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Cherie Blair the 'sound of summer'

Cherie's singing was greeted with warm applause in Beijing.
Cherie's singing was greeted with warm applause in Beijing.

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LONDON, England -- The singing skills of Cherie Blair, the wife of Britain's prime minister, are this summer set to dazzle Britons on the dance floor.

The first lady of Downing Street is to be propelled to being queen of the disco in the top party resorts of Ibiza in Spain and Ayia Napa in Cyprus, the Independent newspaper said on Monday.

Cherie stepped in to help her husband Tony Blair when he was asked to sing during a grilling by Chinese students in Beijing last month on the case for war in Iraq.

She rattled off a verse from the Beatles "When I'm 64."

But the track has now made it to the DJs' turntables after it was mailed anonymously to senior figures on the dance scene -- who migrate to the big party resorts like Ibiza for the summer holidays.

"The tune has taken off in a big way in the nightclubs all over Europe," a music industry source told the paper. "It was treated as a bit of a joke but now it's proved to be a big favorite on the dance floor.

"The record was sent around the DJs, who gave it a whirl and loved it. It's hilarious to think it but Cherie could become the sound of the summer."

A BBC Radio 1 spokesman, in Ibiza for what the station calls the climax of the dance year, the "Radio 1 weekend" from 8 to 10 August, told The Independent: "The sample has serious novelty value. It's a catchy tune and an eccentric performance. When people realize it's Mrs Blair it is difficult to know how they will react but it's set to be red hot this summer."

Mrs Blair sang the Beatles song at the end of a gruelling question and answer session with students in Beijing shortly after the death of government scientist Dr David Kelly.

In fact, it was her prime minister husband who was challenged by the students to sing. But unready for the request he replied: "A song? The Beatles? Where's my wife?"

Mrs Blair is not the first British Labour politician to feature on the dance scene. Earlier this year veteran left wing MP Tony Benn began his pop career at the age of 78 with a rap recording of his greatest speeches.

Ironically, the Blairs are on vacation at the same time as the record is set to be an unlikely holiday hit. But they did not choose Ibiza but Barbados in the Caribbean.

Again with some irony, the Blairs are staying at the home of a major figure on the British pop scene, the evergreen singer Cliff Richard. He is famed in the UK for his Christmas No. 1 chart hits.

It is unclear whether Mrs Blair -- who has a successful career as a lawyer in Britain -- will make further forays onto the pop music scene.

But Richard is also known for duets -- co-singers have included Helen Shapiro, Van Morrison, Elton John, Sarah Brightman, Phil Everly and "Grease" star Olivia Newton-John.

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