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Harper performs campaign-trail duet with young Gaga fan

Conservative Leader Stephen Harper, YouTube sensation Maria Aragon and Laureen Harper at a campaign stop in Winnipeg on March 29, 2011.

Chris Wattie/Reuters/Chris Wattie/Reuters

Stephen Harper paid a visit to YouTube singing sensation Maria Aragon Tuesday while trolling for votes in Winnipeg - and ended up singing John Lennon with the newly famous 10-year-old.

The young Filipino-Canadian chanteuse gained international acclaim for her YouTube cover of Lady Gaga's Born this Way, which landed her plaudits from the American superstar and a place on stage when the singer performed the hit in Toronto earlier this month.

Mr. Harper, who's courting the big Filipino community in Winnipeg like every other party in the 2011 election, journeyed to Maria's home to meet her.

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"Maria's going to play something for us," he told reporters. "She's played in front of big crowds now; she's a big star."

The Conservative Leader and his wife, Laureen, sat on either side of the 10-year-old elementary-school student as she played Born this Way on the keyboard and sang.

Mr. Harper bobbed his head in tune with the music during the performance, which took place in Maria's living room.

He praised the self-possessed young woman for her prowess. "Fantastic. You're not going to beat that. You're never going to get this close to concert quality."

Later, Mr. Harper asked Maria if she knew any Beatles songs. She said her second favourite artist after Lady Gaga was Michael Jackson.

The only Beatles tune she was familiar with, though, was John Lennon's Imagine.

The Tory chief, a piano player, took the keyboard while the 10-year-old sang.

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Mr. Harper took over on the second verse, and when he finished the verse that exhorts listeners to imagine there's "no religion, too," he paused and said: "I'm gonna get in trouble for that."

Maria later accompanied the Harper tour to his Winnipeg rally with area Tory candidates and performed O Canada for the crowd.

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