Tackling our national anthem is no easy task, and the ball fields of America are strewn with performers who couldn’t quite make the grade.
Malea Emma Tjandrawidjaja, however, won’t be counted among them. She’s only 7, but when she stood in front of over 25,000 fans at the StubHub Center in Los Angeles Sunday night ahead of the LA Galaxy soccer game, she totally knocked “The Star-Spangled Banner” out of the park.
Described as “tiny but mighty” by the game announcer, Tjandrawidjaja (who is Indonesian-American) wore an oversized LA Galaxy shirt, hummed the first line to herself, raised her left arm and … totally killed it.
The Washington Post called it “part Christina Aguilera and part Whitney Houston — and all soul.”
Our favorite part? The very end, when she thanks the audience and offers a big wave.
“She’s been singing forever,” her father, Arman Tjandrawidjaja, told USA Today. “Basically before she could speak. Always singing … Sometimes we have to tell her to be quiet.”
Despite her tender years, young Tjandrawidjaja is an entertainment veteran: She started taking singing lessons at 3, acts, models and has her own professional webpage featuring performances like Aretha Franklin’s “Think” and Radiohead’s “Creep.” You might have also caught her in commercials for Progressive Insurance and Jeep.
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Some more pictures from the singing competition yesterday. Thanks @ujaladesign for the beautiful dress! And thanks @susannah_kim for the bracelet!😍 😍 😍 . . #maleaemma #singer #singingcompetition #singingcontest #sgvgottalent #sangabrielvalleysgottalent #amazingvoice #amazingsinger #kidprodigy #childprodigy #talentedkids #1stwinner #kidsinger #childsinger #youngmusician #youngsinger #youngsoprano #kidmodel #childmodel #ootd #photooftheday #photography #entertainmentphotographer
Having now conquered Los Angeles, Tjandrawidjaja still has at least one more dream to fulfill, according to her dad.
“If you ask her, her main wish is to sing with Christina Aguilera,” he said. “That is her main goal. She is her favorite singer. But for us, well, she is still pretty young. We don’t know where this will end up going. We are just trying to introduce her to a lot of opportunities.”
This is definitely not the last we have seen, or heard, of Malea Emma!