Whitney Houston has some competition when it comes to iconic performances of the National Anthem, and this time it’s in the form of a seven-year-old girl who opened a Los Angeles Galaxy game with the performance over the weekend, according to reports from TMZ.
While it wouldn’t be really fair to compare her to Houston just yet, the young Malea Emma, described as “tiny but mighty,” proved she has what it takes to pull off the iconic anthem, leaving an entire stadium in stunned admiration. When the Galaxy tweeted out the video of Emma’s rendition, they referred to it without using any hyperbole as, “one of the best national anthem performances in Stub Hub Center history.”
With a performance clocking in at just under two minutes, Emma wowed everyone in attendance, soccer superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic among them. Ibrahimovic smiled with approval for the rendition. Later that evening he tweeted that she was the “MVP of the game!”
Emma eared the chance to perform on the field at the StubHub Center before the Los Angeles Galaxy played the Seattle Sounders, through a competition run by the club. The Galaxy challenged all singers to submit a video of themselves performing the National Anthem using the hashtag #GalaxySocial, with the best performance winning the chance to sing before a game.
Emma won the contest with a recorded performance that was beyond all others and when she made it to the game she proved there were no audio tricks behind her voice, taking advantage of the opportunity and becoming a viral star in the process.
With the Galaxy defeating the Sounders 3-0, with Ibrahimovic scoring one the goals, after Emma’s rousing performance, she may be the good luck charm the team needs. It has to be expected that this won’t be the final time we see Emma perform the National Anthem, be it for the Galaxy or one of the other teams that play in the Los Angeles area, anytime soon.
The closest that anyone has come to Emma’s viral performance of the National Anthem was the veteran group Boys II Men’s rendition on the NFL’s opening night, as covered by the Inquisitr. While the NFL and its players, owners, and fans grapple with how to respond to the song in the wake of Colin Kaepernick’s kneeling protest during the anthem and subsequent inability to find a job, Boyz II Men managed to silence all of the debate, albeit for only a few minutes, and allow people to appreciate the skill it takes to perform the song.