Whatever happened to olympic singer Nikki Webster

The spritely 13-year-old who floated 80 feet above Sydney's Olympic Stadium in the opening ceremonies of the Olympics a year ago is now an Australian superstar.

Winsome Nikki Webster thrilled crowds with her poise and charm. An estimated 3.5 billion viewers worldwide watched her sing and soar. Not since Olivia Newton-John and Kylie Minogue has an Australian girl garnered so much attention.

Since the Olympics, Webster has been generating a buzz. She has her own website, a part in a movie ("Vanilla Gorilla") that will be shot in South Africa, and, most recently, the lead role of Dorothy in a traveling theatrical production of "The Wizard of Oz."

Her single "Strawberry Kisses" (released in June) hit No. 2 on the Australian music charts. Her new album "Depend on Me" was released in September.

While fame is nothing new to her (she has appeared in TV commercials and theater productions for 10 years), fame of this magnitude is.

Webster's mother, who works at a child-care center, and her father, an electrician, make sure Nikki keeps a proper perspective.

"She's never wanted money," her mother, Tina, told the Sydney Morning Herald. "Whatever she needs comes out of Mum's purse.... We don't even take one cent out of her account...."

Do you suddenly wonder, hey - 'Whatever happened to... ?'

Wonder no more! Write and tell us who or what you'd like to catch up with. Send ideas to: One Norway St., Boston, MA 02115 or e-mail: whatever@csmonitor.com

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