The next Taylor Swift? Meet the 12-year-old winner of America’s Got Talent

  • 12-year-old singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal is the season 11 winner of America’s Got Talent
  • Simon Cowell calls her the next Taylor Swift
  • She won a $1 million cash prize and will go on to perform in Las Vegas in October 

She said she could and so she did. 12-year-old singer-songwriter Grace VanderWaal was crowned winner of the hit talent search show “America’s Got Talent”, making her the youngest performer to win the competition.

“This has been the greatest night of my life,” Grace said on Twitter after her big win.

Many were impressed by the New York preteen with her mature voice and ability to write heartfelt songs at such a young age. It was no surprise that she was a front-runner early on the show.

Grace bested 9 other finalists for the coveted grand prize: singer Brian Justin Crum, opera singer Laura Bretan, crooner Sal Valentinetti, guy group Linkin Bridge, NFL magician Jon Dorenbos, juggler Viktor Kee, contortionist Sofie Dossi, mime Tape Face, and mentalist duo The Clairvoyants.

During her final performance, Grace performed her original song “Clay” which she wrote in response to bullies.

Judge Heidi Klum told US Magazine: “She doesn’t sound like a little girl, she doesn’t sing little-girl songs. I think she’s special in what she writes. There’s only so few people that pop up now and then that really make a difference, and she will make a difference in music 100 percent.”

Hard-to-impress judge Simon Cowell was so taken by Grace’s talent that he called her “the next Taylor Swift.”

Not only is she talented but also has a good heart – Grace told People Magazine that she wants to donate her cash prize to a music charity.

“But I want to go on Treehouse Masters and I want to get a treehouse,” she added.

Grace won a $1 million prize and gets to headline the Las Vegas shows in October.

Watch Grace VanderWaal’s finale performance of her original song “Clay”: