Born in 1987, Hayley Westenra hails from New Zealand. Classically trained as both a singer and as a dancer, she is a former member of the New Zealand Royal Ballet. Westenra's voice is an operatic instrument and she has performed with the New Zealand Opera and Orchestra. She made her recording debut at the age of 14 with a self-titled collection that took her country by storm. Universal International then released Pure, an eclectic and very engaging set of pop, classical, and sacred songs, which exploded all over the globe. Westenra's voice is unusually suited to popular music because, unlike other classical singers, she doesn't resort to using vibrato technique. Instead, her delivery is extremely clean and full, hitting notes effortlessly and letting them draw out naturally.