Singing sensation Kayleigh touches hearts across the globe

Kayleigh Rogers' performance of 'Hallelujah' has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on the internet
Kayleigh Rogers' performance of 'Hallelujah' has been watched hundreds of thousands of times on the internet

A Northern Ireland schoolgirl with special needs has become a global internet sensation with a spine-tingling performance at her school’s recent Christmas concert.

Ten-year-old Kayleigh Rogers’ version of Leonard Cohen’s ‘Hallelujah’ has touched hearts across the world, the song having been shared hundreds of thousands of times online.

Her principal at Killard House School in Donaghadee, Colin Millar, said the experience has really helped boost her confidence.

“She’d be a very quiet little girl, but when she sings, she just opens up,” he told BBC Newsbeat.

The singing star has autism and ADHD which delays progress in literacy and numeracy learning.

However, her music teacher Lloyd Scates noticed her singing talent early on and drew her out, helping her perform at school events.

Kayleigh’s mother tracy has attributed her success to the input of the teacher.

“He can take an old-fashioned song and make it modern,” she said.

“She always loved singing, but it wasn’t until she started at Killard House School that she really came into her own. He’s like her safety blanket – he’s amazing.”

Mr Millar said the singing was a major boost to Kayleigh’s development.

“She gets so much confidence from the singing,” he said.

“All my kids have talents, as well as barriers, and this is hers.”

She was due to sing at First Newtownards Presbyterian Church but had to pull out this year due to illness.

Instead Mr Millar played a video of her performing which left many members of the church wet-eyed.

The video has touched so many people online that the school has been fielding calls from Australia, America and Japan.

Kayleigh’s mum Tracy said her daughter may sing professionally – but it could only happen if her music teacher and “security blanket” Mr Scates was involved.