Daisy Bell, a talented young singer from the grim backstreets of Tyneside, has the potential to go far. And would-be impresario Jack Fidler instantly sees her promise. There's only one thing holding her back in Jack's eyes: her two-year-old daughter Rose. Ruthlessly ambitious Jack arranges for the child to be stolen by his sister Maud, a maid in a wealthy Northumberland household.

Maud's kind-hearted mistress Geraldine Leighton is only too happy to take the girl in who she believes has been orphaned. She renames her Rosina and surrounds her new daughter with love and security. But when Geraldine tragically dies and her husband remarries a cold and cruel woman, Rosina discovers she has no real blood ties to the Leighton family and runs away.

She is taken in by a theatrical troupe, and soon her natural talent for singing propels her into the limelight. It's not long before she's winning the hearts of the crowds, as well as the admiration of handsome young actor Tom Carey. But as Rosina's fame grows, she is brought into direct competition with one of the northern music halls' established stars, Daisy Bell - and back into the path of Jack Fidler, who is determined to destroy her...