Rome (AFP) - A Catholic nun has become an overnight pop sensation after stunning the jury of Italy's "The Voice" television talent show with her version of the Alicia Keys song "No One".
Sister Christina Scuccia, a 25-year-old Sicilian, bopped about on the stage in her black habit and a large cross necklace on Wednesday night's show, sparking wild cheers from the audience and stunned reactions from the four judges.
The nun, who has an easy smile and is a member of the Ursuline Sisters of the Holy Family, said: "I came here because I have a gift, and I want to share that gift." One of the judges, Italian rapper J-Ax, said he was "moved to tears."
She said she had been inspired to go on the show by Pope Francis, who "told us to come out" of our convents and spread the word of God.
Asked by judge Raffaella Carra what the Vatican thinks about her going on a talent show, she quipped: "I'm waiting for a call from the pope!"
Scuccia decided to become a nun after playing the part of a saint in a comic musical in 2007, according to Italian media reports.
The video of her performance has gone viral in Italy, with even the Vatican's minister of culture Gianfranco Ravasi tweeting his admiration.
"If I had heard you sing in mass when I was young, I'd be pope by now," J-Ax said, to the audience's delight.