Hayley Westenra (born 1987) is a classical crossover
singer from New Zealand
. She started performing at 6 years old; had her first professional album cut at 12; and released an international CD (Pure
) at 16. The rest of her recording career mainly consists of the words "gold", "platinum", "award" and "fundraiser" repeated over and over.
Apart from her voice - a description of which usually includes the words "clear", "bell" and "angel" - Hayley is notable for her near-constant touring/gigging (according to her calender, she now has enough air-miles to buy Bolivia), and her charity work: A UNICEF ambassador since before she could vote, she tends to gravitate towards children and returned servicemen but is liable to veer off towards Welsh air-ambulances and earthquake victims at the drop of a hat (Or the drop of a chimney, if you live in Christchurch
Initially focusing on covers, she has started developing as a lyricist (many of the Paradiso
lyrics were penned by Hayley) and full-on songsmith (The Treasure
tracks "Let me Lie" and "Summer Rain" and all hers).
During the 2011 rugby
world cup, Hayley's covers of "World in Union" (English
) effectively replaced "God Defend New Zealand"/"Aotearoa" as the New Zealand national anthem(s). Earlier, several of her songs were licensed for use in the Wii
game Endless Ocean
Has been a Sixth Ranger
of Celtic Woman
: Tropes from there may also be applicable. If discussing Hayley with a Celtic Woman fan, be sure to have either running shoes or an asbestos suit handy, as her involvement
may lead to heated discussion
- Walking In The Air (2000)
- Hayley Westenra (2001)
- My Gift to You (2001)
- Pure (2003)
- Odyssey (2005)
- Treasure (2007)
- Hayley Sings Japanese Songs (2008)
- River of Dreams (2008)
- Hayley Sings Japanese Songs 2 (2009)
- Winter Magic (2009)
- The Best Of Pure Voice (2010)
- Paradiso (2011)
Provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Sometimes comes across on interviews as a little nervous and shy. Then sings in front of 10,000 rugby fans without batting an eyelid.
- She publicly thanked Game Grumps for their... unique take on her song "Prayer" which earned her dozens of new Twitter followers from the show's fans, although she admits performing the song from now on will be weird.
- Amazing Freaking Grace: And often. Thankfully without the usual Melismatic Vocals.
- Christmas Songs: Winter Magic.
- Greatest Hits Album: Somewhat subverted - River of Dreams was only released in the UK and NZ, and The Best Of Pure Voice only in Japan and Taiwan.
- Hey Lets Put On A Show: Her default reaction to anything bad. Follows it up by putting on a show and collecting a fat wad of cash.
- Lyrical Dissonance: Seems to be quite fond of this.
- "Whispers in a Dream" takes Morricone's haunting "Gabriel's Oboe" and adds Westenra's optimistic, uplifting lyrics. The effect is stunning.
- "Summer Rain" mixes a melancholy melody, an up-beat tempo and uplifting lyrics.
- Her choice of covers often reflects the more usual happy tune/sad lyrics combination: "Wuthering Heights", "Summer Fly" and "Metti Una Sera A Cena" are all perfectly cheerful until you discover what fate has befallen the protagonist.
- Motor Mouth: "Lezione di Musica".
- Nice Hat: "Who Painted the Moon Black?"
- Non Sequitur: on Paradiso, sitting happily between "Amália Por Amor" and "Malena", you'll find Joan Baez's anarchist anthem "Nicola and Bart", stroking its moustache and daring anyone to ask: Dafuq?
- Older Than Steam: "Melancoly Interlude" on Treasure is based on a 1600-ish piece by John Dowland called "Melancholy Galliard".
- Old Master: Refers to Morricone as "The Maestro" for some reason.
- Omniglot: Songs in English, Māori, Gaelic, Welsh, German, Portuguese, French, Italian, Latin, Japanese, Mandarin, Taiwanese and a pinch of Quenya. So far...
- With Lyrics: The basis of Paradiso.