York, we have discovered Britain’s next big star.
Meet Audrina Hatton-Wright, who turned seven this month – and has just gigged with McFly in front of about 30,000 people.
Audrina sang and played her ukulele with McFly frontmen Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones at their first gig since lockdown at York Racecourse on Saturday.
And boy, did she nail it!
Word perfect, Audrina wowed the crowd – and even finished with a rock’n’roll jump chord at the end.
Mum Gemma Gould told YorkMix it was “like a dream come true” for her little girl, who is recovering from cancer.
‘We nearly lost her’
Because it turns out Audrina was already a star long before her show-stopping moment in York.
She was three when she was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a form of cancer that affects young children. An intense 18-month period of treatment followed, including chemotherapy and surgery to remove the tumour.
When she had chemo combined with immunotherapy “she had a severe reaction – we very nearly lost her,” Gemma said.
For the family, from Derby, “that was the hardest part of treatment. She ended up paralysed from head to toe. So she had to go through months of rehabilitation – but she’s been absolutely amazing.
“They said she wouldn’t walk for probably six months. And after about three or four weeks, she was taking steps and walking again. So she’s just been an absolute star. She just doesn’t give up.”
Just as she came through treatment and her cancer was confirmed as in remission, the country went into lockdown.
But finally she was allowed to go to school in March “because before then she’d only ever been to school about four whole days”.
Her mum says Audrina has always loved music. And McFly inspired her to learn the ukulele, as they were playing the instrument in the video for their hit Love Is Easy.
For her seventh birthday on 11 July, she was given the tickets to the McFly concert at York races – the first the band had played since the pandemic.
But she had no idea the present was going to be become even more unforgettable. So how did it all happen?
“Quite a lot of the people that were around before the concert even started were saying, ‘She needs to go on stage with McFly,” Gemma said.
“So she was on her dad’s shoulders. And she had a ukulele and everyone in the crowd was shouting, ‘Get her on the stage’, and they were pointing at her. And then Danny Jones clocked her with a ukulele.
“Then one thing led to another – he was just like, does she want to come on?”
She gave a completely nerveless performance. “I couldn’t believe it. When she was singing she was just looking at the crowd. I would have been terrified!
“She’s quite fearless so she could grab hold of the experience and just enjoy it without sort of worrying or having stage fright. And it was just wonderful to see her so happy and enjoying herself.”
Gemma added: “Her cancer wish – because all kids who have cancer get a cancer wish – was she wanted to have a ukulele lesson with Danny Jones.
“So for her, that’s like a dream come true, to go onstage and perform with them. So I was absolutely thrilled when they invited her up. I know it’s something that she’ll remember for the rest of her life.”
Among her future ambitions, Aurina wants to go on Britain’s Got Talent and become an astronaut. And we are not betting against her doing both!