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The person i most admire - Eva Cassidy

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THE PERSON I MOST ADMIRE English GCSE speech/presentation Eva Cassidy is perhaps the worlds best kept secret. Unknown to most of the world while she was alive, her voice has managed to survive and flourish after her passing. As time goes on, she leaves a growing legacy for the world - a legacy reflected in the true beauty of her voice. She was born February 2, 1963, in Washington DC and spent her life in and around the small town of Bowie, Maryland. The third of Hugh and Barbara Cassidy's four children, from an early age, Eva displayed impressive creative talent that was to later become her life's focus. She had a love of all things artistic and excelled in painting and other art forms. But above all else, she had that voice. A gift from the heavens, it allowed her to express her emotions in a way which captivated all who heard her. So special was her gift that she could walk onto a stage in front of an uncaring audience, unknowing of what they were in store for, and within seconds silence the room as everyone stopped what they were doing to listen closer. When Eva Cassidy was nine, around the time of a family move, her dad gave her a guitar and taught her chords. ...read more.


However, the passionate reactions she evoked from her audiences gave her the confidence to begin to really perform - to look up and to talk to the audience, enabling the passion of her songs to be matched by the simple beauty of her character. Although several major record labels expressed interest, none signed Eva Cassidy. Her selection of music confounded executives. Would they market her as blues? Jazz? Soul? If they suggested she choose one style, Eva was stubborn: She did the songs she wanted to do. "The music and the lyrics had to grab her, had to have some meaning for her," says her father. Eva, it was decided, needed a solo album and spent her own money to self-produce Live at Blues Alley. At a CD-release party at Blues Alley in July 1996, Eva was surprised to see a line for autographs winding around the club. That night, she was walking with a cane because her thigh and hip hurt. She thought it was because she'd been on a ladder, when she helped to paint a mural in a local school. Several weeks later, after she eventually had a number of tests, the cause of her pain was found, and the diagnosis confirmed. Advanced melanoma, a form of cancer. She was told that she had 3-5 months to live. ...read more.


She said, quite simply, to make a picture for her. Visitors arriving at the hospital all witnessed the same remarkable scene. Crowds of people young and old, friends and family and even a few music legends sitting in the hallway drawing with crayons and pastels. Eva had given everybody the same instructions. What she really wanted was a wall full of pictures. Four months after her shock diagnosis, Eva lost her battle with cancer. She died 2nd November 1996. She was only 33. Eva believed in an afterlife, and she's getting it-at least musically. Not only are there a vast amount of people who haven't discovered Eva, but she is going to be here for generations to come through the power of her music. She was, is and will forever be, one of the greatest voices of her generation. Eva Cassidy's subtle, but striking songs are strangely more than just songs. With the intense purity of tone and emotion with which Eva Cassidy sang, she breathed vivid life into every lyric, even as her own life was slipping away. If a singer can give me chills, if my eyes water as I hear their melody, if I am moved by a single note, then I would say they are an inspiration. For me, Eva Cassidy is a true inspiration. I'm going to end my speech with part of my favorite song from the Songbird album, Eva's wonderful version of Over the Rainbow. ...read more.

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