Photo by Ronald Woan
Lennon & Maisy Stella:
Lennon and Maisy Stella have a combined age of just 24 but at 10 and 14 years old they have already preformed to 80,000 people at the CMA festival and played multiple shows at the legendary Grand Ole Opry.
So where did this incredible musical talent come from? Growing up on a farm in Ontario, Canada with no television or internet certainly did a lot to help the development of their musical abilities but it probably has a lot to do with their genes. Their parents, Marylynne and Brad Stella are very talented musicians, better known as country music duo “The Stellas”.
2012 is the year it all began for the girls. They were both cast in the hit ABC show Nashville. This appeared to happen after their cover of “Call Your Girlfriend” went viral on Youtube but, funnily enough, they had been cast in the roles before they posted the video. As the girls were both born in Canada, they needed Visa’s to shoot in the U.S. “Call Your Girlfriend” was posted to get grab some press attention in order to get Visa’s in time to shoot the pilot of Nashville but they never could have anticipated it’s overwhelming success. The video was publish on May 29, 2012. Within a few short days it had gone viral and by the 1st of June they were in New York appearing on Good Morning America. Since then, it’s been nothing but uphill for the sisters. They’re currently starring in the 2nd season of Nashville on ABC (US) / More4 (UK) and preforming at the Opry from time to time.
6 year old genius Arden Hayes from Southern California rose to fame last year (aged 5) when he appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel Show. If you spent a lot of time on Youtube or Facebook, chances are you’ve seen the viral videos of a 5 year old Arden reciting Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address, and identifying the countries of the world and each of the capitals. His parents attribute this talent to his incredible thirst for knowledge and unbelievable memory. His interest in the U.S. presidents was sparked when Arden learned he shared a birthday with president Roosevelt. Since then his interests have spread to geography and most recently, chemistry. He appeared on The Jimmy Kimmel show for a third time a few weeks ago and demonstrated his flawless knowledge of the periodic table.
If composing an Opera by the time you are 8 doesn’t make you a child prodigy, i’m not quite sure what does. Alma Deutscher is a composer, pianist and violinist from England. At the age of 8 she had completed her first opera entitled, The Sweeper of Dreams. Both of her parents have a musical background. Her mother; an organ scholar, and father; an amateur flautist. Although they were both well versed in classical music, her parents soon found she had surpassed even their knowledge and found a teacher who could help her develop her talent. By the time she was 6 she composed her first sonata. (Sonata in E-flat for piano) Alma is often compared to the likes of Mozart, who also began composing at a similar age. However although she expressed her love of Mozart’s music she doesn’t like this comparison stating that if she “just wrote everything Mozart wrote again, it would be boring” and that she “wants to be Alma, not Mozart”.
This might seem like a dramatic leap from a presidential expert and an 8 year old composer but 11 year old Kaycee Rice certainly has just as much reason to be included on this list. Kaycee has always excelled at dance since she began taking classes at just 5 years of age but a video posted last April on Youtube is what sparked her rise to fame. With a little help from celebrities like Katy Perry, who tweeted the video, the infamous “Werk” dance routine now has over 6 million views.
The video has been met with some criticism of course (I imagine mostly from viewers without any background in dance). Although the moves are controversial for some, it’s very plain to see this girl was born to dance. As a dancer I can tell you it is very rare to find a dancer of any age, let alone 10, who can do all styles of dance as well as this kid. Kaycee is not only a hip hop dancer, she is also an excellent tap and lyrical performer. While her technique might be lost on those without a eye for dance, her passion and performance is evident to every viewer. This undeniable talent combined with some killer choreography by the amazing Tricia Miranda explains why this video is such a hit.
– Special thanks to the parents I spoke to.