Johanna’s heart goes on as Celine

Johanna McCrory as Celine Dion
Johanna McCrory as Celine Dion
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Celine Dion tribute acts don’t come much closer to the real thing than Preston singer Johanna McCrory.

The voice, the look, the mannerisms are so close, the mother of two from Ashton has been nominated for the National Tribute Music Awards.

“I’m thrilled to bits,” said Johanna. “These awards are the gold standard of the entertainment industry for tribute performers.

“I’ve only been doing a Celine Dion act for a couple of years, so it’s fantastic just to be nominated.”

Johanna, who also performs under her own name, hadn’t realised the similarities even though she used to sing the odd Celine number in her own act.

“I was thinking a few years ago that I’d like to do a tribute,” she explained.

“I was already singing a couple of her songs as myself and some people said to me ‘you’re so much like her and sing like her.’

“So I watched a few videos, worked on her mannerisms and went for it.”

Celine Dion tributes are few and far between because the French-Canadian superstar is so hard to copy.

“She’s incredibly difficult to do,” said Johanna.

“She’s an absolute powerhouse and you have to have that voice. You’ve got to able to hit those high notes.

“Doing an hour as her is tough going.

“It’s emotionally and physically draining. But it’s worthwhile because the feedback I’ve had so far has been very good.

“Just to get a nomination in these awards is the icing on the cake.”

Johanna, who has been singing since she was five, has done theatre work, cruise ships, weddings and has travelled throughout the UK and on the Continent.

At a glitzy finals dinner in Leicester on June 29 she will be pitched against other tribute acts including Elvis, Adele and Michael Buble.

“A lot of artists will be performing and just to be in that sort of company is a thrill. Even if I don’t get any further it is still a big achievement for me to be nominated.

“In this industry you just work and work, so to get some recognition like this is great.”