While critics have unfortunately compared her to Charlotte Church
, Westenra's interpretive gifts lie in the same terrain as singers such as Kate Bush
on one side (whose "Wuthering Heights" was Pure's first single) and Barbra Streisand
on the other. After the runaway success of Pure, Westenra and her family moved to London, and she began nearly nonstop world touring in support of her album. She has performed at the British Classical Awards, guaranteeing her success in the U.K. Pure was issued in the United States in April 2004, and the music video for "Wuthering Heights" has garnered considerable play on VH1, underscoring well-received performances in New York, Los Angeles, and Washington, D.C. In June 2004, Universal
issued My Gift to You, a collection of Christmas and seasonal songs.
Westenra's second international album, Odyssey, was released in September 2005 and featured folk ballads as well as a wide selection of more pop-oriented compositions. Treasure, a personal collection of Irish and Maori folk songs, arrived in 2007, followed by the compilation River of Dreams: The Very Best of Hayley Westenra in 2008. The holiday-themed album Winter Magic appeared in 2009. Westenra returned in 2011 with her fifth international studio album, Paradiso. Working in collaboration with Ennio Morricone
, the album featured songs especially written by Morricone
for Westenra. Her sixth studio album, Hushabye -- a collection of classic children's lullabies -- was released in 2013. ~ Thom Jurek, Rovi