Usually we don't do this, but, uh...this girl is good. Star Swain, an educator and grad student in North Florida, thought nothing of it when her friends posted a video of her singing the National Anthem on YouTube. Two weeks and over 2 million views later, that's all she can think about.
"It has been an overwhelming response," she told REVOLT. "It's crazy. It's been lots of calls, lots of emails, text messages; it's just a lot coming in."
Swain was on vacation with some friends and family in Washington, D.C., on June 16, when they noticed something about the Lincoln Memorial. "We were talking about how wonderful the acoustics are in there, and I was like, I should just start singing 'The Star-Spangled Banner.' My friend was like, 'You should!"'
But she didn't know he was actually recording until he said, "This is Facebook Live," as you can hear in the video. You can also hear Swain say, "I'm scared," a couple of times. But peer pressure was a good thing in this case: She knew her friends would never let it go if she backed out. With her knees literally shaking, she went for it. Her rendition of the National Anthem made strangers stand still and pay attention, before erupting in applause:
Swain was a member of the world-renowned Marching 100 as a student at Florida A&M University. She was known for singing with the band during performances and credits her bandmates for helping her video go viral. And now that she's at 2 million views and counting, she wants to use her talent beyond having momentary internet fame.
"I want to really be able to share the gift of encouragement, the gift of hope, through doing what I love to do. I want to touch the lives of millions of people — which I guess I already am doing," she said. "I don't want it to be a one-week, one-day thing; I want to continue to do it throughout the remainder of my life, until I can't walk no more, can't sing no more."
She also hopes that "going viral" makes one big dream come true: "We hope Barack calls. That's a big prayer for me, to have the honor of singing the National Anthem for the Obamas."