Nun Who Won Italy’s The Voice Is No Longer a Nun

The so-called “Singing Nun” who stunned The Voice of Italy, winning the reality TV singing competition in 2014, is no longer a nun. Cristina Scuccia was a member of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family convent in Milan when she auditioned on the Italian version of the popular reality television series, causing late judge Raffaella Carrà to say he “couldn’t speak for several minutes” after her rendition of Alicia Keys’ “No One.” After winning, she released an album (complete with a cover of Madonna’s “Like a Virgin”) that she sent to the pope. But Scuccia, now 34, said on an Italian talk show Sunday night that she’s left consecrated religious life after nearly 15 years, although she has not abandoned her faith, and is now a waitress in Spain, the Guardian reports. Among her reasoning was a desire to spend more time with family, per the Telegraph.

“I believe that you need to listen to your heart with courage. Change is a sign of evolution, but it is always scary because it is easier to anchor oneself to one’s certainties rather than questioning oneself,” said Scuccia, who no longer wears glasses and now has a nose ring. “I chose to follow my heart without thinking about what people would say about me.” A psychologist helped her process the shift, she added, noting, “I could no longer grow while remaining within the rules. ” She says she also wants to continue singing. A church source says, “Leaving was her own decision, after appearing on TV so much you perhaps lose the compass a little. She was young and under a lot of pressure. … Cristina reached such high levels of fame—she was getting calls from around the world—and also some criticism, which probably left her in a state of confusion.” (Read more The Voice stories.)

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