12-Year-Old Grace VanderWaal Wins America’s Got Talent—Then the Internet Bullies Come Out

Grace VanderWaal is the epitome of what it means to be yourself. The 12-year-old singer won Season 11 of America’s Got Talent, but not everyone was pleased.

Whether you’ve been keeping up with this season of America’s Got Talent or not, surely you’ve heard something about Grace VanderWaal.

The 12-year-old singer/songwriter from New York embodies the term “be yourself” in everything from sporting her candy bracelet and ukulele, singing only her own original songs throughout the entire season of the show, and her innocent demeanor. The pre-teen has a vibrant personality and truly is mature beyond her years.


On Wednesday night, Grace was crowned the 2016 winner of America’s Got Talent, and at 12 years old, she became a millionaire overnight. And while people across the country have been singing covers of her songs for weeks, others were less than pleased that the girl who Simon Cowell believes will be bigger than Taylor Swift was picked as the winner.

In what should be a totally exhilarating time for Grace VanderWaal, haters of course voiced their opinions on the up-and-coming sensation on social media.

One person wrote:

“There’s no way I’d spend big bucks in Vegas to hear a 12-year-old with a squeaky voice strum a ukulele! Just sayin!. She’s a sweet kid, but not a Vegas quality act.”

This one was hating on more than just Grace:

“Once again America proves it shouldn’t be allowed to vote for anything.”

And this post would have totally ruined me at any age, let alone 12-years old:

“Call me hateful or whatever I don’t care but she should not have won. The only reason she won is because of her age and she can write lyrics. IMO she has no singing talent. She sounds like a scratched record. Definitely disappointed with this season.”

But, in anything that allows people to vote, there’s sure to be opposing opinions. America’s Got Talent is no different from the presidential election in that when people vote, they take a side. So it’s no surprise that haters have opened up the floodgates.


Grace VanderWaal has been a standout on AGT since her very first performance, and a favorite to win through the entire competition. So naturally there was a lot of encouragement and praises going around on social media as well!

“This little girl is a star! Its only the beginning of her long predicted singing career. Her voice is very unique and we will know her name!”

Grace first started writing her own songs when she was just three years old. She began piano lessons at the age of four, and by 10, she had picked up the saxophone. When she was 11, Grace started playing the ukulele, and of course now, the rest is history.

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She’s set to perform live at the Planet Hollywood in Las Vegas October 27-29.

As for her prize money, haters will surely find something to say about the fact that she plans to give most of it to charity, and build herself a treehouse. She is 12 after all.

Check out some of Grace’s original performances for yourself!

And how can you not smile at this…?

Bri Lamm
Bri is an outgoing introvert with a heart that beats for adventure. She lives to serve the Lord, experience the world, and eat macaroni and cheese in between capturing life’s greatest moments on one of her favorite cameras.

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