It’s not everyday that music mogul Simon Cowell is so rhapsodic about a vocalist that he proclaims her a “star” on national television after a single iconic tune.
By Janice Llanes Fabry
It’s not everyday that music mogul Simon Cowell is so rhapsodic about a vocalist that he proclaims her a “star” on national television after a single iconic tune. Last week, however, the critical, often harsh TV judge was completely floored by Rye Neck’s 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar during first rounds of auditions on the “X Factor,” a singing competition blockbuster.
The sweet, unassuming teenager commanded the stage in Providence, Rhode Island, and belted an extraordinary rendition of Nina Simone’s “Feeling Good.” Prominent record producer and fellow judge L.A. Reid threw up his hands in disbelief, while fellow judge pop star Britney Spears called Carly a “little diva.” After a standing ovation, the performer soared right through to the next rounds.
As Carly said afterwards, “Everything I’ve been doing all my life just paid off. I’ll remember that for the rest of my life.”
Already a consummate performer, the young singer with the soulful voice has appeared on Broadway in “Les Miserables” as Young Cosette and in a production of “Show Boat” at Carnegie Hall. She has also appeared in the popular movies, “Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants II” and “The Nanny Diaries.” On the small screen, she played Gilda Flip on PBS’ “The Electric Company.” The precocious singer has also sung the national anthem at Madison Square Garden for the Knicks and at the US Open. In addition, Carly is an ambassador for the Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Well under way to becoming a superstar, she will continue competing on the “X Factor,” which airs 8 p.m. on Wednesdays and Thursdays on the Fox channel. In addition to invaluable national exposure, the competition’s champion will win a $5 million recording contract. For Carly, it’s all about the music. “I just sing from my heart,” she said.