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 CNS Story:

SCOTLAND-SINGERS Aug-19-2010 (310 words) xxxi

TV talent sensations to sing for pope in Scotland

By Catholic News Service

GLASGOW, Scotland (CNS) -- Stars discovered on popular British television talent contests will perform for pilgrims during Pope Benedict XVI's visit to Scotland Sept. 16.

Michelle McManus, the 2003 winner of "Pop Idol" and television program host, will sing before the pope's Mass in Glasgow's Bellahouston Park, according to the press office of the Scottish bishops' conference.

Susan Boyle, who gained worldwide fame in 2009 after her performances on "Britain's Got Talent," also will sing at a papal event, said Peter Kearney, director of communications for the Scottish bishops.

Kearney said Aug. 19 that details of Boyle's performance would be released later in the month.

Announcing the participation of McManus Aug. 18, Kearney said she would sing "Home," a song composed by her 22-year-old cousin Michael Brady. In addition, she will perform "From a Distance," a song made popular by Bette Midler.

The church in Scotland expects up to 100,000 to attend Mass in the park.

In a press release, Kearney quoted McManus as saying, "I am truly honored to have been asked to perform at Bellahouston Park ... in celebration of the pope's visit to Scotland. What an amazing event to have staged here in our own country, and as a very proud Scot and someone of faith, I am delighted to be involved."

Kearney said the church's plans for Sept. 16, the feast of St. Ninian, include a parade through the streets of Edinburgh.

St Ninian is a saint recognized by all Scottish Christians, the bishops' conference said.

The St Ninian's Day Parade will feature children from Scottish schools named after the saint, pipe bands from around Scotland, people dressed as historical characters from 1,600 years of Christianity in Scotland and the figure of St Ninian led by an honor guard.

Kearney said it was "shaping up to be a very special and historic day for Scotland."


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