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Widnes singer-songwriter Natalie McCool from Hough Green gets ready to support Joan Armatrading and Sandi Thom live on stage.

A WIDNES songwriting star is preparing to take to the stage as she supports two hugely-popular female artists.

Natalie McCool, of Hough Green, has been chosen to support both Joan Armatrading and Sandi Thom at various concerts during 2012.

The former Liverpool Institute Of Performing Arts (LIPA) student was recently voted runner-up in Somojo radio station and magazine’s Female Artist Of The Year Award.

Since beginning her career in music, the singer-songwriter has performed one of her songs to Paul McCartney, who picked up a guitar and played along with her.

She has also gained support from Coldplay frontman, Chris Martin, actor Stephen Fry and BBC 6Music DJ, Chris Hawkins.

Natalie was signed by label Hubris Records while still studying at LIPA, and has recently released her latest double A side On Fire/Fortune. She will support Joan Armatrading in November at the Bridgewater Hall in Manchester.

Armatrading is a three-time Grammy Award nominee, and has also been nominated twice for BRIT Awards Best Female Artist.

Natalie has been lucky enough to meet Joan Armatrading previously, having been given a masterclass by the songwriter while studying at LIPA.

Born on the Carribean island of Saint Kitts, Armatrading’s music draws on a variety of styles such as pop jazz, folk and blues.

Her single Willow was featured in Whoopi Goldberg’s 1995 film Boys On The Side.

Natalie will also be appearing at the Threshold Festival in Liverpool on February 12 supporting artist Sandi Thom.

Like Natalie, Sandi was accepted into LIPA at the age of 17, and shot to fame with her hit single, I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers in My Hair).