When NBC aired its reality series “America’s Got Talent” earlier this month, it may have also launched the career of 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal.
If the last name sounds familiar, it should: dad Dave is marketing VP for LG Electronics USA, and his daughter, following her debut appearance on the TV show, has lit up the Internet, earning her more than 120 million Facebook viewings, 72,000 Twitter followers and over 155,000 YouTube subscribers at press time.
What sparked the viral outbreak and earned ecstatic praise from the judge’s panel was an almost preternatural display of talent and poise during what was the child’s first public appearance. Alone on the stage, Grace sweetly performed an original song and accompanied herself on ukulele, while family members and host Nick Cannon held their breath in the wings.
Afterwards, amid a standing ovation from panel and audience, judge Howie Mandel described her as “a living, beautiful, walking miracle,” and the usually scowling Simon Cowell declared her “the next Taylor Swift.” Grace will move on in the competition after earning a rare “golden buzzer” from Mandel.
Congratulations Dave — and good luck Grace! We’re rooting for you.