AMY MACDONALD has millions of devoted supporters around the world – but her mum is still her number one fan.
The 29-year-old singer – who released her latest album, Under Stars, on Friday – revealed to iN10 the lengths her mum, Jo, has gone in order to support her.
“Early on in my career, when I was still a teenager, I was playing three castles in one day,” Amy explained.
“There was a competition running in the newspapers for the chance to be on the bus that would be taking me round these places.
“My mum decided to enter but then she panicked when she realised her name might be recognised, so she used a false name.
“Of course, she won. By this point she had already met everyone on my team, so when she turned up at the bus calling herself Claire Smith, my press guy who was taking the names just looked at her, because he knew she was my mum!
“She and Dad still ask permission to come along to my gigs.
“I’m doing a big open-air event in Switzerland in the summer. I’ve done it before and it was one of my favourite gigs, so they texted me asking if I would mind them coming along this time.
“They said they would make their own arrangements and buy tickets, but I said that was silly and we would organise everything for them.”
It’s been a decade since Amy, from Bishopbriggs near Glasgow, burst on to the scene with her debut album, This Is The Life, which reached number one in the UK charts and went double platinum.
The album was even bigger in countries like Germany, where it spent 100 weeks in the charts, and Switzerland, where Amy says it remains in the top 10 bestselling albums of all time.
“It’s crazy to think it’s been 10 years but when I look back on everything that’s happened, it feels longer,” she said.
“I’ve travelled to so many places and met lots of people and I’m grateful I can do that. It’s such a tough business and can be hard to get a foot in the door at times.”
Despite her fame, Amy is still able to live a normal life.
“Even somewhere like Switzerland, I can still walk down the street and not be mobbed, as I’m so normal. I get a bit funny with that side of things – I don’t think I could cope if I was one of those people who gets mobbed every day.
“I had a great night out just before Christmas with Gavin Mitchell, who plays Boaby in Still Game, and another friend, at the Pavilion’s pantomime.”
Under Stars is Amy’s first album for nearly five years and she admitted to still being anxious before she releases new music.
“I was nervous for the first two songs we put out from the album, but thankfully they got a good reaction. And then there is the apprehension when the press get to hear the full album.
“But it’s more the fans’ reaction I care about. It’s always nice to have good reviews but what’s most important is that the fans like it because they’re the people who have put me where I am.
“I always strive to write songs with meaning to me and my fans.”
Amy came up with the title, Under Stars, after visiting a homesick friend in New York.
“She was working there for a year and became really lonely,” she explained. “I went over for a while and it was nice for her just to have someone there when she came home from work.
“When I left, she was devastated. As I sat in the plane, waiting to take off, I looked out the window and saw all the stars and realised that even though I was going to be seven hours away, we were under the same sky, and that’s where the name came from.”
Amy co-wrote for the first time on this album, working with some of her bandmates on the songs.
“The thought of co-writing brought me out in a cold sweat,” she admitted. “What if they felt my ideas were rubbish?
“We sat for ages, too embarrassed to share our thoughts. But we enjoyed it once we got into it. I could never do the LA thing, where you sit in a room with someone you’ve never met and write, but it was different with my bandmates and we had a great laugh.”