The season 11 sensation won the million dollar prize and headlining show in Las Vegas on Wednesday's season finale after wowing on the finals with her original song "Clay."
After host Nick Cannon announced her name, 12-year-old Vanderwaal burst into tears. "How does it feel? These are tears of joy, right?" he asked before she responded, "Yes, of course!"
During the show, she performed her viral audition song "I Don't Know My Name" to a packed audience, including special guest Stevie Nicks, who Grace got to later introduced before the Fleetwood Mac band member performed "Landslide."
"I have been watching this show from the very beginning. I have to say she reminds me a lot of me in a lot of ways," Nicks said to Vanderwaal. "We sing very similar ... we like to be weird and perky and we like to be a little different ... and not like anybody else."
It’s not a big surprise that Grace VanderWaal was crowned winner during the “America’s Got Talent” finale Wednesday night. The 12-year-old singer and ukulele player became a favorite of the judges and the crowd during her first appearance on the NBC show in June, when she belted out her original song, “I Don’t Know My Name.”
“You are the next Taylor Swift,” difficult-to-impress judge Simon Cowell declared at the time. The girl from New York state writes her own songs and croons with a voice mature beyond her years.
“Your silly words, I won’t live inside your world. ‘Cause your punches and your names, all your jokes and stupid games, they don’t work,” she sang. “No, they don’t hurt. Watch them just go right through me, because they mean nothing to me. Try to change my shape, but, baby, I’m not clay. Sorry, not today.”
When she auditioned for America's Got Talent, 12-year-old singer songwriter Grave VanderWaal was dubbed "the next Taylor Swift" by judge Simon Cowell – a compliment she called "truly amazing." And it looks like Swift might agree!
After VanderWaal was crowned AGT's big winner on Wednesday, the 26-year-old "Shake it Off" singer sent her some "mad love" on Friday – in the form of an oversized bouquet of assorted flowers.
The lookalike pre-teen shared her reaction to the gift on Twitter – jumping up and down and screaming in surprise.
It's official: America's Got Talent winner Grace VanderWaal has inked a deal with Simon Cowell's Syco Music and Columbia Records, Billboard confirms.
The 12-year-old singer and ukulele player -- who became a sensation from her very first audition when judge Howie Mandel hit the coveted Golden Buzzer -- will see her Syco deal land at Columbia Records, home to Adele, One Direction, Beyonce, Bruce Springsteen, Barbra Streisand and more.
While on America's Got Talent, VanderWaal earned praise from Stevie Nicks, who told host Nick Cannon: "she reminds me a lot of me in a lot of ways. She's got it. Whatever happens, Grace is going to the top."
Dubbed "the next Taylor Swift" by Cowell, that same superstar singer even sent VanderWaal a huge bouquet of flowers to wish her congratulations.