2016 Newsmakers of the Year: The Next Taylor Swift?

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America met Grace VanderWaal, the 12-year-old daughter of LG Electronics marketing VP Dave VanderWaal, when she sheepishly walked onto the stage of the talent reality show America’s Got Talent in June, armed with a ukulele and a charming original song, “I Don’t Know My Name.” In three minutes she went from unknown to America’s sweetheart.

Grace sang and played her way into the judge’s hearts and the live performance phase of the competition, and three months later she took the show’s crown. She has since signed a record deal with Columbia Records, released her first EP, Perfectly Imperfect, and has continued to perform all over, including a string of shows in Las Vegas, at the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and at halftime of a New York Knicks game at Madison Square Garden.

She has appeared as a guest on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” “The Today Show,” “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon,” “The Wendy Williams Show” and performed at Cindi Lauper’s annual fundraiser at the Beacon Theater, duetting with Lauper on “True Colors.” She was also named to Billboard‘s 2016 21 Under 21 list of “music’s hottest young stars.” Her YouTube performance videos have tens of millions of views.

TWICE was with her all the way. Way to go Grace!

See the rest of the 2016 Newsmakers of the Year. 

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