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From tot star to pop star; NADINE COYLE'S FAMILY TELL HOW SHE WAS BORN TO BE IN SHOWBIZ.

Byline: PAUL MARTIN

GORGEOUS Nadine Coyle was destined to be a pop star ever since she was a baby.

The singer will be agonisingly close to realising her dreams of fame and fortune when she appears in Popstars: The Rivals final on Saturday night.

But proud parents Lillian and Niall never doubted she would hit the big time.

They invited the Irish Mirror to their beautiful country home on the outskirts of Derry and opened the family albums to the public for the first time.

And as they looked back over photos from Nadine's childhood Lillian recalled: "She was always going to make it. We never doubted it for a second.

"I remember the very first time I heard Nadine singing. She was only two and sitting in the back seat of my car.

"She broke into Saturday Night At The Movies and from that point we knew she had an amazing voice."

After 17-year-old Nadine shot to stardom in Irish Popstars her family moved to the impressive house which has a massive garden, conservatory and its own bar.

The singer has been phoning there for hours every day desperate to keep up to date with all the family news.

Lillian added: "Our phone bill last month was pounds 700 (/1050). Nadine just loves talking.

"She was on for an hour this morning and in the end I had to tell her to stop talking.

"She is just a very thoughtful girl and family has always come first - ahead of fame and all that goes with it."

Nadine never made a big impression at school despite her musical ability.

Niall said: "She just wasn't interested to be honest.

"I remember being worried when it got close to her GCSEs last year because she had done absolutely no revision.

"Even when school gave her a week off to study she spent it in a studio recording a demo CD. That's where her heart was.

"But in typical Nadine fashion when her results came in she had pulled it off again.

"She jumped up on bed and read out her results and it was was, 'A,B,B,B,A'.

"Her mum couldn't believe it. She actually rang the school to make sure there wasn't a mistake as her results were so good.

"I think Nadine has always had the knack of pulling it off when it counts." Fame and fortune have not changed Nadine and the promises of big money from tours, album sales and No1 singles are not the most important things to her.

Niall explained: "Money is honestly not an issue in Nadine's life at all.

"I have seen her get money for her birthday and then a couple of months later you will find it lying in the bottom of her wardrobe because she forgot all about it.

"There are plenty of times when she doesn't have any credit for her mobile phone but she would never think of mentioning it.

"She just makes do with what she has and never complains.

"At the minute she is only getting pounds 300 a week to appear on the show, which doesn't go that far in London. But she is so generous that she is even treating myself and Lillian to our hotel this weekend when we come over to watch her."

Ten of Nadine's closest friends and family members will be there to watch her perform live on the show which is broadcast at 6.55pm on UTV.

Among them are her two sisters, Charmain, 25 and Rachel, 15.

Nadine still regards Derry as her home and has no plans to move - even though she will be working with record companies in England.

Lillian added: "Nadine is dying to see everyone again but there's no guarantee she will be home soon.

"If she gets voted off the show on Saturday then she's coming home on Wednesday for a huge party.

"But if she survives and makes it into the final group she won't be back until Christmas Eve."

And Niall recalled: "The other week I asked her when she was going home to the Popstars house and she nearly bit my head off.

"She was furious that I had called London her 'home'. She said, 'This is not my home, Derry will always be my home'.

"If she makes it into the band then she will have to be based in London, but that's one of the sacrifices you have to make."

Nadine and her parents have had to pay one big price for fame - the constant media intrusion.

Niall continued: "That bit can get very hard sometimes when the papers make up lies about Nadine.

"There have been a few stories over the past couple of weeks that are completely untrue and it makes you angry. But at the same time we have to get used to it."

Nadine's lowest moment came two weeks ago when she found a lump under her arm and feared it was cancer.

She spent most of the run-up to the live show that weekend with doctors.

Lillian said: "We were all very scared and then minutes before the show went on air she really broke down.

"The doctor had to give her a tablet to get her through the performance but thankfully she did OK."

No matter what happens on Saturday Nadine's mum and dad insisted she is already a winner. Niall added: "Only yesterday Derry's Lord Mayor called and invited her to a champagne reception.

"Everyone has been bombarding us with good wishes and saying how proud they are of Nadine.

"The truth is we honestly don't know if she is going to make it into the final line-up and we are taking nothing for granted.

"But if everyone can get behind her - especially Mirror readers - then she stands a great chance."

CAPTION(S):

IT'S MY PARTY: Blowing out candles on her fifth birthday; SEX BOMB: Nadine drives the boys wild with her looks; BABY LOVE: A few days old; PROUD: Parents Lillian and Niall; PRETTY IN PINK: At just two Nadine was showing she had a great voice
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Copyright 2002 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Nov 28, 2002
Words:1018
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