Leeds singer’s tribute to her idol

Laura Ridgway, whose stage name is Laura Claire. PIC: Laura Ridgway.
Laura Ridgway, whose stage name is Laura Claire. PIC: Laura Ridgway.
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A LEEDS singer will revive the music of Eva Cassidy when she teams up with her idol’s brother.

Laura Ridgway will join Dan Cassidy, brother of the late American singing star, for a special performance in his sister’s memory.

The 25-year-old music graduate, whose stage name is Laura Claire, will perform with Dan alongside London guitarist James Hickman to raise money for Melanoma UK at The Essence of Eva show at The Civic in Barnsley on Sunday.

Dan and Laura were first introduced over a chat through Twitter and she then met him during his UK Tour in 2013.

Laura, who is originally from Castleford and now lives in Kippax, said: “I can’t believe I am performing with Dan Cassidy, Eva’s brother. This event would not have been possible if it wasn’t for Twitter.”

Eva Cassidy, widely recognised for her interpretations of ‘Fields of Gold’ and ‘Somewhere over the Rainbow’, hit the top spot in the UK single charts three times and sold millions of records.

She died in 1996 following a battle with skin cancer, malignant melanoma.

But her death did not stop her voice from being heard as Terry Wogan made her music known, following her version of ‘Autumn Leaves’ during his radio show in 1998.

Dan Cassidy said: “James and I are really looking forward to playing at this cancer fundraising event and it will be great to hear Laura’s renditions of my sister’s music in her tribute to Eva.”

Essence of Eva offers insights into Eva’s life using photographs, footage and artwork.

Laura, who also works as an event organiser, said: “Eva was also an artist. Her mum named one of her paintings ‘Essence of Eva’ which is how I got the name for the show.”

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