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Australian Idol

Friday at 8.30pm | TV2

Marcia Hines

It's fair to say that an Australian Idol panel without Marcia Hines would be a frightening prospect for nervous contestants.

Flanked by the sharp-witted 'Dicko' and Kyle Sandilands, the former Australian Queen of Pop is a crucial supportive influence. After all, with an incredibly successful career, spanning more than 35 years, Marcia represents everything our budding performers are hoping for.

As a young child, performing in her local church choir in Boston Massachusetts, Marcia seemed destined to become a performer. Boston's Conservatorium of Music was an obvious progression but the most important - and life-changing - development came in 1970 when Marcia made the fateful decision to audition for the Australian production of Hair.

Just 16 years-old, Marcia's powerful voice secured her place in the cast and the teenager suddenly found herself embarking on a journey to an obscure country at the bottom of the atlas: Australia.

Perhaps Marcia had planned to return to her hometown after the success of Hair but Australia had other ideas. Marcia was exactly what the emerging scene needed and her popularity finally convinced her to make Oz her new home. For anyone who has dared to question this legendary performer's credentials, let's take a quick glance at Marcia's achievements: 14 multi-platinum albums, 11
Top 10 hits, voted Queen of Pop three years running, inducted into the ARIA Hall of Fame in 2007, and in 2009 was awarded an Order of Australia.

When Australia's greatest stars are listed, Marcia Hines' name is always at the top.

But let's not give the impression that Marcia's career highlights are the stuff of history; this unique artist continues to endure as the nation's finest diva. With a seven-piece band and international touring
commitments, demand for Marcia's talent as a vocalist and recording artist seems to be insatiable.

It's no wonder that the aspiring singers of this nation consider Marcia Hines to be a guiding light.