Faryl needs county support for award

Faryl Smith is up against the Pope in the battle for the Classical Brit album of the year.

The 14-year-old opera singer from Kettering is one of 10 acts to be put forward for the prestigious award, which will be decided by a public vote.

Her record-breaking debut album, Faryl, will go head-to-head with Music from the Vatican by Alma Mater, which features the voice of Pope Benedict.

She also faces stiff competition from The X-Factor runner-up Rhydian and Only Men Aloud, who won the BBC show, Last Choir Standing.

Faryl's family have urged people to vote for her, with the teenager saying it would be one of the highlights of her singing career so far.

Faryl, whose album is being released in Japan next week, said if she won, she would put the trophy on a shelf in her bedroom with her football awards.

She said: "Last year I opened the Classical Brit Awards and even just to be there singing was amazing so to be nominated is even better. It would be my biggest achievement.

"It was weird when I found out that I'm up against the Pope.

"I have performed with Rhydian so it's also weird to be against people who I am friends with. I think Rhydian has a good chance.

"I never thought I would get to this stage when I first auditioned for Britain's Got Talent - I didn't even think I would get through to the next round."

In March, Faryl is touring with The Soldiers, a singing group made up of three soldiers who raise money for charities like Help for Heroes.

She is also appearing at a Haiti fundraiser at the Royal Albert Hall in April.

Faryl's debut album, which has now sold 160,000 copies, was the fastest selling solo classical album in history.

The results of the public vote will be announced at the Classical Brit Awards at the Royal Albert Hall on Thursday, May 13.

To vote for Faryl Smith go to www.brits.co.uk/voting.