Plymouth schoolgirl Poppy releases single for national Poppy Appeal
A TALENTED city schoolgirl has been picked as the voice behind this year's Poppy Appeal.
Appropriately named Poppy Mills recorded a soprano rendition of 'Remember' for the Royal British Legion's annual fundraising campaign.
The 15-year-old's single tells of a soldier going off to war, leaving behind his family with both knowing he may never return.
He begs them not to forget him and to hold on to his memory, for he will never die as long as his story continues to be told in their lives.
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Originally written for the 2004 Hollywood blockbuster Troy, the song was a chart hit for American singer, songwriter and musician Josh Groban.
Now Poppy, from Hartley, has given it her own moving interpretation to help raise funds for the Royal British Legion.
The idea was born after Poppy appeared in the huge Music of the Night extravaganza at the Royal Citadel.
The youngster sang with some members of the Military Wives choir and HMS Heroes, made up of the singing children of services personnel.
Poppy's mother Karen, who has done much of the organisation for and marketing of the song herself, suggested a forces charity single.
It was enthusiastically embraced by Royal British Legion bosses, who have allowed Poppy to use their logo on promotional material.
She said: "Rather strangely I had a Number One in the Mexican classical charts with my version of Caro Mio Ben.
"And I also did an EP which mixed pop and musical theatre with my classical work.
"This is such a great opportunity for me though.
"I really appreciate everything everyone has done to make it possible."
The single was recorded in the chapel of the Royal Citadel.
"I just love to sing," Poppy said. "It gives me a special feeling which I don't get doing anything else.
"It makes me so happy and I hope it will make people happy hearing my voice.
"It is also raising money for a very good cause."
Poppy was a music scholar at Plymouth College, where diver Tom Daley was a fellow pupil, before transferring to Wells Cathedral School this year.
She added: "I've had a lot of trouble convincing my friends that classical music is worth listening to.
"But when they hear my version of songs by bands like Evanescence they change their mind and understand what it is I am trying to do.
"I think classical crossover is such a great genre and I want to help more people appreciate that."
Karen, an artist, said: "I'm so proud of everything Poppy has achieved.
"She is a girl with a very special gift, a beautiful voice.
"It's wonderful to be able to use it to help others."
On November 8, Poppy will appear with the Royal Marines Band at a Festival of Remembrance in Exeter.
The song, which it is hoped will raise a six figure sum, is now on sale.