Although huge in her native UK, Katherine Jenkins was an unknown when U.S. audiences saw her wow the crowd with with an elegant waltz on Monday's season-14 premiere of Dancing with the Stars. Here’s the scoop on Mark Ballas' pretty partner, who tied with Jaleel White for the evening's highest score of 26 out of 30 possible points.
She's a Welsh singer. The 31-year-old was born in Neath, Wales and is a classical opera star with several successful crossover albums. Her first, Premiere, made her the fastest-selling mezzo-soprano to date.
She's newly single. After dating TV presenter Gethin Jones for four years, they got engaged in February 2011. However, the duo announced their split on Twitter less than a year later.
She has already performed on DWTS. Jenkins sang during "Classical Week" (when Kirstie Alley lost her shoe) in April 2011, belting out arias along with a 46-piece orchestra.
She has some dance experience. The singer joined ballerina Darcey Bussell on stage in the 2008 musicial Viva La Diva.
She's motivated by fear. On her decision to be on the show she explained, "I like to conquer my phobia. I was afraid of heights. I got a pilot's license. My biggest fear was to drown, so I got a SCUBA diving license. I get embarrassed dancing by myself, so I figured why not do it in front of millions of people."
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