April 27, 2011 9:49 PM

Maddy Curtis - "Hallelujah" and more

Publishing that I Am Second piece by Jason Castro - which highlighted his rendition of Hallelujah made me think of Maddy's when she tried out for American Idol.

It's been almost 2 years since she began the audition process - because it is a process. Maddy was in the crowd of 7000 in Boston in June 2009, auditioned for the judges in August, and AI spent a day at our house in September - but it was January 2010 before we went to Hollywood (because Maddy was under 18 I had the great privilege of being an insider throughout the process).

It was also in January 2010 that the following clip made it to national TV, which proves God can use anything to make a point.

MommyLife is always picking up new readers and so in case you never saw this, here is what - after countless hours of film footage and interviews - American Idol broadcast:

American Idol 9 - Maddy Curtis audition (very poor quality, but AI took down the original after it got 170,000 hits).

It was pretty exciting, I will admit. Maddy's name hit the #1 google spot that night :)

The ironic thing is that even as the American people were seeing Maddy for the first time, we were in the Kodiak theater and Maddy got eliminated.

When we came home, Haiti had suffered a devastating earthquake and with the help of our friend Ann Stewart, Maddy put together a benefit for the people of Haiti, selling out two back-to-back one-woman shows. She was 16 and had a week to line up her music and musicians and rehearse. These were a few songs she did that night:

Hallelujah - Maddy Curtis

Fields of Gold - Maddy Curtis

Maddy Curtis - Taylor the Latte Boy

Maddy Curtis - Haw Can I Keep from Singing?

Even though Maddy didn't make it past Hollywood Week on Idol - and that was fine because as Maddy says, "If I shared one baby's life, it was worth it" - her appearance opened all kinds of doors and she has been singing professionally ever since. Not on a grand scale, but enough to pay for more voice lessons, car expenses and to begin saving for college.

Now at 18, her voice has gotten stronger and her poise and professionalism have grown. She has sung at weddings, pro-life events, restaurants, conservative campaigns, kids sports events - you name it, she will sing it.

In August she is off to Catholic University to study vocal performance. Her career objective is to become a professional opera singer. I suppose one of these days I will be posting clips of her as a diva.

Right now we're encouraging her to record some of gigantic repertoire of songs - everything from Ella Fitzgerald and Doris Day to Janis Joplin and Stevie Nicks to indie artists whose names escape me right now, but whom I love too. We've heard that once someone commits to opera, the voice changes so it just doesn't sound the same. I would like to have a record of this phase of her growth as a singer.

Maddy was my Number Nine. Sometimes I wonder, "What if I had only had three? or four? or seven? or eight? I met a mom today who had a surprise baby when she thought she was finished. Now she says she doesn't know what life would have been like without him.

Children are like gifts - gifts that take years to unwrap and fully appreciate, gifts that never stop giving. What an incredible honor it is that God entrusts us with their keeping!
Please forgive my mother's pride - don't know why, but I wanted to share these tonight :)


Posted in Maddy, Mothering, Music, My life | Permalink


Not just blessed with great talent but obviously a caring, sensitive young woman of character. . . I'd be proud too!

You wrote: "Children are like gifts - gifts that take years to unwrap and fully appreciate, gifts that never stop giving. What an incredible honor it is that God entrusts us with their keeping!"

I needed to read that tonight. I needed some encouragement! And have been doubly blessed by your words and your daughter's voice tonight.

Posted by: Emily | April 27, 2011 11:43 PM

You should be proud! They are wonderful kids, and you and Tripp worked hard and sacrificed for it - and most importantly, tried to always listen and watch for God's plan.

And your thoughts about having the family that God intends you to have - surprise babies and surprise adoptions, always being open to life - are important thoughts and need to be shared. Sometimes God's plan is for us to have a small family or to not have any children at all, and certainly the Almighty can work with whatever our free will allows :). But all too often we close ourselves off to His will and deny life because of fear, or lack of trust, or simple selfishness.

Posted by: Denise | April 28, 2011 1:14 AM

She just radiates with joy when she's singing "Taylor the Latte Boy!"

I cried when she got her golden ticket, and I cried when she was sent home. But as they say, 'Ad majorem Dei gloriam!" May she always be as beautiful on the inside as she is on the outside.

Posted by: MicheleMomof9 | April 28, 2011 7:34 AM

That brought tears to my eyes, Barbara. Maddy has and is a gift. I really believe that she was eliminated from American Idol because of her conservative views. I suspect that Ellen DeGeneres had a hand in it but God has his hand in all of this, too. He has great plans for her. God bless all of you.

Posted by: Sue from Buffalo | April 28, 2011 8:40 AM

I bawled when I watched Maddie sing. She not only has a beautiful voice, but a beautiful heart. I love the way you talk about children being gifts that we unwrap. It helps me to think of them that way, even on the hard days. Thank you for your blog, it has really blessed me.

Posted by: Debbie | April 28, 2011 10:30 AM

I read a quote today in a crisis pregnancy newsletter that said, "Every child conceived carries a very special message from God and that this message will never be repeated again".

Children are an amazing blessing. Sometimes they move us to tears of joy, other times to tears of sorrow. But one thing is constant, they are a gift from God.

Posted by: Maggie Dee | April 28, 2011 12:54 PM

Barbara, thanks for sharing this! Isn't God just awesome??!! Oh, how I love Him!

I know He has wonderful plans for you and your family.

we were watching some home videos yesterday and our youngest one wasn't on the scene yet!! I kept thinking how many wonderful times we have had and how many more will we have because of the surprises God has in store for us! If we could just believe and hang on!!


Posted by: tereza crump aka MyTreasuredCreations | April 28, 2011 5:24 PM

Beautiful girl, beautiful song. Blessings by the simple things...

Posted by: Suzanne | April 30, 2011 10:53 AM

Wonderful post! It was because of Maddie being on AI, that I found your blog and I have been reading ever since! Thank you both for being a blessing in my life!
-Megan from Indiana

Posted by: Megan | May 1, 2011 11:02 PM

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