In 2002, an unknown girl from Pennsylvania was chosen to sing the national anthem on Arthur Ashe Stadium during that year’s US Open.
Her name? Taylor Swift.
On Tuesday, June 30, 60 kids arrived at the Queens Theatre in Flushing, N.Y., for the callbacks of the ninth annual US Open Casting Call, hoping to take the first steps toward a similar career. After advancing through an initial round of online video submissions, these young talents were selected to vie for the chance to sing “America the Beautiful” in Arthur Ashe Stadium for up to 24,000 fans.
All participants were reviewed by a panel of judges that included Leane Romeo, president of Overland Entertainment; Melissa Victor, vice president of Island Def Jam Records; Ken DiCamillo, an agent with William Morris Endeavor; and Moises Belizario, producer and artistic director of City Kids.
“Having that experience of performing in Arthur Ashe Stadium is an incredible confidence boost for them. It’s a huge achievement,” said DiCamillo. “To be on national television like that is something you just can’t quantify.”
Swift isn’t the only major recording artist who landed a major break by performing the national anthem at the US Open. Bea Miller sang under the lights in 2008 and went on to finish in second place on “The X Factor” in 2012.
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