From the moment Karise Eden stepped onto the stage and into our living rooms as a contestant on The Voice, she captivated the country not only with her remarkable talent, but with her compelling back story.
We came to learn that even though she was only 19, her life had already been marred by extended stints in women's refuges and prolonged estrangement from her family.
As she stood on stage in the blind auditions and belted out the Janis Joplin classic, 'It's A Man's World", her 'foster parents' a kindly old couple from the NSW Central Coast stood in the wings and wept tears of pride.
But weeks later, when she was crowned winner of the TV show juggernaut and proclaimed by her mentor, Seal to be the "new queen of Australian soul" the foster parents, Auntie Marilyn and Uncle Frank were gone and in their place was the mother and sister we had all believed had no role in her life.
And so people began to ask: what exactly is the Karise Eden story?
In a series of exclusive interviews in the August issue of The Australian Women's Weekly, Karise's friends and family explain the troubled childhood that gave rise to the country's newest singing sensation.
Karise's relationship with her mother, fears among friends on the NSW Central Coast about her capacity to handle the sudden onset of fame, plus the exact nature of her relationship with 'foster parents' Frank and Marilyn and their reaction to being left out of the post-victory proceedings are all revealed.
"The girl has demons that she has to deal with," says one friend interviewed for the article.
As the singer's debut album enjoys its fourth week at the top of the music charts, those closest to her provide a revealing account of a young woman with a remarkable talent and a chequered past.
As one friend puts it: "She's an amazing young lady who has had to deal with so much in her life and to have come through with such confidence really is a credit to her."
Read more of this story in the August issue of The Australian Women's Weekly.
Video: Karise Eden's blind audition