ROME - After stunning judges and viewers of Italy's version of The Voice on national television earlier this year, Sister Cristina Scuccia is raising eyebrows once again with the song she has chosen to release for her first single, complete with video.
The singing nun delivers an almost hymn-like cover of one of the most notorious songs from Madonna (No, not that Madonna; the pop star) - Like A Virgin. Watch the video here:
Variety.com and other entertainment websites reported that Sister Crussina, 26, told the Italian Catholic daily Avvenire that she chose the song "with no intention to provoke or scandalise".
She calls it "a testimony of God's capacity to turn all things into something new".
Indeed, the video shows her singing Like A Virgin softly, almost like a prayer, against the backdrops of Italy's religious sites and pastoral countryside, gesturing to stone churches and statues surrounding her.
Looking a bit like Julie Andrews crooning the Sound of Music in the Swiss mountains in the classic movie musical, and nowhere near like Madonna in many of her videos, Sister Crussina is modestly-dressed in her black nun's habit, plain black shoes and crucifix.
But coming ahead of the release of her forthcoming first album, music-watchers are already saying the move is calculated one that's to ignite massive sales of the nun's album when it is released on Nov 11.
On it, Succia also covers songs including Cyndi Lauper's True Colours, Coldplay's Fix You, Duran Duran's Ordinary World, and Keane's Somewhere Only We Know, as well as two original tracks
Scuccia became a nun in 2010, according to reports, after what she has described as "rebellious" years as a teenager and years of vocal training. In March, she became an immediate global sensation on The Voice when she covered Alicia Keys' No One before the performance went viral on YouTube and attracted more than 50 million hits on YouTube. She won the contest in June.
Variety.com reported Scuccia also telling Avvenire of Like a Virgin that: "Reading the text, without being influenced by previous interpretations, you discover that it is a song about the power of love to renew people, to rescue them from their past.
"We have transformed this song from the pop-dance piece which it was, into a romantic ballad, a bit like the ones by Amos Lee. Something more similar to a lay prayer, than to a pop piece."