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Salford’s got talent! 13-year old Daisy wins top music award

A Salford schoolgirl has won an award which supports the development of new musical talent
Daisy from Salford wins Johnny Marr award

A talented Salford schoolgirl who taught herself music with YouTube tutorials is now chasing her dream of a performing career – with a helping hand from guitar legend Johnny Marr.

Daisy Allen, 13, watched free online videos to learn how to sing as her family struggled to pay for professional lessons. But she still managed to develop her stage act and has gone on to perform at pubs and charity events around Salford.

Johnny Marr Award

Now the determined youngster will be able to cover the cost of formal music lessons and stage equipment after she was selected as the winner of a Johnny Marr funding award.

The Smiths guitarist and songwriter is funding the £1,000 award, which is run by the Salford Foundation Trust, a charity helping young people in the city fulfill their potential.

Daisy was still at primary school when she discovered a love of performing which helped her overcome feelings of anxiety and low self-confidence.

“When she is on stage she becomes a different person. Daisy comes alive,” said mum Tammi.


Daisy started taking singing lessons but Tammi, who works for NHS mental health services, was struggling to afford the £90-a-month tuition fees.

Using free YouTube tutorials instead, Daisy taught herself how to sing and play the ukulele and has gone on to perform at local community events around Salford under her stage name Dee Dee Allen.

She has also organised charity concerts to raise money for motor neurone disease research after the condition claimed the life of a close relative.

“Daisy doesn’t really see how talented she is, especially as she has taught herself,” said Tammi. “But once people hear her they become transfixed.”

Daisy applied for the Johnny Marr award to help cover the cost of a keyboard and pay for keyboard lessons so that she can give an edge to her singing by performing to live music, rather than a piano backing track.

Her stage act usually involves covering hit songs by artists including Oasis, the Stone Roses and the Killers plus classics by Michael Jackson and Abba, but her dream is to be a songwriter and performer like her favourite artist, US actress and singer Mckenna Grace.

Daisy is the second recipient of the Johnny Marr award from the Salford Foundation Trust after teenage guitarist John Denton, who won in 2023 and went on to headline at Salford Lads Club with his band, The Height.

Langworthy Live

“We found out about The Johnny Marr award when Daisy was at Langworthy Live festival and John Denton was also performing at the festival,” said Tammi. “We read about the award in the programme”.

“Daisy had saved up money from her gigs to buy a £160 ukulele and wanted to buy a keyboard, but the one she needed costs around £400-£500, so it was going to take a lot of gigs. We thought we would apply for the award but never imagined she would win.

“Daisy is so excited and privileged to win The Johnny Marr award. It means the absolute world and it means she can follow her dreams.”


“To win this award has really boosted my confidence and I am so grateful, I would like to say a big thank you to Johnny Marr and the Salford Foundation Trust,” said Daisy.

Johnny Marr said: “It’s a privilege to make a contribution to the creative development of young people. The Salford Foundation Trust is a great example of positive local action that makes a difference. It’s an honour to be involved.”

Photographs Niall Lee

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