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Author Topic: Lets Meet Hayley  (Read 3550 times)
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« on: February 13, 2018, 07:46:58 PM »

Hayley Dee Westenra is a New Zealand singer, classical crossover artist, songwriter, and UNICEF Ambassador. Her first internationally released album, Pure, reached No. 1 on the UK classical charts in 2003 and has sold more than two million copies worldwide. Pure is the fastest-selling international début classical album to date, having made Westenra an international star at age 16. In August 2006, she joined the Irish group Celtic Woman, was featured on their Celtic Woman: A New Journey CD and DVD, toured with them on their 2007 Spring Tour (she alternated, 6 weeks on 6 weeks off, with Méav so that there were only ever 5 girls in the show), and was also featured on their DVD, The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection, released in 2008. Westenra has produced five New Zealand number one studio albums, holding the title for the most number one records for any New Zealand act, a record shared with alternative rock band Shihad since the release of their 2014 album, FVEY.

Across classical music to easy listening, folk and pop style songs, Westenra has performed songs in English, Māori, Irish, Spanish, Italian, German, French, Portuguese, Latin, Japanese, Standard Mandarin Chinese, Catalan, and Taiwanese Hokkien

Westenra has performed for dignitaries all over the world. She is the second youngest UNICEF Ambassador to date and has contributed to charities around the globe.

Early life

Westenra was born in Christchurch, New Zealand. Her parents, Jill and Gerald Westenra, have two other children, Sophie and Isaac. Westenra's grandmother Shirley Ireland was a singer, and her grandfather was a pianist who also played the piano accordion. She has Irish, Dutch and English heritage.

She began performing at age six when she was cast in the lead singing role of "Little Star" in the Christmas play at her school, Fendalton Open Air School. After the show, a teacher who had watched the performance approached her parents to tell them that their daughter was "pitch perfect". The teacher encouraged Westenra to learn how to play a musical instrument; Hayley soon after learned to read music and play the violin, piano, guitar, and recorder. She then began voice lessons and discovered a passion for musical theatre. By age 11, she had performed more than 40 times on stage, but was often given male parts: "I got boy parts quite often. In ballet, there were not enough boys. So they ended up choosing half and half. I got chosen to wear the grey suit and the wig, and not the pretty dresses. In A Christmas Carol, I was Tiny Tim, so I got to be a poor sick boy. There was a severe lack of singing boys and, at the time, it was quite disappointing. Westenra attended Cobham Intermediate School in 1998 and 1999, where a performing arts building was later named in her honour. She won a talent quest in her first year (Year 9) at Burnside High School, which she attended from 2000 to 2003.

Personal life

After releasing Pure, Westenra and her family moved to London. She continues to reside in a central London flat, even though her family subsequently returned home to Christchurch. Although she spent most of 2006 touring, she did visit them when her schedule allowed.

Westenra has been known as a vegetarian/pescetarian. In 2007, she was nominated for PETA's 'Sexiest Vegetarian'.

Westenra married her French boyfriend of three years, Arnaud Sabard (born 1981), on 29 December 2013 in Hawarden, North Canterbury, New Zealand. She has spoken little about her marriage publicly since then, in keeping with earlier practice of largely remaining quiet about her personal relationships. At some point, Hayley parted ways with Arnaud. In 2018, she moved to LA. On August 15, 2019, she announced her engagement to Chris McFarland (aka Chris Gaelan).


Q: What is Hayley Westenra's birthday?

A: April 10, 1987

Q: Is Hayley married?

A: She got married in 2013 to Arnaud Sabard, but they later split up. As of August 2019, she was engaged to Chris McFarland.
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