Lewis Capaldi duet with inspirational deaf girl using sign language goes viral

A deaf schoolgirl has said she wants to inspire others in her position after a video of a sign language duet with popstar Lewis Capaldi racked up hundreds of thousands of views online.

Niamdh and Lewis Capaldi
Niamdh and Lewis Capaldi

10-year-old Niamdh Braid went viral overnight after a social media campaign saw her achieve a dream of performing backstage with Bathgate singer-songwriter Capaldi ahead of his appearance at the Belladrum Tartan Heart festival in the Highlands.

Niamdh was born with bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and now relies on hearing aids, sign language and lip reading to communicate.

Her mum Sam told the Scotsman that Niamdh wants to show other deaf kids that they can achieve evidence after she won plaudits for her British Sign Language (BSL) duet of Capaldi's smash-hit single Someone You Loved at the festival.

Niamdh and Lewis Capaldi

Sam put the video on her Facebook, where it has been viewed almost 500,000 times and shared nearly 8,000 times.

The family were invited backstage on Saturday evening before Capaldi's headline slot, where the singer posed for pictures with Niamdh and her brother Billy, 8, who is also a huge fan.

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Originally, there were plans for Niamdh to sign alongside the global star on stage, but the family believe health and safety concerns prevented that from happening.

Niamdh (right) and her brother Billy with Lewis Capaldi

Sam was full of praise for the Belladrum organisers and Capaldi himself, who she praised as a 'genuinely lovely, down to earth guy.'

She told the Scotsman: "Niamdh was absolutely elated that Lewis took the time to sing with her, and Billy is a massive fan and he made a huge deal of meeting Billy too.

"He was such a down-to-earth guy, he even admitted he was nervous and he was great with the kids, he even posed for pictures in the glasses he is famous for wearing in videos and gave them to the kids as a gift.

Sam and her husband Stephen take their children to the family friendly every year, and Niamdh to use the opportunity to increase awareness of issues facing those who use BSL to communicate.

Sam said: "All Niamdh wanted to do was raise some awareness, and show other deaf children that you can do anything you want to do."

She said Niamdh's viral fame was especially fitting giving it came on the same day that new figures highlight the scale of the 'deaf attainment gap' facing pupils in Scotland.

Deaf pupils were found to be eight times more likely to leave school with no qualification than classmates with hearing.

Sam told the Scotsman: "We've campaigned on the issue of Government cuts to education, and the impact that has on deaf children and want the Scottish Government to take note of the challenges for deaf pupils."