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Italy singing nun becomes Internet sensation

The Voice's Sister Cristina Scuccia heads for Psy record

25 March, 15:07
Italy singing nun becomes Internet sensation (ANSA) - Rome, March 25 - An Italian singing nun has become an Internet sensation and is looking to overtake South Korean rapper Psy's all-time YouTube record with Gangnam Style. Sister Cristina Scuccia, 25, wowed judges on Italy's version of TV talent show The Voice last Wednesday with her rendition of Alicia Key's No One.

The Sicilian nun's performance attracted 13 million views in three days.

Gangnam Style remains the most watched video on YouTube, with almost two billion hits. But when it was first published, it took 18 days - rather than three - to pass the 10-million-hits mark.

By Monday afternoon, the number of views for Sister Cristina's video had jumped to over 30 million. The unlikely TV contestant has been praised by Alicia Keys herself. "Now, THAT'S what beautiful, pure energy looks like! Sing it, sister Christina!" the US singer posted on Twitter, along with a link to the nun's video.

Sister Cristina appeared on The Voice of Italy on Wednesday night.

She told judges that she was happy to share her "gift" with them, and said she was "definitely expecting a call from Pope Francis".

Considering the pontiff's penchant for making random phone calls to nuns, that doesn't seem so far-fetched.

She said taking part in talent shows was just another way of spreading the Gospel - in line with Francis' pastoral recommendation for priests to get "dirty" and "bruised," by reaching out to people in the street. "Who said that a nun cannot perform? It gives out a strong signal if a young woman who has consecrated her life to God continues to do things that any person of my age would do," Cristina was quoted as saying by Italian daily La Repubblica.