THE King of Pop may no longer be with us, but a talented singer is ensuring his spirit lives on as she joins a new musical celebrating his life and work.

Louise Emmanuel, 23, is the only female singer from the UK chosen to join the cast of Man in the Mirror, an all-singing, all-dancing tribute to Michael Jackson being put on in the USA.

For the lifelong Jacko fan, the opportunity is a dream come true after years of pursuing a big break on the audition trail.

Louise, of Hamlet Court Road, Westcliff, said: “It’s amazing. I’ve always loved Michael Jackson, he has been one of my idols from a very young age. I genuinely love his music and dancing and I just feel really honoured to sing his songs as a tribute to him.”

On Sunday she will fly to South Carolina to start rehearsals for the show, which is set to undertake a world tour visiting cities across America, Canada, the UK and Europe.

The show is the latest venture by Spirit Productions, who are behind the successful dance extravaganza, Spirit of the Dance.

Louise, a former Westcliff High School for Girls pupil, has been performing since she was young, with singing now her main passion.

After completing a degree in English and drama at the University of Kent, Louise moved home to concentrate on getting her big break, and has remained focussed despite some knock-backs.

She said: “Since then I have been auditioning and have come really close in some West End auditions.

”I always thought at least I would know I had tried. It does get tough when you get rejections all the time, so all my family and friends are so happy for me because they know how hard I have worked.

“This show is just the most amazing, perfect opportunity for me. I can’t wait.”

This isn’t the first brush with fame for the Emmanuel family.

Louise’s younger sister Nathalie, 21, is a television actress who plays Sasha Valentine in Channel 4 soap, Hollyoaks. Louise said: “She is really happy for me, because she knows how hard I have been working.”