Two years ago, millions of people fell in love with Darci Lynne, a 12-year-old sweetheart performing on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” who was an amazing singer and ventriloquist.
Accompanied by her “friends,” Petunia (a sweet bunny), Oscar (a shy Motown-loving mouse); Edna (an old lady with the hots for Simon); and Katie (a yodeling cowgirl), Lynne took home the top prize, receiving the most votes for a final performance in the history of the show.
On Oct. 20, the now-14-year-old will appear at the DAR Constitution Hall as part of her Fresh Out of the Box tour.
“It’s a family friendly show and I’ll have all my friends with me,” Lynne said. “There will be lots of different genres of music, and you’re going to want to sing along. There will be a lot of laughs, and it’s going to be really great just to come and relax and enjoy the night.”
As anyone who saw her perform on AGT knows, Lynne is not just an amazing singer and ventriloquist, but is also so polished and comfortable onstage at such an early age.
“Before I started ventriloquism, I had been performing a little bit, singing and dancing and doing little town shows, so the stage presence kind of came naturally to me,” Lynne said. “As I grew up, I started performing for bigger audiences, which was definitely nerve-wracking, but even that came naturally.”
An Oklahoma native, she attended music school really young, and loved being onstage, wearing different costumes and dancing and singing in front of crowds, and she soon was doing pageants and talent competitions.
One day, she started reading a book on ventriloquism, and it would change her life forever.
“I decided to teach myself how to do it and I ended up winning my first talent competition doing ventriloquism, and that’s when I knew I wanted to do this,” Lynne said. “It was so much fun, and people really seemed to like it, so I kept doing it.”
Lynne received her first “puppet” for her 10th birthday, though she describes it as a “$30 play puppet from eBay” rather than a true ventriloquist dummy. Once she started to develop her craft and showed she was serious, she moved on to a true, easier-to-use ventriloquist puppet.
Sometimes, the personalities come really quickly to her, noting Edna only took about five minutes, but other times, it takes a while for her to really see the character in her puppet.
“After I got my first puppet, I just started creating more and they all came differently. Petunia was a gift, so was Oscar and I worked up from there,” she said. “I saw what they looked like, guessed at a personality and developed them with opinions from my parents and my coach.”
Although there are no plans for any new puppets at this time, Lynne said she would love to add a fifth to her stable sometime soon and looks forward to that day.
Earlier this year, Lynne returned to the AGT stage as part of the first-ever “America’s Got Talent: Champions,” where she competed against contestants from 184 different countries, and finished as runner up.
“AGT was one of the best experiences I have had in my 14 years of living; it was really fun,” she said. “I made so many friends and so many memories and I’ve gotten to do so many things because of it. Hopefully, I will be doing even more as I grow older.”
One of those opportunities was singing at the Grand Ole Opry, and she’s also recently partnered with Mattel as a role model for Barbie’s “Be Anything Tour” in celebration of Barbie’s 60th Anniversary. Last December, she starred in “Darci Lynne: My Hometown Christmas,” which not only was the top-rated show of the night, but gave birth to her first single, “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.”
“I definitely want to record my own music in the future; that’s a huge goal of mine,” she said. “I’ve been touring for the past two years and just checked off my 46th state and only have four more to go, and not many 14-year-olds get to say they’ve been to all 50 states, so that’s going to be really cool.”