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Entertainment News
14 July, 2001..

Hayley still getting used to fame

 S O U T H   C A N T E R B U R Y   S T O R Y  



Young diva Hayley Westenra is still getting used to her fame.

The pint-sized singer is at a loss to explain why her voice has soared into the hearts of New Zealanders and her latest self-titled CD has sold 50,000 copies.

"It's really strange seeing posters of yourself plastered on walls and watching TV and suddenly seeing yourself in an ad," she said on Friday.

Hayley and her family were in Timaru for her performance at the Theatre Royal on Friday night. All of the performances on her first nationwide tour have sold out.

"It's quite scary that people are paying to see you. There is an expectation to peform well. "

Hayley has been singing and performing since she was at primary school. At a teacher's suggestion, she took up the violin and piano when she was eight.

Her family produced and released Hayley's first CD at the beginning of last year, and despite next to no publicity, all 1000 copies sold.

She was offered a major record contract after a producer heard her sing on a local television show.

Hayley said she was yet to reap any real financial benefits of the tour and CD as there were so many costs.

Opera diva Dame Malvina Mayor is now Hayley's mentor and has been giving her weekly lessons.

"I had always hoped to get a 15 minute lesson with her, but to have an hour is amazing," the modest Christchurch schoolgirl said.

Hayley has travelled on tour with her parents Jill and Gerald, and siblings Isaac, 8, and Sophie, 11.

Sophie and Isaac are also very musical and Sophie is keen to follow in her big sister's footsteps with her singing and acting.

Hayley is still deciding which direction her career will head, but she would like to write some original material.

Musicians and music teachers predict that she possesses a voice which will continue to improve and develop.


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