SHE spent eight years singing to elderly people in residential homes.
Then came the headlines, with a slot in the final of Stars in Their Eyes, appearing as Annie Lennox.
But now Slaithwaite musician Belinda O'Hooley is making a determined bid to become a star in her own right.
She has an album of her own songs coming out in June and has arranged a nationwide tour to promote it.
And she attributes her big break to a pure fluke.
"My mother, Jean, died two years ago and it became the biggest turning point in my life.
"I had been happy doing cabaret slots as Annie Lennox. But then I went out and bought a new piano and all these songs started flooding into my head.
"I was at home playing them in the front room when my neighbour, Adrian McNally, came round.
"He'd stood outside listening and heard me play and said the songs were wonderful. He was working as a music agent, made some calls and I was off and running". Belinda - who admits to embarrassment and pride over her Annie Lennox days - releases the album Music Is My Silence at Huddersfield's Lawrence Batley Theatre on Friday, June 24.
That date comes in the middle of an eight-gig tour, which takes her as far as London and Brighton.
Belinda is also planning a one-off gig on Saturday, April 23, at the Tunnel End pub at Standedge, when she promises to unveil a sneak preview of the album.
She said: "After Stars, I was invited to do a lot of work as a session musician for bands, many of them from the folk world.
"My own style is slightly different. My music has elements of folk, elements of jazz, and some drums and bass.
"It was a bit of a shock to find myself able to compose music and words, having been content to play other people's music for such a long time.
"Over the past year, with the help of Adrian, I've recorded an album's worth of songs - the most incredible experience! Hard work, but extremely fulfilling," added Belinda.
"I initially intended just to record the songs using piano, but got a bit carried away. I managed to persuade some incredible musicians to come and play on the album.
"Most artists think they are wide-ranging, but this album really is a mixed bag of songs, both mainstream and leftfield in its own way.
"My two main influences are Joni Mitchell and PJ Harvey. But you might hear other influences such as Ben Folds, The Cinematic Orchestra and Eurythmics. Or you might think I don't sound like any of them!"
April 23: Tunnel End Inn, Marsden
June 20: Cabaret, Nottingham
June 21: Boardwalk, Sheffield
June 22: Mint Lounge, Manchester
June 23: Trades Club, Hebden Bridge
June 24:Lawrence Batley Theatre, Huddersfield
June 25:Brudenell Social Club, Leeds
June 27: Komedia, Brighton
June 28: 12 Bar Club, London