Wales

Mary Hopkin releases a new single for Christmas

Mary Hopkin
Image caption The new song is called 'Iesu Faban', meaning Baby Jesus in Welsh

Sixties singer Mary Hopkin is making a Christmas comeback after taking a 30-year break to raise her family.

The 64-year-old from Pontardawe, near Swansea, has recorded a traditional Christmas carol with her son and daughter as backing singers.

Mary knocked the Beatles off the Number One slot in 1968 with her debut single Those were the Days.

Earlier that year her success story began when she won the talent show Opportunity Knocks at 18.

She released several Welsh-language albums with Cambrian Recordings as well as being signed by the Beatles's label Apple Records.

'As good as ever'

Image caption Folk singer Mary Hopkin was signed with the Beatles's label Apple Records

Mary temporarily retired from recording when she married producer Tony Visconti and mostly left the music business to bring up her children.

But she is back with a new single and taking on Band Aid 30 to be Christmas number one.

The song Iesu Faban - meaning Baby Jesus in Welsh - is described as a "close, intimate choral performance of a traditional Welsh Christmas carol" on Mary's website.

Mary, now divorced, still lives a reclusive life in Wales where she helps daughter Jessica run a music studio in Cardiff.

A family friend said: "Mary put her family before the music scene - and even her new single features her children.

"But she has never stopped singing and her new single shows her voice is as good as ever."

The singer helped out when her daughter Jessica Lee Morgan launched her own career in 2010, by recording backing vocals on the debut album.

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