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The biggest selling album of the 21st Century is…

Michael Jackson’s Thriller. But bet you didn’t know that the artist with the biggest selling CLASSICAL album in the world is just 24 years old. And she’s from New Zealand.

Kiwi born and bred, now living in London, for the past 10 years 24 year old soprano Hayley Westenra has been living a life most musicians would sell their souls for. Signed to a record label after being discovered busking at just 13 years of age (the same label she’s with still today), Hayley’s debut album Pure has been the fastest and biggest selling classical album of the 21st Century and she’s gone on to sell over 4 million albums. She’s toured the world with Andrea Bocelli, Il Divo and Jose Carreras and her latest album, her fifth, is called PARADISO and is a collaboration with the world famous film composer Ennio Morricone.

You’d know more of Morricone’s music than you think you do – Gabriel’s Oboe, Cinema Paradiso, Deborah’s Theme – they’re just some of the more well known. The 83 year old Italian has won countless awards including an Academy. I’m a big fan of Robert De Niro and I didn’t even realise that it was Morricone behind the music of most of De Niro’s movies.

While Hayley falls into the “classical” genre, this really isn’t classical music – in fact, none of her albums have been true “core classical”. PARADISO is film music – lush, sweeping, gorgeous songs orchestrated with the incredibly sweet and perfectly pure voice of Hayley.

Hayley’s here in Australia all this week promoting PARADISO so you’ll be seeing and hearing a lot of her on TV and radio. She’s also chatting with all the newspapers and doing a fashion shoot with an amazing magazine that’s one of my faves. More on that when I’m allowed to mention it though! A couple of huge announcements that Hayley may be making while she’s here will also keep her front and centre for the rest of the year (and then you’ll be able to say “oh, Hayley, yeah, I’ve known about her for AGES…”)

So have a look at these three super quick clips below – watch them in order and be prepared to be impressed.

4 Responses to The biggest selling album of the 21st Century is…

  1. Rachel Quarrell says:

    I am a huge fan of Hayley’s and have all of her albums including the first 2 that were only released in NZ.
    I think she has the voice of an angel.So beautiful.She is a very talented young lady.

  2. Jillian says:

    Hi Bec,

    Thanks for the update on the MindFood shoot! Very excited to see it when it comes out. :)

    For anyone who is interested, we have a highlights page of the Australian promo trip here:


  3. Peter Such says:

    Hello Bec Brown.

    You have done an absolutely superb tribute to Hayley Westenra and I am most impressed with your site overall. We at HWI who have been following her (and often are privileged to meet and chat with her) since the very beginning are very excited by this latest blossoming of her talent.

    Peter Such–’postscript’ on HWI, Hayley Westenra International

    • Bec Brown says:

      Thanks Peter – and great to e-meet you.

      HWI is a wonderful site – I’m sure that Hayley must be thrilled to have such lovely people supporting her.

      So the wonderful team at MiNDFOOD magazine tell me that Hayley’s fashion shoot will run in the NZ September issue which is out on August 1. The Australian September issue will also have a music feature on Hayley but the fashion shoot won’t run in the Aust mag until the October issue. More at from August 1 though.

      This was a great TV interview that Hayley did too – 6.30 with George Negus – – Scroll to the 6.30 ‘Voice of Hope’ video.

      I had a gorgeous week with Hayley – I work with many stars and she is, hands down, one of the most amazing artists that I have ever had the privilege of working with. Sweet, smart, talented and fun!

      Thanks again for getting in touch. Cheers, Bec

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