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  Sinead: Life, love and music after Academy
Updated 10 February 2003, 10.14
Sinead singing in the Fame Academy final
Sinead Quinn bagged 2.5m votes and a 1m record deal after finishing second on Fame Academy.

On 10 February, she released her first single, I Can't Break Down - and she talked to Leigh Mytton about it all.

How do you look back at Fame Academy?
It seems like ages ago. Sometimes it seems like it never happened. I have looked at one or two episodes and I think 'I was actually on the TV doing that'. I kind of cringe. But it was a totally fantastic experience. It really has helped me. I've got a lot more stamina.

What did you do after the show finished?
I went straight home to Northern Ireland. A lot of people were coming up and chatting to me about it. It was cool. My friends were really excited. My family have been really supportive - that's what you need.

Sinead gets a warm home-coming
Sinead gets a warm home-coming

Tell us about your single...
I wrote in when I was in the Academy. It's about being strong and not giving in. I was too stubborn to give in to them.

How do you feel about being a role model?
I love it. So many kids have written to me saying they got a guitar for Christmas and they want to learn how to play it.

When I started playing guitar, there was just me and one other girl in the whole school learning to play. I used to sit in at lunch time and practice and practice. There weren't that many girls who were into it - there are a lot more now.

Who are your role models?
My parents were in a show band years ago and they have been my role models. That's how I started singing. I love the whole spectrum from Dolly Parton through to Incubus, Pink and Skunk Anansie. I like some pop stuff - I love Kylie.

What's going on with you and Malachi?
I really like him. He's a lovely person but there's nothing else happening. He would say 'Oh darling, I love you' and I would be like 'Oh, my heart's pounding'. We were winding each other up, but a lot of people didn't realise it. We just clicked.

Have you got any material for your album?
I've got some songs that I wrote in the Academy and I'm working on others. Songwriting is very intimate. I found it hard to write in front of the cameras. It's a very personal thing.

Are you looking forward to the Fame Academy tour in April?
It's going to be so much fun. I remember going to see Kylie and looking around and thinking 'This is what I want to do'.

What do think about Popstars: The Rivals?
I didn't see any of it, to be honest. I just think we are different people with different styles. I'm not a great dancer. If my only option was to be in a girl band, I would've had it. I wouldn't have been up to scratch.

Have you been in touch with the other Fame Academy students?
I've been for drinks with Ainslie and Lemar. I've been texting David, but he's really busy at the moment.

David Sneddon and Sinead

How did you feel about missing out on first place?
I wasn't disappointed. I was happy for David. I was just overwhelmed at getting so far, considering how I'd got in, and at being the last girl. I was just proud.

How do you think David will cope with being the winner?
He will be fine. David is not afraid to say what he thinks, which is really good. He's got a great family behind him and a really great girlfriend who he's madly in love with.

If someone had said you would be here a year ago, what would you have said?
I wouldn't have believed it. I probably would have laughed.

More InfoBORDER=0
PicturesPix: Fame Academy final
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Past StoriesBORDER=0
Fame Academy's Sinead's 1m record deal
David wins Fame Academy!
Academy's Ainslie scoops record deal



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