'I won't let diabetes stop my music career'
A TALENTED teenage singer who has been likened to Frank Sinatra has vowed not to let his diabetes get in the way of his pursuit of a music career.
Tom Newman-Clark, 13, of New Moor Crescent, has battled with type 1 diabetes all his life and recently discovered he couldn't follow his dream of becoming a soldier because of the condition.
But now the Ormiston Rivers Academy pupil, who has performed at the Royal Albert Hall, the O2 Arena and for Children in Need, is gearing up for a 20-minute slot at the Burnham Carnival on September 28.
"I want to prove to the entire world that just because I'm a diabetic it doesn't mean I can't do things – it will not get in the way of my life. If I can't be in the army then I'll do my best to become a performer," said Tom, who lives with mum Kim, 47, dad Steve, 48, and sister Rose, 16.
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His vocal talent took him to the recording studios of Universal records in Kensington recently where he recorded a song singing for the Royal British Legion Choir.
Proud mum Kim said: "I found it quite overwhelming but Tom didn't, he looked and sounded the part."
Tom, who juggles singing with playing rugby, cricket, drama and performing arts classes, and being a cadet, added: "People say that my voice sounds like a mix between Frank Sinatra and Michael Buble, and that's fine by me.
"I just love Frank's music and I love performing on my own instead of as part of a group – that way everything is down to me in the performance, if anything goes wrong it's my fault.
"I can't wait to perform at the Burnham Carnival this year. I have performed at the carnival as part of a group but now I'm performing as a solo artist, which is really exciting."
Mum Kim, who works as a complementary therapist, knew that Tom had an "exceptional voice" since he was seven or eight-years-old.
"The first time I saw him perform live I cried my eyes out – and I still do cry every time he performs as he gets so involved with the music," she said.