As one of the world’s biggest – and most beautiful – sopranos, Katherine Jenkins’ stock seems endlessly on the rise.
But no matter where her voice takes her, the famous songstress still keeps her feet firmly on the ground.
She tells us: ‘It has been a real whirlwind and I sometimes have to step back to remind myself of where I am. It seems like only yesterday that I signed my first recording contract and now here we are with several albums and lots of lovely things happening for me.’
There is no mistaking Katherine’s Welsh origins, of course. She was born in Neath, attended school there and goes back to sing for the pupils and encourage them to take an interest in all kinds of music. ‘I try to encourage young people – and older ones as well – to at least have a listen to different music. You never know where it might take you or what it might come to mean to you.’
“‘I would have been happy to sing in local festivals and concerts, but then I was given the opportunity to show what I could do…which changed my whole life.”
Katherine’s own love of music began at an early age. She achieved many awards, and also earned high grades in piano playing. ‘I am very Welsh and perhaps that did help,’ she says. ‘I know that for as far back as I can remember, there has always been music in my life. At home there was music of all sorts playing all the time and then at school music played a great part in daily life.’
Before her career took off, Katherine graduated as a music teacher at the Royal Academy of Music. ‘I thought that was probably going to be my career,’ she reveals.‘I wanted to perform, but you never really think that you will get a chance on the big stage. I would have been happy to sing in local festivals and concerts, but then I was given the opportunity to show what I could do and signed a contract with Universal which changed my whole life.’
No matter where her fame might take her, Katherine will always keep in touch with her Welsh roots. ‘It’s where I come from,’ she says, ‘and wherever I go I never forget that I owe it all to music and to Wales.’
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