Katherine, who recently signed a 5.8 million deal as part of a bid to break the US, will hold a spectacular New Year's Day party for friends and relatives in the South Wales town where her talent was nurtured by the local choir
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LA-bound Katherine bids farewell to Neath with 25k cricket club do

30 DECEMBER 2008
Living out of a suitcase on a round of glamorous engagements has clearly not lessened Katherine Jenkins' ties with the small Welsh town where she grew up.

Before heading off on a three-month tour which she hopes will make her name in America the down-to-earth mezzo-soprano will mark New Year's Day with a dinner-dance in Neath, South Wales - and she's invited 80 relatives and pals to celebrate the occasion with her.

The 28-year-old has reportedly spent 25,000 on hiring the local council-run cricket pavilion, which will be the venue for a bash featuring bubbly and a sumptuous banquet. Katherine organised the celebration to show her gratitude to those who've stood by her during her rise to the top.

"This is Kathy's way of saying thank you," a friend told the Daily Mirror. "She's spent a small fortune on buckets of champagne and a hell of a spread of food."

In 2009 the classical music sensation will spend three months in the US working with celebrated singer-songwriter David Foster on an album specifically aimed at the American market, with greater emphasis placed on her cross-over repertoire. She also hopes to take up an invitation from Placido Domingo to visit him at his LA base to take master classes.

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