George Sampson’s gravity-defying dance talents have captivated the world. This 15-year-old has been dubbed “the Rocky of dance” by Simon Cowell.
George began dancing at the age of six years old. When his single mother couldn’t afford to pay for his dance lessons, he took his break-dancing moves to the streets to help pay for them. He worked tirelessly on his trade, earning enough money to cover his tuition and support his mother and siblings. “You could tell if I didn’t work hard if I was lazy if I only completed one hour instead of three or four,” he says, “because that money would be half as much.” “I recognized then that the more effort I put in, the more money I’d make.”
George auditioned for the hit TV show Britain’s Got Talent when he was 13 years old, but the judges turned him down. However, George returned to the show a year later, unfazed by the setback. “I’ve been training harder for the last 12 months, and I’ve just gotten larger and better,” he told the judges.
George won the talent hunt in 2008 with the help of millions of spectators, taking home the $150,000 big prize. But, he claims, “I haven’t touched a dime of it.” “I told my mother I’d pay off her house mortgage, but she won’t let me.”
George is doing his victory dance to a “Singin’ in the Rain” remix, including an onstage rain shower.
George’s sudden celebrity has brought him legions of supporters, as well as a slew of female suitors! “It was a little terrifying at first, but I’m not complaining,” he says.
Do you think George has a special girl in his life? He claims that there is just one. “It was my mother who was the first.”
When George was little, he claims he was teased for dancing. “It occurs to every boy who dances at some point,” he explains. “But I kept going. They were hanging out on the streets while I was at a dancing studio with 25 other girls!”
Nora Al-Jabri is already a well-known figure in her own Norway. She began competing in Talent shows when she was eight years old, and when her sister shared a video of her singing on the Internet, she became an instant phenomenon. The 13-year-old, who aspires to perform on Broadway, came in third place in Norway’s Got Talent competition.
Norah Jones performs “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” on the Oprah Winfrey Show for the first time.
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Nora may have already achieved stardom at home, but she has no intention of slowing down. Instead, she says, “I want to make my album and write my songs.”
Nora aspires to follow in the footsteps of some very famous people. “My idol is Celine Dion. ‘She’s the one,’ I thought when I heard her perform ‘My Heart Will Go On.’ “she explains. “Beyoncé is also a good choice because she can act, sing, and dance. She is capable of completing any task.”
master pianist Lang Lang
Lang Lang, a great pianist, has been dubbed the “hottest talent on the classical music planet” by the New York Times. He started playing the piano when he was three years old, and by the age of five, he had dazzled his first audience at a public presentation. Lang Lang’s big break occurred at 17 when he was asked to stand-in for the Chicago Symphony at the last minute. Then, in 2008, his performance at the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies enthralled audiences worldwide. With his spectacular performances, Lang Lang, now 26, is selling out concert halls worldwide.
Lang Lang understands what it’s like to be a gifted child, and he’s now begun to give back to other young musicians. He just established the Lang Lang International Music Foundation, which helps bright young pianists develop their skills. According to Lang Lang, three of the Foundation’s scholars, Anna Larsen, Charlie Liu, and Derek Wang, are among the best young pianists in the world. They allegedly stole the show during their Carnegie Hall performance with the YouTube Symphony, according to critics.
Lang Lang chose Derek, Charlie, and Anna because their music impacted him. “I saw amazing, encouraging sensations as they played,” he recalls. “They can open both your heart and your eyes. You must be a pianist once you have that. Then, you must be a performer.”
Derek, Charlie, and Anna all expressed their delight at being selected as Lang Lang’s scholars. “Not only is he a fantastic pianist, but he also uses his talent to benefit society and the globe, and he’s one of my heroes,” Derek says. “I’d like to be able to play like him.”
Charlie claims that there is one aspect of his piano gift that he dislikes. He says, “I don’t like practicing.” That, according to Lang Lang, is entirely normal. “Unfortunately, we must make sacrifices by working hard in practice,” he explains. “However, music can sometimes bring us nice feelings.”
Noah Gray-Cabey first appeared on The Oprah Show stage as a remarkable young pianist who was only six years old. He’s more likely to be found in front of the camera these days than behind the keyboard. He’s appeared on hit TV shows like Grey’s Anatomy and Heroes, and he credits Oprah for everything! “After I was on, the casting director from My Wife and Kids called me and asked me to be a guest star on the show,” he says. “That’s how I got my start in acting.”
Noah says he still plays the piano at 13, but he doesn’t have much time to practice because of acting and school. Noah intends to finish high school at the age of fifteen. But, he says, “My friends love to tease me about how I won’t be able to drive until I’m a sophomore in college.”
One disadvantage of being so ahead of his time is that his dating pool may be limited. “If I want to date a girl from my class, she has to be 16,” he explains. “There is a slight age difference between them. But I’m still doing fine.”
Charice Pempengco stunned the Oprah Show audience in 2008 with her stunning rendition of Whitney Houston’s “I Have Nothing.” Since then, Charice has performed worldwide, sharing the stage with Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli, among others. In addition, Charice has purchased her mother’s first home and automobile with the money she has earned in just one year.
Charice’s outlook for the future year is also promising. Her international debut album will be released in late 2009 after acquiring a recording contract with Warner Records. She’ll also be seen in Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel, her first cinematic appearance.
“Note to God,” written by famed composer Diane Warren, is Charice’s debut single. “I had composed the song,” she adds, “and when I heard [Charice’s] voice, I knew it was the ideal song [for her].” “And, wow, did you go above and above my wildest expectations!”
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