Mary-Jess on the record

FORMER Sheffield University student Mary-Jess Leaverland, who won the Chinese equivalent of The X Factor last December, is to release her first album in August, Decca has announced.

Mary-Jess studied music and Chinese studies in Sheffield and that work took her to Nanjing, where she came across the auditions for the live television show by chance, going on to be voted winner by an audience of 70 million.

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Although she has remained largely unknown here, her success in China has resulted in several companies offering record contracts.