3-year-old Drake Grillo made history as the youngest performer of “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the Carrier Dome in Syracuse, New York.
Not everyone can handle singing to a crowd of six thousand, and that number can seem larger than life if you’re a toddler. But Drake Grillo wowed his audience as he calmly took the microphone and without hesitation, sang the National Anthem.
Wearing a Syracuse jersey, jeans, and high-top sneakers, the tiny singer, stole the hearts of the crowd who gave him a standing ovation. He also got some fist-bumps from the players for his excellent work.
His mother, Chelsea, said he learned the words through watching games on television, so it was fitting that he sang to open a Syracuse University Women’s basketball game. Drake usually practiced by singing into a toy microphone at home. She shared,
“I just think he’s too little to realize how big of a deal it is. We just try to stay calm for him and not really talk it up. We don’t ask him if he’s nervous. So then maybe he won’t think of that. I don’t think he really knows what nervous is yet.”
It was a different experience for 9-year-old Coco Jones, who stood nervously in the middle of the field. She tried to keep still while she was being introduced but constantly shifted as if to steady her nerves.
But what happened next was just amazing. Coco’s powerful voice flowed through impressing everyone with her rendition of the National Anthem. Many were surprised at how such a sound could come from a little girl.
She seemed to realize in the end that it went very well because after her performance she blew a kiss to the audience and cheered, “Go Rams!” as she exited.
Today she has grown into a beautiful and confident young singer, who has signed on with Disney and starred in the musical television film, “Let It Shine.”
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