Faryl Smith and Hayley Westenra sing at Twickenham

10th March 2010
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When English schoolgirl Faryl Smith and Kiwi songbird Hayley Westenra take to the pitch at Twickenham tomorrow to sing the English and New Zealand National Anthems ahead of the rugby friendly they will be singing for more than their national pride. Neither has sung at a losing match for their team – and neither wants to break their string of successes now.

The incredible 14-year-old Britain’s Got Talent star, Faryl Smith, famously sang the England team to a 34-10 victory over favourites France in the Six Nations this March. It was the culmination of an incredible week for Faryl who, having already signed to Decca in the largest ever record deal awarded to a schoolgirl, went straight to the top of the classical charts and to no 4 in the pop charts, making her debut album the fastest-selling classical debut ever.

This week she has experienced similar success, having won a Variety Club Award on Sunday night, the youngest ever recipient in the show’s 57-year history, and pre-orders of her second album ‘Wonderland’, out next week, are looking very promising. England will be hoping that she can bring her good luck to Twickenham too.

New Zealander Hayley Westenra has also brought luck to the powerful All Blacks side, only ever singing at matches they have won. The 22-year-old singer previously held the fastest-selling debut classical artist crown when she released her debut at the age of 16. (Both Hayley and Faryl beat Charlotte Church and Katherine Jenkins to this title).

London-based Hayley has more recently turned to charitable causes, launching the Poppy Appeal alongside Dame Vera Lynn and singing on the BBC Children in Need album ‘Bandaged Together’. She has become known as the ‘Forces Songbird’, having performed to the troops in Iraq last year and ‘We’ll Meet Again’ at the Festival of Remembrance just two weeks ago.

Despite the perceived rivalry, the singers are in fact good friends and will not only be singing their respective National Anthem, but will also perform a special duet of the rousing rugby favourite, Jerusalem. With such talent to kick off proceedings we can be sure that we won’t have a repeat of South Africa’s National Anthem in France …

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