Homeless subway singer who mesmerised with beautiful singing voice is identified

A homeless woman who captivated the world with her angelic singing voice last week has been identified.

Emily Zamourka, a 52-year-old Russian immigrant, went viral after the Los Angeles Police Department shared a video of her singing the iconic aria "O mio babbino caro," from the opera "Gianni Schicchi" by Giacomo Puccini, on Twitter.

"4 million people call LA home," the LAPD wrote on Sept. 26. "4 million stories. 4 million voices...sometimes you just have to stop and listen to one, to hear something beautiful."

Just days later, details on Zamourka began to surface, including a recent spell of bad luck that landed her on the streets.

Zamourka, who says she has had no formal vocal coaching, told ABC-affiliate KABC that she emigrated to the US from Russia when she was 24.

A trained pianist and violinist, Zamourka says she previously taught music lessons, worked several odd jobs and played her violin on the streets to make ends meet until her beloved instrument was stolen from her.

Amid recent health issues, Zamourka found herself unable to pay her rent and her surmounting medical bills, and was eventually evicted from her home.

"I am sleeping actually on the cardboard right now, in the parking lot," she told KABC. "I am sleeping where I can sleep ... I have people that feel sorry for me, but I don't want to be a burden to anybody."

Zamourka says after her violin was taken, she resorted to singing in the subway as an alternative, which is when she caught the eye of an LAPD officer at a Metro Purple Line station in Koreatown.

She says she had no idea footage of her performance was being shared widely on social media and covered by multiple media outlets until one of her friends informed her.

Zamourka told NBC-affiliate WNCB she feels thankful for her possible big break, and that she would not turn down an opportunity to sing on stage.

"If it's God's will for my life to change, then I will praise him and I will be so grateful," she told the station.

Read Full Story

FROM OUR PARTNERS