Elvis Presley is not just a tough act to follow, he’s an impossible act to follow. Even if nobody can outdo the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll at his own songs, there are artists who have created their own interpretations of his work and done a really good job, too. One of them is a young lady named Grace VanderWaal.
Grace was born in Kansas and raised in Upstate New York. At the age of three, she was already singing an making up songs of her own. Several years later, she found inspiration in movies, thinking about what a character was feeling and then imagining the song she’d write if she was in their shoes. When she was 11, Grace invested her birthday money in a ukulele and taught herself how to play by watching on-line videos. Meanwhile, in school, she picked up the saxophone (a far more difficult instrument) and played in the marching band.
A big break came the next year when Grace swept to victory on “America’s Got Talent.” More TV appearances followed, including “The Ellen Degeneres Show” and “The Tonight Show.” Later the same year, she signed with Columbia Records and released her first album. A performance at Madison Square Garden led the New York Times to report, “One of the loudest receptions of the night was for Grace VanderWaal, a precociously thoughtful 12 year-old singer-songwriter-ukulele player.”
For a sample of Grace’s incredible musical ability, have a look at the video posted below. She’s singing her version of Elvis’ immortal “Can’t Help Falling in Love” while strumming along on the ukulele. She isn’t simply imitating the King but instead putting a lot of herself into creating something new.
How did you like what this incredibly talented young lady did with this classic ballad? We’d love to hear your review in the comments section below. Be sure to like and share, too!