Whether it’s because they are naturally photogenic, talented, or a combination of both, child stars and musical prodigies have always held our interest.
Shirley Temple captured the nation’s hearts with her bouncy curls and enthusiastic dancing and singing. Under the auspices of driven stage mothers and the studio system during Hollywood’s Golden Age, children attained a type of hard-won stardom.
Old movies of both Temple and Mickey Rooney fascinate us as much as today’s videos of any winsome child who displays prodigious talent at an early age.
Take for example Jackie Evancho‘s inspirational story. Discovered on America’s Got Talent at the tender age of ten, she looks like an angel with her blue eyes, blonde hair and sweet smile. She also has the voice of an operatic soprano, and her version of Giacomo Puccini’s “O Mio Babbino Caro” has over 11.5 million views on YouTube:
America’s Got Talent has fostered many other children’s singing careers by giving them unprecedented exposure, whether they get beyond the semi-finalist stage or not. Kaitlyn Maher is the youngest person ever to make it as a Top 10 Finalist on “America’s Got Talent.” The video below is of adorable sounding four-year old Kaitlyn with over 22 million views on YouTube:
Now seven years old, Kaitlyn has had a busy schedule in the last three years, including singing at the White House and at numerous professional sporting events, appearing in major motion pictures and national television shows.
For children who aren’t competing on nationally televised talent shows like “Talent,” YouTube makes it easier than ever to attain Andy Warhol’s predicted 15 minutes of fame (and beyond). Young kids are posting a plethora of videos of themselves performing covers of popular songs, from Adele to rap to Lady Gaga on the popular website.
Maria Aragon is one such child, who began posting videos of herself singing covers on YouTube at the age of seven. In the video below (her 72nd!), Maria Aragon covers Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” singing and accompanying herself on a keyboard. The video led her to perform two concerts in Toronto with Lady Gaga in March 2011, and has garnered over 48 million views on YouTube:
On the international front, Caroline Costa, a French native, sounds like a pop star decades older than her 15 years. Her biography reveals an early inclination towards music and singing, nurtured by her parents and family. This video of her singing three years ago when she was only twelve has garnered over 18 million views on YouTube.
The trio Vasquez Sounds is made up of siblings: Ángela (10 years old), Gustavo (13) and Abelardo(15) Vázquez Espinoza. Their father Abelardo has worked with Reik, Nikki Clan and Camila, as well as producing the trio’s highly professional looking videos. Vasquez Sounds’ cover of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep reached #1 on YouTube in Mexico and has nearly 40 million total views:
RealityChangers is the YouTube moniker of law student, photographer, writer and visual artist Jorge Narvaez who also plays guitar and has a great singing voice. The video below, a cover of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” features Narvaez performing with his expressive daughter Alexa. It’s hard to say how viral or popular the video would have been with only the father singing, or with only the child singing, but together, this video has garnered over 17 million views.
Sophia Grace Brownlee and cousin Rosie are two British girls who enjoy performing covers of popular rap tunes. They have made repeat appearances recently on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Here is their hugely popular version of ”Turn My Swag On” by Keri Hilson which has gotten 7 million views on YouTube:
Ellen DeGeneres asked them to cover the Grammys, and offered them new costumes and tiaras to wear, which the little girls were only too thrilled to accept.
On a subsequent episode of Ellen, to their unbridled delight, Sophia who is eight years old and Rosie, who is only five, both got to meet Nicki Minaj. Minaj was extraordinarily supportive and urged them to stay in school while continuing their musical endeavors.
The Melody Book encourages all children to express themselves and share their talents with the YouTube “nation.” You never know, your dreams could come true!
Stay tuned for our next post in our series of YouTube pint-sized stars.
Do you have a favorite video of a young singer performing a cover of a popular song? Please share your favorites in the comments below!