Meet Amira Willighagen, a young girl with an incredible voice. How incredible? Incredible enough to win Holland's Got Talent at only nine years old. Amira was born in Nijmegen in The Netherlands on the 27th of March 2004. Her father, Gerrit, is Dutch, and her mother, Frieda, is South African.
Having parents of two nationalities means Amira was lucky enough to grow up bilingual, speaking Dutch and Afrikaans. Amira also has an older brother, Fincent, who is also musically inclined. He plays the violin. When she decided it was time to sing in public, even her mother was blown away by her beauty of tone and the skill she displayed. You can see this for yourself, just watch this video of her singing Amazing Grace at the Classics is Groot concert in South Africa.
When Amira was seven, she was on a family holiday to England. It was there that she heard Luciano Pavarotti singing Nessun Dorma. She fell in love with the beauty and power of opera. Her father could play the piano, and her mother and brother both played the violin. She did not play, so she asked herself how she could explore this new love. Amazingly, she began to teach herself to sing in the operatic style by watching tutorials on YouTube.
After two years practising her singing, Amira decided she was ready to appear on Holland's Got Talent. She travelled to the city of Zwolle and sang O Mio Babbino Caro. The judges were wowed and put her through to the next round. The performance was uploaded to YouTube and immediately introduced the world to Amira and what she could do. Legendary violinist Andre Rieu offered her a place in a master class and to perform with him in his home town of Maastricht. This is quite an honour for a nine-year-old.
Meanwhile, Amira's journey on the show continued. She sang Ave Maria in the semi-finals and performed the song that started her journey in the finals, Nessun Dorma. She won by a landslide, receiving more than 50% of the audience and tv votes which is rare in a tv competition. Following the show, Amira's career continued to flourish.
She performed at the Starlight Classic Concerts near Cape Town in her mum's home, South Africa. She showed what a remarkable young lady she is by donating half her fee to a charity project she founded called Gelukskinders, which builds playgrounds for children in underprivileged areas.
Since then, she has performed in the UK, USA, Germany, Italy, Spain, Switzerland, Hong Kong and even the illustrious Monaco. In addition, she works with a singing coach to improve and refine her singing voice even more. She released her first album in 2014, which was called Amira and went gold in just three weeks. Since then, she has released a Christmas album called Merry Christmas and a third studio album called With All My Heart in 2018. This is all pretty impressive, considering she only just turned eighteen!
Amira is still a young woman, so she isn't married and has no children. There doesn't appear to be a boyfriend on the scene, but honestly, when would she fit one in? She'll have plenty of time for that in future. Until then, Amira's fame grows on social media. She has 214,000 subscribers to her YouTube channel and 131,000 followers on her Facebook page. This young lady looks like she'll go a long way.
If you want to see more from this fantastic vocalist from Holland, you can subscribe to her YouTube channel or you can follow her on Facebook page. Visit her official website for more information regarding upcoming shows.