This past summer, Richmond native Fraser Walters sang for the Queen during her Diamond Jubilee at Windsor Castle.
Over the last few years, he's also shared the stage with legendary superstars Andrea Bocelli, Sting and Paul McCartney, appeared with Celine Dion on "The Oprah Show" and performed during the 2011 Emmy Awards.
As one of The Canadian Tenors, a sexy all-male pop-opera quartet, Walters has experienced phenomenal success in less than five years.
"Trust me, I still pinch myself sometimes," quipped Walters.
If that wasn't enough, in 2009, The Tenors - which also includes Canadians Clifton Murray, Remigio Pereira and Victor Micallef - performed a private concert for Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and presidents and ministers from around the world.
The News got a hold of Walters in Nova Scotia, where the guys were filming an impromptu street entertainment video to promote The Tenors new CD, Lead With Your Heart - a 12-track album with a number of their own songs.
The singer/songwriter took time out of a whirlwind 12-city Canadian tour to speak to the News.
This new album, he added, is a blend of world music, pop, opera and folk.
Although the 32-year-old has achieved incredible success and garnered worldwide attention, family is still important to him.
Walters made a quick stop to Richmond recently for Vancouver's We Day 2012.
"I took my 14-year-old niece Kayla to We Day," said the affable Walters. "Kayla had a great time... I never have enough time back home."
Two weeks earlier, Walters was in Toronto for its We Day. The Tenors wrote a theme song, "Free the Children", which they performed for the Toronto We Day concert with Divine Brown and a new rap star Young Stitch.
"We also sang during a post-dinner with Desmond Tutu and Magic Johnston in attendance," added Walters.
So the question begged to be asked: Does life get any better than that?
Yes, added Walters.
Last August, he married singer Kelly Levesque, a New Yorker who has also shared the stage with luminaries such as Bocelli and is currently on tour with Michael Bolton.
The Tenors shot to fame when Grammy award-winning producer/songwriter David Foster took them under his wing.
"David was a crucial part of taking us to the next level," he said, adding hard work and great music were the other winning components. "He's given us so many incredible opportunities, including 'The Oprah Show.'"
It's dizzying to think how fast success came to these guys. In 2007, The Canadian Tenors released their first CD and less than two years later, in September 2009, the group was on tour with Foster as the opening act.
Walters doesn't have as much time to come home to Richmond, but when he does he spends it with family and friends.
"I grew up riding my bike in Steveston so when I come back, I love running on the dyke," he said. "Breathing that fresh air is so grounding."
His first taste at stardom was in 2003.
Walters was the youngest tenor soloist.
"It's not every day that someone gets out of UBC and gets onto an award-winning ensemble," said Walters back in 2003 when he spoke to the News.
Ten years earlier, as a star-struck 12-year-old, Walters saw the world-renowned all-male vocal ensemble when they performed with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.
Even though their schedule is crazy busy, The Tenors have been lending their voices for charity, Voices for Bulembu. The foursome joined forces with a team of entrepreneurs and social developers who aim to restore Bulembu to a self-sustaining community by 2020, and more importantly for the guys, to house and care for 2,000 of its orphans.
Since 2008, The Tenors have raised more than $2.2 million to help the orphans of Bulembu, as well as Free the Children.
"This hope is especially embodied in the children of Bulembu who, with continued support, now have the opportunity to become the country's future leaders."
Back in 2008, The Tenors filmed their moving and often emotional experience for a documentary, which fans can see portions of on their website.
"We also had an opportunity to perform a concert with local elementary children and children from the orphanage," says Walters.
In the meantime, Walters will make a Christmas visit to Richmond after The Tenors wrap up their last concert on Dec. 22 before the holidays.
"I should have around four or five days in Richmond," added Walters. "My mother is planning a carol sing-along on December 23. Then, we will hang out with my niece and nephew, and get that token ski trip up to Whistler."
Then it's back on the road. In the New Year, the multi-platinum vocalists will be heading back on the road on a 70-city tour across North America, including a stop on Feb. 5 at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.
For more information about The Tenors, visit www.thetenorsmusic.com.
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