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October 17, 2018
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Belgian edition of TV competition "The Voice" won by 13-year-old Romani girl from Slovakia

30.6.2017 7:50
Katarína Pohlodková, a Romani girl whose parents are from Slovakia, performing on the Belgian singing competition
Katarína Pohlodková, a Romani girl whose parents are from Slovakia, performing on the Belgian singing competition "The Voice Kids 2017" (PHOTO: YouTube)

The most recent season of the Belgian branch of the music show "The Voice Kids 2017" has been won by 13-year-old Katarina Pohlodková, whose parents are originally from Slovakia. She fought her way through to the final round with the song "She Believes in Me", the Kenny Rogers song covered in the 1980s by the Belgian singer André Hazes, and the song "Empire State of Mind", which Alicia Keys made a mega-hit.

Her victory entitles her to a scholarship worth EUR 10 000 and the opportunity to record her own single. Her version of Whitney Houson's hit "I Have Nothing" will be available on iTunes on Monday, 3 July.

"The last few months have taught me a lot," the singer told Belgian TV. "I never dreamed of winning this entire competition. It's wonderful that I have the opportunity to release my own single."

The girl, who was referred to as "Whitney Houston 2.0" by one of the jurors, performed excellently throughout the contest, which included performing the current hit song "Rockabye" by Clean Bandit. Her family has been living in Belgium for more than 20 years and her older sisters sing in a Belgian band.

Pohlodková's remarkable musical talent is said to have been clear from early childhood. By now, however, she has lost much of her native language of Slovak after living so long in Belgium.

adg, translated by Gwendolyn Albert
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Belgium, Culture, Roma, Slovakia



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