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NZ Idol finalist began singing at Mass

A Catholic teenager who first sang in public when he was a pre-schooler is in the finals of the New Zealand version of the international "idol" music contest.

NZ Catholic reprots that the father of 17 year old Michael Murphy says he first sang solo in public at midnight Mass when he was four years old.

He believes it was the parish priest of St Patrick's Parish, Taupo, Fr Richard Pipe, who encouraged him to sing Away in a Manger, and Little Baby Jesus.

"I always said he learned to read so he could sing at Mass," Mr Murphy recalled. "He was a very good reader at 6 and 7, so he could sing the songs."

Later, at school, Michael's love of singing was expressed in musicals.

Several years ago he became involved in rock bands. One of Michael's friends, and fellow parishioner, 18-year-old John McCaffrey, said they both became part of a band, Punch Baby, about four years ago.

Today the pair are part of a four-piece band called Deadset. Michael is the vocalist, while John plays bass guitar and sings back-up vocals.

Australian Idol winner, Adelaide Christian Guy Sebastian, is on the NZ Idol judging panel.

He told Michael Murphy: "You bring the competition such a different vibe, like such a - we had a rock chick back home but you're the rock brother, so keep rocking!"

The winner of NZ Idol will be known later next month.

Finalist in NZ Idol began singing at midnight Mass (NZ Catholic 21/3/04)
Idol Blog: Top 10 Contestant: Michael

NZ Idol | Michael Murphy

24 Mar 2004