A YOUNGSTER from Alderholt who used to dictate songs she had devised in her head to her piano-playing mother looks set for stardom after clinching a string of engagements and even appearing on stage in Nashville.

Nia Nicholls, who has just turned 14, won Burgate’s Got Talent last year, and has appeared on both Forest FM and BBC Radio Solent, where listeners said how good she was.

Now she is being invited to sing at events all over the place, and, having had a taste of Nashville, has a new dream - to appear at the Grand Ole Opry, where stars such as Dolly Parton have graced the stage.

Her proud mother Meryl said: “Ever since she could talk Nia wanted to sing.

“But over the last four or five years we have noticed she has become above average.

“She’s started to sing in different places doing open mics, but now after going to the Grand Ole Opry that’s what she wants.

“We were chatting to the guys in the shop in Nashville when we bought her new guitar and they invited her to sing in Kimbro’s Cafe. Everywhere in Nashville you can hear people singing and she loved it.”

Mrs Nicholls grew up in a musical family. Her father was an opera singer who had his own television series.

But she said: “This is all Nia’s doing.

“She pushes herself so much. I remember her standing by the piano singing a song she had made up and telling me just how to play it.

“She is always in her bedroom writing and playing.”

She added: “She’s adored Dolly Parton since the age of seven and got all my old albums out and got into James Taylor and all the greats. She’s like an old soul really. Wise beyond her years.

“All her songs are stories about heartbreak and she’s never even had a boyfriend.

“Obviously as parents we think she’s the best in the world, but she’s a normal kid - just so focused.”