PORTSMOUTH, Va. (WAVY) — Alex Bowman won the Richmond, Virginia, NASCAR Cup race Sunday, but for many country music fans, it was Alana Springsteen, a native of Virginia Beach, who stole the show with her rendition of the National Anthem.
The national appearance required Springsteen to record the song, sans audience, in Nashville. The pre-recorded song was part of Sunday’s live broadcast which aired locally on FOX 43.
It was a full-circle moment for Springsteen, who sang the National Anthem at Richmond Raceway several years ago.
Sunday’s performance showcased a more mature voice accented with a hint of pain and a bounty of resilience and determination.
“I’ve always tried to deliver the National Anthem like a story. I try to tell a story with the lyrics as much as I can. I also like staying true to what the song is,” said Springsteen from her family’s home in Nashville.
The performance was a dream come true for Springsteen, who as a child played the guitar and sang for senior citizens in nursing homes in her hometown.
At the age of 8, she knocked it out of the park when she sang the Nation Anthem at a Norfolk Tides baseball game. At the age of 9 and later as a teenager, she sang the National Anthem at Wrigley Field in Chicago.
During a Wrigley Field appearance, an executive from the Still Working Music Group in Nashville happened to be in the audience with his adult daughter, who nudged him to pay attention to a young but talented voice.
He later connected with the family, and over a period of years, the entire Springsteen family decided to relocate to Music City where the 14-year-old Springsteen signed her first publishing deal.
WAVY-TV 10’s Regina Mobley has covered Springsteen since she first appeared on the local music scene 13 years ago. She wowed the local hometown crowd in 2012 at the Virginia Beach Amphitheater when she joined Sugarland on stage to sing lead in their hit song “Baby Girl.”
In 2015, Mobley checked in with Springsteen and her parents at the Still Working writing studio on Nashville’s famed Music Row in downtown Nashville.
Still Working created quite a welcome for the singer-songwriter, who at the time wasn’t old enough to drive a car but had the natural talent to drive lyrics alongside veteran writers in Music City.
Springsteen is now 20 years old and just released a duet, “Trying Not To,” with Roman Alexander.
“The song is about two people who know they are not right for each other but just cannot stay away. I think that concept relates to so many people,” said Springsteen.
While the pandemic has been tough for those in show business, for Springsteen, prayers were answered. She just signed a new management deal that includes Justin Bieber’s manager. Talent manager Basak Kizilisik is excited to work with the 20-year-old from Virginia Beach.
“Alana is one of those rare, young talents you‘re lucky if you ever come across in the music business. Because of her drive, focus and the purpose she discovered at such an early age — in addition to the endless support of her parents and family — she approaches her career, her songwriting and her music with the intentionality of a seasoned artist twice her age. She impresses me daily. There’s no doubt in my mind that she’s a star,” said Kizilisik.
Springsteen’s music has already been streamed 25 million times. She and her parents, David and Shannon, are optimistic 2021 will be a breakout year. Springsteen hopes 2021 will also include a tour for new material that’s under development.
“I’ve got about four or five more singles coming this year and I can’t give too many details out about it yet, but it is going to reveal different parts of my artistry. It’s been such a cool journey but we still have so far to go, but it’s already been the ride of a lifetime,” said Springsteen.