Grace VanderWaal became known as “The Next Taylor Swift” on America’s Got Talent by performing strictly original tunes and strumming her ukulele. Prior to her AGT stardom, though, VanderWaal spent time covering other artists’ songs while developing her own skills as a lyricist and a musician.
As the youngster heads into the teenage years (she turns 13 today, Jan. 15), we wanted to celebrate the talent VanderWaal has — even when she’s not singing her own tunes.
Check out VanderWaal’s best covers below.
“Ex’s & Oh’s”
Perhaps the most fitting song for VanderWaal’s hoarse sound, her ukulele take on Elle King‘s raspy toe-tapper almost sounds like one of her own songs.
“All About That Bass”
Once again proving her artistry at such a young age, VanderWaal stripped down Meghan Trainor‘s booty-shaking pop hit, which really showed off her range of dynamics — especially with big belts in the chorus.
Vance Joy‘s acoustic-based tune is perfect for VanderWaal’s ukulele, but almost even more perfectly for her soulful tone.
Before anyone even knew VanderWaal as AGT ‘s Season 11 prodigy, she delivered a roaring rendition of the Florence & The Machine track that ended with quite the vocal vigor.
There’s not many 12-year-olds who dare to take on a Sia song (or anyone, for that matter), but VanderWaal wasn’t afraid — and it turned out quite nicely for her.
“Ready or Not”
The lighthearted ukulele helps emphasize VanderWaal’s bouncy vocals on this sassy Bridgit Mendler tune.
“Back to the Earth”
VanderWaal’s rendition of this deep cut proves her Jason Mraz fandom.
“House of Gold”
Another favorite artist of VanderWaal’s is Twenty One Pilots, and this upbeat rock tune actually sounds somewhat reminiscent of her original “I Don’t Know My Name.”
“Jar of Hearts”
VanderWaal’s soft voice croons Melanie Martinez‘s eerily edgy song in a way that makes the rather depressing lyrics almost endearing.