Westenra tops one million albums sold

08 January 2004 (NZ Time)
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OVERWHELMED: Hayley Westenra relaxes at home as worldwide sales of her debut album Pure broke the one million mark.


The fairytale just keeps getting better for Hayley Westenra.

Worldwide sales of the Christchurch singer's debut album Pure yesterday broke the one million mark.

Westenra last night admitted the news was yet to sink in.

"It's like, wow. Overwhelming.

"Thinking over one million people have bought my album is just amazing. A little girl from Christchurch and look what has happened. It's a massive compliment."

Westenra has been back in New Zealand three weeks after a five-month stint in Britain promoting the album.

While there she sang for the Queen three times and also performed in front of United States President George W Bush and British Prime Minister Tony Blair.

The 16-year-old also had a one-off performance with tenor legend Jose Carreras.

"Thinking back on what happened last year, it's just incredible. I had a really big year. I didn't really realise what it would feel like. In some ways when I was working making the album I thought, 'wouldn't it be cool if this did really well'. But now that it has, it's just incredible."

Westenra has spent the last three weeks with her family, visiting Timaru for Christmas and having time out with friends in Christchurch.

Westenra's record company Universal said yesterday Pure had been a "tremendous success" and the Christchurch teen had "climbed the ladder quickly".

Pure made waves by becoming the fastest selling debut album in the history of the United Kingdom classical album charts – taking only one week to sell 100,000 copies.

Westenra kicks off a nationwide tour in Dunedin on February 16 before heading to America for a five-month promotional tour.

Recording Industry Association of New Zealand said Westenra was closing in on Crowded House, the only other homegrown act to have sold more than one million copies of an album.


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