13-Year-Old Heart Patient Gets Standing O on Broadway

Amelia O'Connell and Stevie Wonder
Amelia O'Connell and Stevie Wonder. Photo courtesy New York Post.

At a fundraiser for Paul Newman’s Hole in the Wall Gang Camp for kids with cancer and other illnesses, a 13-year-old British girl who was born with a heart defect scored the only standing ovation of the night on a lineup including Stevie Wonder, John Mellencamp and Bette Midler.

Amelia O’Connell of Liverpool, England, sang her unique rendition of Somewhere Over the Rainbow in front of a star-studded audience at Avery Fisher Hall on Thursday.  Despite being in the presence of Tom Hanks, Sting, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, Reese Witherspoon, Renee Zellweger and Alec Baldwin, O’Connell told The New York Post after the show, “I wasn’t nervous at all. I didn’t even think about it — I just sang.”

O’Connell wants to be a singer-songwriter when she grows up, and from the sound of things, she’s well on her way.  Take a listen:

O’Connell’s sweet voice reminds me of Jackie Evancho, the 10-year-old opera singer who made a splash on this season of America’s Got Talent.  The U.K.’s Mirror reports that O’Connell’s mom, Paula, is enormously proud of her daughter.  She says, “Looking at Amelia, I realise how lucky she is to be alive and well.”  And living her dream.

For more information on Hole in the Wall Gang Camp, visit their website.

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