When 12-year-old Grace VanderWaal stepped up on the stage of the hit reality show America’s Got Talent in 2016, she had no idea that she would go on to receive the golden buzzer from Howie Mandel and then to win the entire season, reports E! News.
The singer and ukulele player performed an original song, called “I Don’t Know My Name,” for her audition in front of millions of people, completely blowing the judges away with her talent. At the time of her audition, judge Simon Cowell asked the New York resident if she believed she could win, to which she replied, “Well I mean miracles can happen so possibly.”
The young singer commented to E! News about the special day in which she became Mandel’s golden buzzer choice.
“Every time I do something or release something or announce a new project, there’s always that fear that it won’t go well. So to have people being happy, it makes me really proud of the projects that I’ve done.”
VanderWaal has gone on from her America’s Got Talent win to participate in many other projects, with both her music and even acting, most recently landing a role in the Disney film Stargirl. Commenting on her shift into acting, the singer said, “I just wanted to switch it up and I heard about this role and I really, really wanted it to be me.”
She has also opened for the band Imagine Dragons in sold-out concerts around the country and was awarded the Rising Star award at Billboard’s annual Women in Music ceremony. On October 2, she will be launching two new signature ukuleles in partnership with Fender that will be available online and in select stores. VanderWaal shared her thoughts on the new ukulele project, as per E! News.
“I wanted these ukuleles to be pretty, but also have a great sound. Fender perfectly accomplished that and made my dream ukuleles come true. I’m seeing my passions come full circle. I think everyone has music inside them and my hope is that I can help them find it.”
The singer has also gone on to build a fan base, garnering support from celebrities all over the world. Katy Perry, Ellen DeGeneres, Reese Witherspoon, and Jason Mraz are some of the other artists who have voiced their support of the singer, and Simon Cowell even commented that he predicted VanderWaal would go on to become “the next Taylor Swift,” writes E! News.
The NBC series America’s Got Talent airs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 8 p.m.