Nianell, born Sonia Aletta Nel in Omaruru, Namibia, is a South African singer, pianist, guitarist and composer. After growing up in Windhoek, Nianell graduated with a 3 year diploma in light music from Pretoria Technikon in South Africa and has also studied classical music at Trinity College in London, UK and the University of South Africa.
She has a four-octave vocal range and her songs have been described as including "elements of Folk, Pop, R&B, Country, Classic and even Celtic music". Four of her albums; "Who Painted The Moon?", "Angel Tongue", "Life's Gift", and "I Know I'm Lucky", have reached platinum status in South Africa. In April 2011 she released her first album in the United States.
Nianell has shared a stage with Christina Aguilera, Andrea Bocelli, Westlife, Diana Ross, Shakira, Freshly Ground, and the Grammy Award winning Soweto Gospel Choir. She released a duet album with Dozi and another duet album with Afro-Pop artists Romanz will be released in May 2011.
She has performed in South Africa, Namibia, Botswana, Zambia, Ireland, Belgium, Germany, Latvia, France, and the United Kingdom.
She and her husband, Andrew Thompson, have triplets, all girls.
In 1998 she played netball in the Namibian national team.
First Platinum Hit:
Nianell got her International First Platinum Hit with her song "Who Painted The Moon?" The composition was covered by another international superstar Hayley Westernra on the album "Pure." The album sold over 2 million copies and Nianell's version was featured as a single on this album.
Nianell has won 2 SAMA Awards for her song "Angel Tongue" winning "Best English Contemporary album" and "Best Female songwriter for 'We'll Find A Way'"