TEENAGE singing sensation Faye Nesbitt is on her way to student stardom after being shortlisted in a national competition.

After her talent was spotted by a singing teacher when she was in the school choir. The 17-year-old is one of the youngest finalists in the National Student Music Awards 2005.

The competition, established in May 1999, aims to showcase student talent to the music industry.

The Best Student Artist 2005 will be presented with recording time at the BBC's Maida Vale studio, following in the footsteps of a number of music greats. They will receive production and mastering at the legendary Abbey Road Studios and distribution through the American Blood record label. They will also receive Lee Cooper products and an appearance on music show CD:UK, on ITV1.

Ms Nesbitt, who is studying Performing Arts at Middlesbrough College, has her father, Martin, and brother, Neil, to thank for her recent fame.

Teesside University student Neil, 21, saw a poster for the competition in the corridors of the university.

Before she knew it, her father had entered her into the awards.

She said: "It all happened pretty quickly and the next thing I knew, I had a call telling me I was into the last 30 out of 500. I couldn't believe it. There are so many brilliant performers in the final 30 and I'm one of the youngest.

"I can't wait for the final. I am just relying on the people of the North-East to vote for me."

The part-time worker, from Saltburn, east Cleveland, is now rallying for votes from her local towns and villages.

The final takes place in London on May 11, featuring the top three voted-for artists, one of which will be hailed Best Student Artist 2005.

Ms Nesbitt has been singing competitively for seven years and her voice can be heard on www.nsma.com where people can also vote.