The five years since the release of Hayley Westenra's debut international album Pure have been a whirlwind. Along with Hayley’s second album Odyssey and her third, Treasure, she has achieved combined sales of well over three million albums around the world making her a household name in many countries and breaking many records along the way. Pure is still one of the fastest-selling classical albums in the history of the UK charts and Hayley is also the best-selling classical artist in Japan. Her latest album, Treasure, became her third album in a row to both hit the top 10 of the UK album charts and top the classical charts in the UK - an astonishing achievement for a classical artist who is still only 20! And in December 2007 it was announced Hayley Westenra was the biggest selling Classical artist of the 21st Century
Despite all of this success, Hayley still remains the same unaffected down-to-earth girl from Christchurch, New Zealand. Even though she has an incredibly busy schedule, she still finds time to dedicate a great deal of energy to her role as the youngest UNICEF Ambassador in the world. Her time in Ghana inspired her to initiate her successful UNICEF “Bikes For Ghana” campaign, allowing over a thousand young Ghanaian girls to attend school for the first time. She has also recently become a matron of the charity WEN, that looks at environmental issues from a woman’s point of view.
She also has a deep interest in music therapy and is a patron of the Raukaturi Music Therapy Centre in Auckland. The Centre uses the Nordoff Robbins method in using music as therapy for children with autism and other severe physical, intellectual and emotional disabilities. Hayley has appeared on both the BBC in the UK and CNN in the US with her own news features aimed at raising awareness in the benefits of music therapy. Coincidentally, in a recent survey on music therapy by a British Medical Journal, Hayley's voice was described as having the most "calming and therapeutic quality " of all music tested.
She requires a quite different quality in her voice when she performs at any of the numerous sporting events around the World, which have included football (the FA Cup Final, in The European Champions League) baseball (the NBA in the US), Tennis (The Mercedes Cup in Los Angeles) and what is her proudest duty, singing the New Zealand anthem for her beloved All Blacks rugby team before their victories over the British Lions, Wales, France and England.
Hayley is in great demand as a duet partner and has sung with, among others, Jose Carreras, Bryn Terfel and Andrea Bocelli and toured with Il Divo. PBS recorded an hour long “Great Performances” TV Special in New Zealand and again in October 2006 PBS recorded another special with her during her trip to Canada for Celtic Colors. It was whilst recording another TV Special in Canada with Andrea Bocelli that Hayley saw the first Celtic Woman Special and although in the middle of recording her third album, she accepted the chance when invited to join the Celtic Woman project to record their second PBS Television Special.
Hayley was asked to sing at the unveiling of the NZ Memorial to acknowledge the special relationship between the UK and New Zealand and to commemorate the sacrifice made by New Zealand forces in the Second World War in the presence of HM The Queen, Prince Charles, Tony Blair, and New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark.
Her Film and TV work has been extensive, including an onscreen role in NBC’s “American Dreams,” the theme for Al Pacino’s “Merchant of Venice,” two films for Disney and Terrence Mallick’s “New Wold” She recorded the theme and soundtrack for the BBC’s new six part drama series “Jekyll “ (starring James Nesbitt), as well as the theme and incidental music for an ITV TV blockbuster film entitled “Flood “ (Robert Carlyle, Tom Courtney, Joanne Whalley and David Suchet) .
In January 2008 Hayley was awarded the Global Kiwis Young Achiever Award. The Award was established to recognise a young Kiwi under the age of 35, at the start of their career, who has made remarkable achievements in their field of endeavour in the UK achieving recognition on at least a national scale if not on a European or global scale.