Neath, Glamorgan, Wales
Anglican / Episcopalian
Claim to Fame
The fastest-selling female classical singer
Has Detailed Data (New)
The Royal Academy of Music
Has Detailed Data (Music)
Katherine Maria Jenkins OBE (born 29 June 1980) is a Welsh lyric mezzo-soprano, singer/songwriter. She is a popular classical-crossover singer who performs across a spectrum of operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre and hymns.
Has Detailed Data (105)
Has Detailed Data (76)
Music Profile Complete
Full Name at Birth
Couple Profile Source
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
24/7 Worldwide Management
Music Genre (Text)
Classical-crossover, Classical, Operatic Pop
Universal, Warner, Decca
Music Genre (Text)
Classical, Operatic Pop
Wiki Bio Text
Katherine Jenkins, OBE (born 29 June 1980) is a Welsh lyric mezzo-soprano. She is a popular classical-crossover singer who performs across a spectrum of operatic arias, popular songs, musical theatre and hymns.
After winning singing competitions in her youth, Jenkins studied at the Royal Academy of Music, modelled and taught voice. She came to wide public attention in 2003 when she sang at Westminster Cathedral in honour of Pope John Paul II's silver jubilee. Since 2004, she has released numerous albums that have performed well on British and foreign charts. In both 2005 and 2006, her albums received Classic Brit Awards as Album of the Year. She has also been seen widely in concert, including concerts for British troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; she has also sung at sporting events, on television shows and in support of many charities. In Spring 2012, she competed on the US television show Dancing with the Stars, finishing in second place, behind NFL Super Bowl champion Donald Driver.
Date of Birth 29 June 1980, Neath, Glamorgan, Wales, UK
Height 5' 4" (1.63 m)
Mini Bio (1)
Katherine Jenkins was born on June 29, 1980 in Neath, Glamorgan, Wales. She has been married to Andrew Levitas since September 27, 2014. They have one child.
Andrew Levitas (27 September 2014 - present) (1 child)
Classical-crossover singer, who was the biggest-selling classical star in the UK in 2004. She is sometimes erroneously referred to as an opera singer but she has never performed in an opera.
Studied Advanced Level Welsh.
Is a mezzo-soprano.
After entering a modelling competition, she became the Face of Wales 2000.
Her previous jobs before becoming a successful singer have included a freelance singing teacher, a tour guide on the London Eye and a model.
In November 2008, she revealed to The Daily Mail that when she was a student, she had taken class A drugs (cocaine and ecstasy) and cannabis. She noted that she was introduced to them by her friends at the Royal College of Music, and that she stopped taking them after signing her record deal in 2003. In the article, she described taking drugs as "the biggest regret of my life".
Her father, Selwyn, died of lung cancer at age 70 when she was 15. She has remarked on missing him in her album liner notes and has dedicated any award she has received to him.
On the advice of the original Forces Sweetheart, Dame Vera Lynn, in December 2005 and 2006, she travelled to Iraq to sing to the soldiers for Christmas. On her first visit to Iraq in 2005, when travelling to Shaibah, the largest British base in Southern Iraq, the helicopter she was travelling in was targeted by missiles. Anti-missile flares were deployed and the group landed safely.
While she was studying at the Royal Academy of Music, she was attacked and nearly raped by a man who followed her off a bus after she had enjoyed a night out with friends. When she was walking back to her London home, he sprang upon her and tried to drag her into an alley, but she managed to escape. He continued to pursue her and punched her to the ground, prompting her to curl up into a ball so that he was not able to rape her. After repeatedly kicking her, he eventually left with her wallet and has never been caught. When discussing the incident, she said "It was just awful. I was so shaken up. It took me a long time to get over it, and my mum was devastated. I genuinely believe I was very lucky".
Studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London.
Is good friends with ballet dancer Darcey Bussell.
While chatting with TV presenter and magician Stephen Mulhern at a post-awards show party, she mentioned to him that she'd always had an ambition to have a go at being sawed in half by a magician. This led to Mulhern inviting her to appear on his Saturday Night phone-in game show Magic Numbers (2010), where she acted as his assistant in a performance of Sawing a Woman in Half in which Mulhern and singer Olly Murs sawed her in half inside a see-through box.
Universal offered her a six-album deal, the most lucrative in the United Kingdom's classical recording history, reportedly worth £1 million.
Appearing as a mentor to the celebrity contestants, as well as a judge, on ITV's "Popstar to Operastar". [January 2010]
She signed the biggest classical recording deal in history, for $10 million (£5.8 million), with Warner Music. [October 2009]
She was awarded the OBE (Officer of the Order of the British Empire) in the 2014 Queen's New Years Honours List for her services to Music and to charitable services. She is a singer in London, England.
Friend of Polly Noble.
Gave birth to her 1st child at age 35, a daughter named Aaliyah Reign Levitas on September 30, 2015 weighing almost 7 lbs. Child's father is her husband, Andrew Levitas.
Personal Quotes (68)
My idol was Marilyn Monroe, who was a size 16, I think, and curvy in all the right places. I will never be stick thin. I remember a shoot where I had to get into these tiny hot pants, and I thought, 'God, I wish I hadn't eaten.'
I'm a Cancerian, the typical crab with the tough outer shell and the soft bit in the middle. I don't think I'll ever come to terms with people being unnecessarily nasty, but I can take it if someone doesn't like my music - I'm not everyone's cup of tea.
When I dance, I forget everything else and just feel completely happy.
I have such happy memories of performing in a choir and I don't think I'd have got where I am today without all that experience. So my advice to young singers is to either join your school or church's choir or find one in your local area. Choral music at any level teaches you so much about musicianship and blending your voice.
Children should be able to live a life free from bullying and harassment and it is time that we all took a stand against this.
Marilyn Monroe was supposedly a size 16, which is probably why I love her style; it suits me better.
In Heaven, I believe my dad is somewhere doing something nice. I feel I've been too lucky to travel this far without somebody guiding me.
If my mum thinks I'm acting like a diva she'll soon tell me off... She'll cut me down to size!
I've only ever wanted to be a singer; I never wanted to be famous.
I'm not naturally a person that wants to exercise, but I find running is something I can do wherever I am in the world.
I'd love to play Carmen - it's the perfect mezzo role.
I was such a geek in school.
I want to have kids. I want to get married. That is still very important to me.
I sing a mixture of everything from opera, folk music, Broadway. It's a mix of things.
I really see myself as a homegirl. Wales is my first home. London is my second home - I've been there 14 years now.
I love coming back to Neath - this is home and always will be.
I have a long fuse.
I am a perfectionist.
I always choose songs that I have an emotional connection to, and I often feel myself getting very emotional when I sing.
For stage wear and gowns, Julien McDonald, who is a friend of mine. I love that he can be totally over the top for stage wear!
Confidence is one of the sexiest things.
Being a question on 'The Weakest Link,' that was quite a moment.
Beatbullying's 'The Big March 2012' is such a brilliant campaign and I am very proud to be a part of it. I have been a victim of cyber bullying myself and I know firsthand just how hurtful it can be. People think that they can hide behind computers and send nasty and hurtful comments to people, and this is wrong.
People perceive opera and classical as elitist - I disagree. I've always tried to mix the two, make it more accessible.
Everything in my career is my decision - every picture, every outfit. You get one chance at this, and I never saw myself as being a puppet.
Although I'm not shy when I'm singing, I am whenever I hear applause. I don't know if you've noticed, but I giggle a lot on-stage. That's shyness. And the stage manager is always telling me to take a longer bow whenever I come off-stage. I still haven't learnt to do that properly. I see other artistes milking the applause, but I can't quite do it.
After doing 'Doctor Who,' I'm open-minded to doing more acting. Part of the reason you do a show like this is because it creates other opportunities you haven't had before.
2012 was the year I saw Twitter as a negative. More people need to realise that not everything they read is true and that Internet trolls are a real problem.
If you love somebody, you love them. My parents had a 25-year age gap between them and my mum was the breadwinner, my dad the house husband. I'm a strong believer that a good relationship can work, whatever the situation.
I get 'voluptuous' a lot, or 'shapely,' but the fact is that as you get older you learn to embrace your body type. I wasn't able to do that until I was at least 23.
You learn your lessons from the mistakes you make, not the things you achieve.
Singing has always been my big passion and I would love to be able to go to the U.S. and perform more.
People see you sing in a certain way, in a long dress, and you are put on a pedestal like you have never made a mistake in your life.
My music appeals in America. There is less of the purist criticism I get here. And to be a hit in the U.S... what singer doesn't have that dream?
My mother and father were perfect role models. They were together for 25 years and very much in love. But I've got too much to do now. I'm only 27.
I really feel confident about my dancing now, so I hope there could be a place for me in the West End or on Broadway - maybe a musical, maybe my own show.
I love to listen to pop music and I admire people who do that, but I don't think I would ever be a very good pop star. I always leave that singing voice for the shower! I wouldn't put it out in the world!
I have to believe that I know what's best for me. For instance, I choose all my songs. I never record anything I don't want to record. No one tells me what concerts to do.
I have never called myself an opera singer. Other people do, but I always call myself a classical singer. I'd love to do opera, but I'm still too young and I don't want to do it until I'm ready. I realise that when I do that it's going to be... up for discussion, shall we say, so I want to get it right.
I go home and don't get treated any differently. People have known me all my life and are interested and very supportive but because they have known me forever I don't get any diva treatment. My mum still tells me off if I haven't loaded the dishwasher for her.
I do not understand where the idea came from that opera is only for privileged people, I am as happy singing before 70,000 people at the Millennium Stadium, as I am in front of a few hundred in a small concert hall.
I do follow a version of the Dukan diet, but I don't follow it to the extreme so a lot of fish and vegetables. If I want chocolate I'll let myself have a bit of chocolate in moderation.
I did once shatter a chandelier. I was singing with my college choir in Wales. I was the soloist and I hit the high note and there was this massive bang and all this glass came down from the ceiling. I'd like that to be my party trick if I can perfect it.
I can't leave the studio until everything is as it should be. And I can't put a record out unless I am completely happy with it. I never want to be at a signing and hear my album playing and think, 'Oh no, I could have done that top note better.'
I am fussy, about my diet and straining my voice. I know, sounds a bit over the top. But I'm not as bad as I used to be. These days I don't drink alcohol for five days before a show - very dehydrating for the vocal cords, and all that acid reflux. I used to ban it for a fortnight. Nightmare.
I always want to give my best and do the best I can. I know when I have sung my best and when I haven't. There can be stresses and hassles with time travel and press attention. I just have to adapt and find a way of dealing with it.
Growing up with my family gave me some of my best memories. I'd like to have a family of my own - slip away for a bit and do nothing but spend those early years with my children.
From as young as I can remember, I always wanted to be a singer... My mum taught me 'Going Down the Garden to Eat Worms' for a competition when I was about 4.
For me, with the Blue Man Group, I got asked. It was for the Royal Variety Show, which was something I always wanted to be a part of. I'm really interested in things people don't necessarily expect. I did a pop song, but I did it in my own style.
At the weekend, one of the paparazzi left their lunch box filled with half-eaten pasta salad on my doorstep: it was like a little warning, you know? 'We have been here.'
You're now getting a new breed of people like Il Divo and Andrea Bocelli and I think that's why people feel less intimidated by classical music than they once did.
Yes. I do about 70 shows a year, in the past year I've been to Italy, Australia, Japan, China, just about everywhere. I do it because I love singing. The money is a bonus.
With all the hundreds of dresses and shoes I have, it would be an absolute crime if I don't have a little girl. I have a whole room at home filled with my stage wear.
With 'Believe' bringing really big success for me outside of the U.K. for the first time, it meant I have been touring around the world and that led to a gap from the studio. I really feel like the gap has done me the world of good. Throughout that time I was able to collect songs that I really loved.
When I did 'Dancing with the Stars' I did lose an awful lot of weight and I think at the time everybody was sort of alarmed by it. You can eat anything and it is still dropping off you when you are doing that amount of exercise.
The diva tag just won't go away. I think that's because people want me to be like that. It makes it more interesting if I have thrown a phone at somebody or a water bottle. Sadly that's just not me.
Oh, stuff the critics. I don't care. Too many people are snooty about classical. Look, I wasn't brought up in a home where we listened to classical music. It was a singing teacher that thought it would be best for my voice. Then I moved into crossover. And if that makes the music accessible to more people, then great.
I've been lucky that I've performed with a lot of the classical people I've wanted to work with so I'd like to do something that people didn't see coming. Like Madonna, or being Welsh - the Tom Jones thing. Or somebody suggested N-Dubz - that would be brilliant!
I've always said that I count myself as a classical crossover artist. To be so, you have to have the core classical training, which I did for many, many years, but also be interested in the pop side of things. You can fit in somewhere in the middle. I feel I do that really well.
I'm still a Welsh girl at heart so I'm staying in the U.K. for the Olympics, it's such an exciting time for Britain so it's amazing to be a part of it.
I'm over the moon to be involved in the 'Doctor Who' Christmas special. I can't quite believe it as it's a part of the family tradition at the Jenkins household. I heard the news that I got the role on my 30th birthday and it was the best birthday present ever.
I'm launching my own festival in South Wales. It's something I've wanted to do for a long time. It's going to be held at Margam Park, because I wanted the venue to be as close to my home as possible.
I'm a huge supporter of the military. I think they do an incredible job. So when I get invited to go out and sing for them, some of the best moments of my life.
I would absolutely, definitely never sell my wedding pictures to a magazine. I'd like it to be a special day, not a photo shoot. And once you've done that, your marriage becomes everybody else's business.
I wish I got a little bit more time at home. I am away a lot and being around my loved ones and friends is good for me. It grounds me. It's something I need to make more time for. I think I need a little more balance.
I wasn't the best in my class at the Royal Academy. There was a really good soprano and baritone who were technically better and are doing really well in opera now. But I was definitely the best mezzo-soprano in my class, because I was the only one of those!
I think maybe because of the kind of music I sing, people want to believe you're a diva. They can't believe after eight years, and eight albums, you're still relatively sane. I feel like they almost want me to throw something at somebody.
Sad news Jimmy Savile has passed away. My sis & I always wanted a Jim'll Fix It (1975) badge/medal. Loved that show. Great memories.
Couple Profile Source
Music Genre (Text)
classical, operatic pop