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Family pays tribute to Swindon's karaoke queen
5:30pm Thursday 4th October 2012 in News
A GRAN who had stars in her eyes will always be remembered for hitting the high notes by her family.
Winnie Kennedy, who was a star performer at Swindon pub karaoke sessions, died on Sunday after suffering a stroke.
She was 83 when she suffered the stroke at her home in Royal Wootton Bassett on September 25.
Her family have said that her death has come as a massive shock and hoped that as many people as possible could make it to her funeral.
Rebecca Kennedy, her granddaughter, said: “She was friendly and outgoing. She always put other people first, if anyone had any problems she would always be there for them.
“She loved my children to bits, she was the grandma you always dreamed of and we feel lost without her.”
At 71, Winnie auditioned for Michael Barrymore’s TV show My Kind of People, where she belted out a Lena Martell classic at a second audition of the show.
She also performed in the same year at the Age Concern talent show at the Wyvern Theatre where, although she didn’t win, she won over a lot of people including radio presenter Shirley Ludford.
She also wrote to Stars in Their Eyes, the ITV show in which amateurs impersonate their favourite top professionals, but wasn’t picked.
The former Pontins holiday camp performer left behind hundreds of sheets of music to her family and recordings of her songs.
Rebecca said: “She moved to Bassett nine months ago and her neighbours said they would see her through the windows singing and dancing.
“Singing was definitely her biggest passion, she loved it.
“She used to do a lot of karaoke at pubs across the town like the Rodbourne Arms and the Boundary House.
“She auditioned for the TV show New Faces which was hosted by Michael Barrymore and also performed at the Wyvern.
“She will always stay with us and she has left us some treasures to remember her and the recordings of her singing will always remind us of her.”
Winnie leaves four grandchildren – Rebecca, Louise, Jason and Wayne – as well as five great grandchildren.
The funeral will be held on October 12, at the church in Whitworth Road, followed by her burial at Kingsdown Crematorium.
She will be buried next to her only son, Martin Kennedy, who died in 2009.
The family are asking for donations towards the funeral costs, and people can contact Rebecca on 07588 535 435.