You may not remember the 2012 season of the X Factor USA. During that season, Britney Spears guest-starred as a judge and the world learned who Carly Rose Sonenclar was.
Armed with nothing but a microphone and a powerful voice, the then 13-year-old singer made the judges’ jaws drop with a performance of “Feelin’ Good.”
Right from the beginning, Carly commanded the stage.
From the first line of her song, she had the audience screaming. Immediately, the judges’ faces brightened. And judge Simon Cowell, known for his harsh critiques, sat still and attentive in his chair. He looked amazed at the powerful voice he was hearing.
Her voice would be impressive at any age.
What makes it even more amazing is that Carly was only 13 years old at the time. At that age, most people are just finishing middle school, not performing for the entire nation and some of the biggest talent scouts in the music industry.
But Carly was never a stranger to the limelight.
She first starred on Broadway when she was seven years old in a revival of Les Misérables. Her confidence totally reflects her experience on the stage. Her first audition on X Factor USA showcased her powerful, jazzy vocals, her amazing range, and her excellent vocal control.
Carly made a permanent name for herself during the season of X Factor. She went all the way to the finals, ultimately placing second in the competition behind winner Tate Stevens.
Since appearing on X Factor, however, Carly hasn’t been idle.
She’s now 20 years old and a respected musical artist. She is working on a debut album and has performed with Boyce Avenue. She also does many live performances, especially for sick children. She is a passionate ambassador for the EnCourage Kids Foundation and performs at Mt. Sinai Hospital’s KidZone TV.
She also performed at the opening of the 19th Maccabiah Games in Jerusalem.
“Some of the most rewarding moments are when I meet with or get a note from a fan who tells me that they felt better after listening to me sing. That is really what matters,” she says.
But she hasn’t forgotten her start as a 13-year-old appearing on the X Factor. Carly’s teenage years weren’t like most. Where most teens are going to school and figuring out who they are, she was performing all over the world.
Now, she’s looking forward to producing her own original content instead of just performing covers.
“I am so excited for the future,” she said. “I am finally getting ready to release my original music, and I can’t wait for everyone to hear it!”
Simon Cowell often says that when he sees someone truly talented perform, he feels as though he is present at a historic moment — a moment that people will call the beginning of a star’s career. No doubt he felt it that day in 2012 when he first saw 13-year-old Carly Rose Sonenclar perform.
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