20-Year-Old Blind Singer Steals the Show at the RNC With Her Take on 'The Star-Spangled Banner'
Marlana VanHoose aced the National Anthem, despite her mild cerebral palsy.
-- A 20-year-old singer who has beaten the odds in her life became the surprise hit Monday night at the Republican National Convention with her stirring rendition of “The Star-Spangled Banner.”
Marlana VanHoose brought down the house at the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The singer was born with cytomegalovirus and diagnosed as blind at a few weeks old, according to her website.
She was also diagnosed with mild cerebral palsy when she was 2.
VanHoose, who also performed the National Anthem at the 2015 NBA Finals and multiple college basketball games, said she has been singing for as long as she can remember.
“I started humming ‘Jesus Loves Me’ as a baby, before I could even talk,” she said today on “Good Morning America.” “God gave me the gift of singing and music.”
VanHoose said she did not have stage fright before facing Republican delegates on the same night that presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump also appeared on stage.
VanHoose said she has not met Trump but would like to.
The singer, who counts Adele and Shania Twain among her favorite singers, is also a huge University of Kentucky Wildcats fan.
When asked her favorite thing about Wildcats’ basketball games, VanHoose said, “I like the crowd. I like the cheerleaders. The band. The excitement. When people get loud because the ‘Cats score.”