JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Even though she was the youngest competitor, 9-year-old Amara Powell stood taller than the rest Wednesday evening at the Oh Say Can You Sing finale.
The Jacksonville girl belted out all the notes to Alicia Keys' "Girl on Fire" she needed to win over the competition’s judges and audience alike to claim the $500 grand prize and the opportunity of a lifetime.
"Well I sung 'Girl on Fire' by Alicia Keys, and the reason why is because I knew I was the girl on fire," she told The Morning Show's Melanie Lawson during her victory lap on Thursday.
Now she gets to perform in front of an even bigger crowd when she sings the national anthem at “Red, White & Boom,” News4Jax’s live broadcast on the Fourth of July. It's a moment she looks forward to.
"I feel super great. I love it," said Amara, who had the largest number of the roughly 12,000 votes cast.
Amara has been singing her whole life. While she began by posting videos on Facebook, she has now been able to translate her talents into success on the big stage in front of a live television audience.
She originally auditioned for Oh Say Can You Sing simply because she loved to sing. She dreams of becoming both a singer and teacher when she grows up. For now, she's preparing for July 4.
"I don't forget the words," said Amara, who noted that she's not at all nervous about the opportunity. "I've sang that song like a million times."