You probably haven't heard of Grace VanderWaal yet, but there's a good chance you will. The 12-year-old singer has been blazing a path through the current season of America's Got Talent, earning heaps of praise from the judges, who've compared her to Taylor Swift, with good reason.
On Tuesday night (Aug. 23), the preternaturally mature singer from Suffern, New York, did it again, crushing hearts with an original ukulele ballad inspired by her older sister, Olivia, entitled "Beautiful Thing." She earned a rare standing ovation from hard-to-please judge Simon Cowell, who said even though she hit some bum notes, it was perfect.
Just recently, the “America’s Got Talent” Season 11 finalist shared a photo of herself via her Instagram account. In the pic, the 12-year-old singer/composer looks as though she is contemplating about something very important. As it turns out, Vanderwaal has passed by an ice cream shop and wanted to buy dessert. However, she didn’t bring her Lactaid at the time, so she couldn’t indulge in a scoop or two.
Meanwhile, Vanderwaal is gearing up for the semifinals on the hit NBC reality TV show. This week, the Suffern native wowed all four judges after she sang an original composition that she wrote for her sister, according to Billboard. “Beautiful Thing” is about Vanderwaal and her sister’s relationship with each other. As best friends, the singer said that she never gets bored when she’s spending time with her sibling.
Grace VanderWaal, the 12-year-old break-out singer and ukulele player on this season of America's Got Talent, has impressed the un-impressable Simon Cowell, melted our hearts and showed off true and original talent. And that was all before the semi-finals.
VanderWaal performed an original song on Tuesday's show, and the lyrics are pretty autobiographical: "I can't stop dancing like no one's around/And yeah, I think we were born to shine."
Heidi Klum gushed that she's "the real deal," and Howie Mandel said she "can win this." And her (possibly) biggest fan Simon Cowell called her the "next generation." Not bad for just 12 years, right?
The ukulele-playing Grace VanderWaal has captivated TV audiences since her audition for 'America's Got Talent.' Will she be the next star to emerge in this era of young female musicians?
Grace's girlish charm, confidence, and sophisticated vocal talent not only got her fast-tracked to the next round with judge Howie Mandel’s golden buzzer, but has earned her the title of "the Next Taylor Swift" and put her in the position to really influence music in the coming years.
"This is very simple. Every idea comes from you, the songs come from you, and you sing for a new generation," Simon Cowell told Grace on stage last night. "I am so flattered you chose to come on 'America's Got Talent.' "
It is the potential for huge culture-shifting popularity, rather than a musical similarity, that many, including Grace, see in the comparison between Grace and Taylor.