50 YEARS since The Beatles made their breakthrough in the US a North-East songwriter has been named among the talented musicians being given support to help break into overseas markets.

The successful applicants from the first round of the Music Export Growth Scheme were revealed as this week's BRIT Awards celebrated some of the artists who have helped British music exports secure 13 per cent of the global market.

Fourteen UK-signed acts will receive financial support to help market themselves around the world, Trade Minister Lord Livingston said, including Newcastle songwriter Beth Jeans Houghton, whose label Mute Artists received £14,000.

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The Music Export Growth Scheme has been established by UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) and the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) to help small and mid-sized independent music companies promote their artists overseas as part of government efforts to get another 100,000 businesses exporting.

In February 1964, The Beatles Pan Am Flight 101 touched down at New York's newly renamed John F Kennedy Airport, and began what became dubbed the British Invasion of pop talent.