Arts Q&A: Country star Cliona Hagan on Dolly Parton, Queen Latifa and Beyonce

Jenny Lee puts performers and artists on the spot about what really matters to them. This week, Tyrone country singer Ciona Hagan

After playing last weekends Harvest music festival in Enniskillen, rising country music star Cliona Hagan will perform at the inaugural Music & Food Festival at Rushmere Shopping Centre, Craigavon

1. When did you think about music as a career and what were your first steps into it? As a young girl, either while watching Top of the Pops or watching classic movies such as Calamity Jane with those fantastic soundtracks. I have always dreamt of being on stage and would put on mini performances for my grandparents, dancing and singing in their living room.

2. Best gigs you've been to? Dolly Parton – her musicality and stories of her childhood were so fascinating to listen to, not to mention the obvious talent of her singing. I have seen Beyoncé twice – she never stops and gives 100 per cent on stage. Finally, Enrique Iglesias – not only because of his obvious beauty but because his range is insane.

3. Fantasy wedding/birthday party band? A mixture of Tina Turner rocking it out to Rolling on a River, a little bit of Stevie Wonder with Superstition and definitely the Dixie Chicks as they are awesome.

4. The record you'd take to a desert island? Survivor by Destiny's Child.

5. And the book? One of Bear Grylls' survival books would come in handy – otherwise I definitely wouldn't last a week.

6. Top three films? Holiday with Queen Latifa because it's about embracing life; The Notebook as I am a real romantic at heart and the film makes me cry every time; and Calamity Jane as it brings back fond memories spent with my late grandfather.

7. Worst film you've seen? I cannot do horror movies.

8. Favourite authors? I love biographies and autobiographies. My favourite is Dolly Parton's Dolly: My Life and Other Unfinished Business. She is so inspirational and she tells her personal stories from growing up in Tennessee, her friends and family, her unique marriage, her friendships with other stars. I'm really looking forward to Philomena Begley's autobiography My Life, My Music, My Memories.

9. Sport you most enjoy and top team? Tennis. I've always been a fan of the Williams sisters.

10. Ideal holiday destination? Lying on a beach in Cancun or Hawaii. I've also always wanted to hire a car and drive Route 66 in America. I love the idea of not knowing where you are going to end up.

11. Pet hate? Waiting on people to get ready as I'm pretty quick at getting ready for a girl.

12. What's your favourite:

Dinner? You can't go wrong with a good steak, medium to rare of course.

Dessert? Ice cream and warm custard.

Drink? Cocktails on a night out with the girls.

13. Who is your best friend and how do you know each other? I have been spending loads of time with my bestie Amy Barr this summer as her parents have been away. I met Amy at university and she is one of the funniest people you will ever meet.

14. Is there a God? Yes, I believe in God. I think it's important to have something to believe in.

:: Cliona Hagan will perform as part of Rushmere Shopping Centre's inaugural Music & Food Festival on Friday September 8.

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