Leire Martínez, 29, replaces Amaia, who left to work on her solo career

By People Staff
Updated July 15, 2008
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After months of keeping their secret under wraps, the Spanish music group La oreja de Van Gogh officially announced that Leire Martínez will be their new vocalist, replacing Amaia, who decided to launch a solo career.

“We feel like kids who just got a new pair of shoes”, said band members Pablo, Xavi, Álvaro and Haritz, about hiring the 29-year-old songstress when they were interviewed by Europa Press.

“I'm not worried that people might compare me to Amaia, but I am really nervous,” said the new vocalist, who also added that the new album she'll record with La Oreja de Van Gogh is slated for a September 2 release. The album will include some weighty themes, such as the 2004 Madrid terrorist attacks.

Martínez joined the group after being recommended by a friend of the band. They'd auditioned dozens of singers after Amaia announced that she was leaving, but weren't really impressed with anyone. “We saw the light when it came to Leire,” said Xavi, recognizing that the group's future was at risk when Amaia left.