KIKI Deville takes a seat at a rickety wooden table in Colne’s Green Chimney cafe and looks about her.

Her perfectly painted ruby-lipped mouth breaks into a wide smile as she sees the trendy couples filling pink-cheeked babies with morsels of home-made cake.

It’s a cosy scene, but also a poignant one for the 40-year-old burlesque singer from Earby who caught Will.I.Am’s attention when she belted out Paloma Faith’s “Stone Cold Sober” in The Voice on Saturday.

One wonders why an artist, who has achieved recognition as a singer on TV and radio in her homeland Australia, would have anything to prove by entering a talent competition.

But it’s not about fame. Sure, she’d like to win The Voice – being an Aussie she’s competitive – but there’s a more personal reason for seeking exposure. And two tattoos on her wrists offer a clue.

Inked on her left is, “As long as we are living our baby you will be.“ And on the right is the musical score to “Somewhere over the Rainbow”.

The baby is her son Dexter who died in 2007, aged just one month three days, of a rare genetic disorder. The music score was played at his funeral.

Both Kiki (her real name is Kristianne Robinson) and her husband Christopher carry the Zellewegger Syndrome gene which means that their children have a 25 per cent chance of having the disease and a 50 per cent chance they will become a carrier.

She says: “We had amniocentesis and there was a chance that there was something genetically wrong, but by the end of the pregnancy it seemed like everything would be OK. I had a normal labour, he was a healthy weight. But he was very blue and had to be resuscitated.

"I knew immediately that something was not right. The next day he was moved to special care and we were given the diagnosis. We were heartbroken.”

Babies with Zellewegger Syndrome cannot digest or break down food, and have no muscle tone, so cannot cry. They rarely survive past six months.

“We brought him home at a week old. We decided that we didn’t want to keep him alive invasively for our benefit because we had no idea what sort of pain he was in.

“At one month old we had a birthday party for him, everyone came. But the following day he had a massive seizure. We laid down with him for a few hours and he just slipped away.

"You never think you will have to hold your baby as he dies, but that was how we had wanted it to be.”

The couple had been introduced to Derian House children’s hospice in Chorley and because of the amazing support provided, Kiki has now become an ambassador and also for the Together For Short Lives charity.

“Over 250 families use the service at Derian. They need £3m a year to function and receive only 9% from the government.

“I have done everything over the past six years to make sure that Dexter’s death didn’t amount to nothing. If I can raise awareness of the amazing service Derian house provides and that helps one family going through what we went through, then it’s worth the effort.

"It is extremely painful to have the diagnosis that you are going to outlive your child, so it’s very important that children’s hospices are supported.

“The reality is that life goes on. It’s horrible but it does. You want everyone to understand the pain you’re suffering, but you get through it. It’s never going to be the same again, but it’s OK to be happy, to try and have more children and enjoy the children you have and not feel bad about that. Sometimes people misunderstand how I talk about Dexter’s death.

"I am a fun person, I am part comedian, part singer, but that doesn’t mean I can’t be serious. I just like to choose my platform. It is my job to tell my story and show other families that you can get through it.”

When the couple discovered that Kiki was pregnant again a month after Dexter died they were terrified they would relive the nightmare. Tests were conducted at 10 weeks into the pregnancy and they faced an agonising seven-week wait for the results.

“I had a planned caesarean section at 38 weeks at Burnley General and Arlo Dexter came out screaming. Everyone in the hospital theatre was crying because we knew he was fine as Dexter had never been able to cry.”

The subject of motherhood brings forth a flood of emotions for Kiki who spent much of her formative years in foster care, due to her mother’s mental illness and her father’s inability to cope.

“I was painfully shy and lacked confidence. Parents are supposed to instil us with confidence and make us feel important and unfortunately mine were very young and didn’t get the opportunity to do that. But it’s taught me what kind of a mother I want to be. I don’t think you can ever tell a child enough how valuable they are.”

And that’s a method she employs as a singing teacher at Sanderson’s Dance and Fitness, which has four centres around East Lancashire.

“I’m now in charge of the confidence of a lot of children and it’s very important that they know how valuable they are, not just as singers, but as human beings.”

Kiki started singing at 15 and the discovery was a turning point in her life. “We were very poor and I saw it as an escape. It gave me so much more confidence.”

She became a session singer at 19 for TV and radio. By 21 she had become the civilian singer for the Australian Army Band and performed at gigs in the Olympic village for Sydney 2000.

In 2003 she went to learn the blues from “the people who invented it” in LA, and sang in blues clubs. Her mentor was Mickey Champion – “76 years old, four foot nothing and with no front teeth. She’d been a big Northern Soul singer back in the day and she could really sing.”

While living in a travellers hostel in West Hollywood she met Christopher Robinson, an IT manager at Skipton Building Society who was on holiday: “He was really punky and really funny.”

So Kiki came to England in 2004. The couple bought a house in Rawtenstall, Kiki found a job at an Aerospace company in Burnley and they decided to have a family.

So if Kiki gets through to The Voice finals she will be delighted. If not, it really doesn’t matter, for Dexter’s story has been told and someone, somewhere may become aware that there is life after the death of a child.