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Young New Zealand singer achieves success

New Zealand’s teenage singing sensation Hayley Westenra is setting international records with her new album, ‘Pure’.

The album has gone double platinum in the United Kingdom, with Westenra becoming the fastest selling debut classical artist in United Kingdom history.

‘Pure’ has gone gold in Australia and Hong Kong. In Japan the single ‘Amazing Grace’ is currently number one on Japan’s international charts.

Westenra’s music is strongly influenced by her homeland of New Zealand where at age 17 she has now become the best selling solo recording artist in the country’s history.

‘People say that my voice and my music are pure, and the treatment of the songs on the album has been pure. But it’s also the fact that I come from New Zealand – a country that is 100 percent pure. I think that reflects a lot in the songs I’m singing,’ she says.

When performing in front of dignitaries such as Her Majesty the Queen, President George Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, Hayley is often thinking of New Zealand.

‘There are quite a few songs where, as I sing, I picture myself walking along a beach. It’s usually the beach at Sumner, in Christchurch, where I live,’ she says.

International success looks set to continue for Westenra in 2004 with the release of ‘Pure’ in the United States in April, followed by the recent announcement that she will be singing the end credit song on the Disney feature movie ‘Mulan 2’ to be released in Autumn, 2004.


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