with my daughter.' I will give her 150 per cent."

Amy has already notched up two Top 10 hits on iTunes, with Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree when she was 12, and a cover of the Metallica song, Nothing Else Matters.

Last May, she teamed up with another of her mentors, Irish singer and musician Nigel Connell, to release a duet called The Prayer and raise awareness of the virtual Darkness In To Light event in aid of Pieta House.

"Life is hard for me and my friends with Covid and the schools being closed, but music has been helping me big time and I'm really excited to be working with Bucky," Amy tells the Sunday World.

"I had never heard of The Righteous Brothers, but my mum told me about them and I listened to their music. I am honoured and so grateful that he is coaching me.

"He calls on Saturday evenings and we do singing exercises online. He's helping me get a nice tone in my voice and to advance my range. I'm already seeing an improvement in the past week and I'm very, very happy.

"I got a home recording set for Christmas and I've started doing my own recordings, which is very good for keeping me occupied during Covid.

"I've also taken up modelling for a company called Cotton Threadz to keep people connected to my social media. They send me the clothes and I do the photos and post them online.

"I'm getting more into fashion now and I'm trying to learn how to do my own make-up.

"So when I look back at this time with Covid, I can say that something positive came out of it for me."

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