Hayley Westenra

Hayley Westenra


4/10/1987, Christchurch, New Zealand

Birth Name

Hayley Dee Westenra


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Hayley Westenra is a classical, folk, and Celtic singer. She was first noticed by her preschool teacher who cast Hayley for the singing lead in a school Christmas pageant. At the age 11, Hayley began performing in hotels to earn money for lunch at school. It was there…more


Trivia and Quotes

  • Trivia

    • Hayley's little sister, Sophie, sings the back vocals for Hayley's song "Across the Universe of Time."

    • Treasure (May 2007)

      1. Let Me Lie
      2. Le Note Del Silenzio
      3. Shenandoah
      4. Whispering Hope
      5. Summer Rain
      6. Danny Boy
      7. One Fine Day
      8. Santa Lucia
      9. The Heart Worships
      10. E Pari Ra
      11. Sonny
      12. Summer Fly
      13. Melancholy Interlude
      14. Bist Du Bei Mir
      15. Abide With Me
      16. Jekyll (digital bonus version only)

    • West Side Story (June 2007)

      1. Prologue
      2. Jet Songs
      3. Something's Coming
      4. The Dance at The Gyms
      5. Maria
      6. Tonight (balcony)
      7. America
      8. Cool
      9. One Hand, One Heart
      10. Tonight (ensemble)
      11. I Feel Pretty
      12. Somewhere
      13. Gee Officer Krupke
      14. A Boy Like That
      15. I Have A Love
      16. Finale

    • Celtic Treasure (May 2007)

      1. Let Me Lie
      2. Scarborough Fair
      3. Shenandoah
      4. Summerfly
      5. Whispering Hope
      6. Danny Boy
      7. Summer Rain
      8. The Last Rose Of Summer
      9. One Fine Day
      10. Sonny
      11. The Water is Wide
      12. Melancholy Interlude
      13. Abide With Me

    • Odyssey (May 2006)

      1. Prayer
      2. Never Saw Blue
      3. Dell'Amore Non Si Sa (Duet with Andrea Bocelli)
      4. Ave Maria (Caccini)
      5. Both Sides Now
      6. What You Never Know (Won't Hurt You)
      7. May It Be
      8. Quanta Qualia
      9. Bachianas Brasileiras No 5 Aria(Cantilena)
      10. She Moves Through The Fair
      11. I Say Grace
      12. My Heart Belongs To You

    • Pure (August 2003)

      1. Pokarekare Ana
      2. Never Say Goodbye
      3. Who Painted the Moon Black
      4. River of Dreams
      5. Benedictus
      6. Hine E Hine
      7. Dark Waltz
      8. Amazing Grace
      9. My Heart & I
      10. In Trutina
      11. Beat of Your Heart
      12. Across of the Universe of Time
      13. Heaven
      14. Wuthering Heights

    • In June 2006, Hayley appeared at a fund raiser in the UK for Act Against Bullying.

    • Hayley was the 2004 Vodafone New Zealand Music Awards winner of "Highest Selling New Zealand Album" and "International Achievement Award."

    • Hayley received lessons from Dame Malvina Major.

    • Hayley went to preschool at Cobham Intermediate.

    • Hayley's family has a history of music: her grandmother, Shirley Ireland, was a singer, and her grandfather was a pianist who also played the piano accordion,

    • Hayley's parents are Jill and Gerald Westenra. Her dad is a gemotologist and her mother is a photographer. Hayley also has two siblings: Sophie and Isaac.

    • Hayley can play the recorder, piano, violin, and guitar.

    • Hayley appeared on Mike Oldfield's new album, Music of the Spheres. Singing on the track, 'On My Heart' the album also features world renowned pianist Lang Lang and is co-produced by Karl Jenkins.

    • Hayley's album Treasure topped the New Zealand Charts in December of 2007.

    • Hayley wrote her autobiography, Hayley Westenra: In Her Own Voice, in 2007.

    • Hayley performed in major productions of musicals like Annie, La Boheme, and The Sound of Music.

    • Hayley first started recording CDs at age 11 for the people who heard her perform at hotels. Her total profits earned her over $5,000.

    • Hayley's proudest duty is to sing the national anthem for her All Blacks rugby team.

    • Hayley has performed the relevant national anthems before many major sporting events, including football (the FA Cup Final, the European Champions League), baseball (the NBA in the US), and tennis (the Mercedes Cup in Los Angeles).

    • Hayley performed at the unveiling of the New Zealand Memorial in London to celebrate the relationship between New Zealand and the UK and to remember those who have died in battle, in the presence of the Queen, Tony Blair and the New Zealand Prime Minister, Helen Clark.

    • Hayley has performed for Her Majesty the Queen, President Bush, Tony Blair, Prince Charles, Colin Powell, and Condoleezza Rice.

    • Hayley has appeared as a special guest with the World's leading orchestra's including the Moscow Philharmonic, The Boston Pops, and the RPO.

    • Hayley has performed at Carnegie Hall, the Sydney Opera House, Wembley Arena, and the Royal Albert Hall.

    • Along with her second album Odyssey, Hayley has achieved combined sales of over three million albums around the world.

    • Hayley has her own online store at her official website.

    • Pure made the top 10 national pop charts in 11 countries.

    • Hayley's album, Pure turned GOLD in the UK in one week and has since hit DOUBLE PLATINUM. In some places, it to TRIPLE PLATINUM immediately after being released.

    • Hayley is involved in the Women's Environmental Network, a group that raises awareness of environmental issues affecting women. She also takes part in breast cancer awareness campaigns in New Zealand and the Nordoff-Robbins Center for Music Therapy. All the children who receive her help at this Center are disabled.

    • Hayley organized a project called "Hayley's Bikes for Ghana" that has provided 6,000 bikes for children in Ghana so they can attend school.

    • Hayley is one of the youngest ever Ambassadors for UNICEF. She is also the ambassadors for Save the Children in Hong Kong.

    • Hayley loves Celtic music and is proud of her Celtic roots.

    • Hayley lent her voice to movies such as Al Pacino's Merchant of Venice and Terrence Malick's The New World.

    • Pure is the best-selling classical record in the Japan's history.

    • Selling faster than any other "classical" debut in history in the UK, Pure was a sensation: twelve times platinum in her native New Zealand, where it is the biggest-selling record of all time having spent 18 weeks at No.1 in the pop album charts.

    • Universal Records in New Zealand was Hayley's first record company. Her second (starting with Pure) was Decca.

    • As a child, Hayley enjoyed after-school clubs, ballet, sports, and talent shows.

    • Hayley's mother takes most of the pictures for Hayley's albums.

    • Hayley sang duets with Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras and Bryn Terfel.

    • Hayley's album, Pure, was announced as the biggest-selling classical album of the 21st century by the Official UK Charts Company.

    • Hayley released Pure when she was an unknown 16-year-old and it turned her into an international superstar. It was a mix of folk, classical, traditional, and Maori songs.

    • Hayley Westenra was named the winner of the Global Kiwis Young Achiever Award in 2008.

    • Mario Frangoulis's album 'Passione' was number one in the Greek Charts in 2008. Hayley dueted with Mario on this album for the song "Be my love".

    • Hayley's album Treasure was nominated for Best Album in 2008's Classical Brit Awards.

  • Quotes

    • Hayley: 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.

    • Hayley: I soon noticed I would get quite a crowd when I was singing but when I started to play the violin, they drifted off.

    • Hayley: I consider London to be my second home - it's an exciting, fantastic multi-cultural city.

    • Hayley: (regarding her tour with Celtic Woman) We all have solos and there are some ensemble numbers, which are going to be really fun as I'm not used to working in a group. It'll be a new audience and it's always exciting when you reach out to more people with your music.

    • Hayley: (regarding her third album) It's an eclectic mix of songs, but the thread running through is that most of these songs have stood the test of time; they're very poignant, have a sense of history and they mean a lot to me. The new songs that I've chosen or helped to create are hopefully in the same great tradition of songs that get passed down through the generations.

    • Hayley: I do love shopping, but I'm also quite frugal which kind of puts a stop to it most of the time, however, my one weakness is jeans - I love Diesel jeans! I'm a real jeans, t-shirt and boots kinda girl.

    • Hayley: I'm quite an independent person and I don't mind my own company. It would be nice to spend more time with family and friends, my time with them is never long enough.

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