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Giving up the habit: Nun who won ‘The Voice’ to pursue singing career

Italian pop sensation Cristina Scuccia is renouncing her religious vows 


Cristina Scuccia performing at the Vatican Christmas Concert. Photo: Getty

Cristina Scuccia performing at the Vatican Christmas Concert. Photo: Getty

Cristina Scuccia performing at the Vatican Christmas Concert. Photo: Getty

A young nun who shot to fame after winning the Italian version of The Voice with her remarkable singing voice has announced that she is renouncing her religious vows, swapping her demure appearance for make-up and glamorous outfits.

Cristina Scuccia, who as Sister Cristina became a household name in Italy, said the strictures of convent life had become too much, particularly after the death of her father when she longed to spend more time with her family.

Her surprise announcement made headlines in Italy yesterday, where she had become a huge but unlikely celebrity.

She first came to prominence in 2014 when as a 25-year-old nun she won the television talent show The Voice of Italy, belting out the Alicia Keys hit, No One.

The power of her voice stunned the celebrity judges on the show, who asked her if she was really a nun, to which she replied that she was.

Appearing on stage in a plain habit and clunky black shoes with a crucifix round her neck, she became an internet phenomenon.

She went on to perform duets with the likes of Kylie Minogue and Ricky Martin and presented Pope Francis with a copy of her debut album, which included a cover of Madonna’s Like a Virgin, which had scandalised the Catholic Church in its original outing.

But on Sunday she announced a change of direction, telling a TV chat show that she had given up her life as a nun.

Appearing on the entertainment programme Verissimo in a red trouser suit and high heels, she said she now works in Spain as a waitress and hopes to continue her singing career.

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Now 34 years old, she told the show: “Change is a sign of evolution, and I’m always afraid of it because it is easier to anchor oneself to one’s certainties. But I felt I had to do what I’ve done.”

She said that while she still retained her Catholic faith, she had been shaken by the death of her father. She had chafed against the rules and regulations of convent life and rebelled against the other nuns’ efforts to protect her from the media glare.

“I’ve never doubted God, God is life. But I could no longer grow while remaining within the rules. My dad died and I decided to take a sabbatical year, a year of silence and travel.”

She has no regrets about having been a nun for nearly 15 years, she said. “Sister Cristina is within me. I have had a marvellous journey but also a complex one. They were the most beautiful years of my life.” 

Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]

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