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Even the Lady herself is gaga over girl's talent

Local student's video viral, gets star gushing

Hey there, time traveller!
This article was published 17/2/2011 (2378 days ago), so information in it may no longer be current.



A Winnipeg girl with a very big voice is making waves with some of entertainment's biggest stars.

Maria Aragon, just 10 years old, is garnering some attention of Bieber-esque proportions on YouTube with her cover version of the Lady Gaga song Born this Way.

Incredibly, the video of the Grade 5 student at Isaac Brock School playing the keyboard and singing was only posted Wednesday but has already been viewed by nearly 1.4 million people worldwide and is attracting interest from at least one record label.

A company contacted the Free Press late last night inquiring how to reach Maria and her family.

And while she's indeed a talented youngster, a simple tweet by Lady Gaga herself Thursday morning has propelled Maria to instant Internet stardom.

Lady Gaga, who has more than eight million Twitter followers, sent out a tweet about Maria's simple but sweet cover. "Can't stop crying watching this," her message read. "This is why I make music. She is the future."

The video, which opened the day with a few thousand YouTube views, immediately went viral as the Twitter-sphere lit up with messages about it and people starting clicking on it like crazy.

By late Thursday afternoon, Maria's cover had the honour of being YouTube's most-discussed video in Canada.

"It's my passion," said the young singer and musician, who posts her song covers to her sister's YouTube page.

"I've made 72 videos already, so it's kinda obvious I like music."

Aragon was to fly from Winnipeg somewhere Thursday night, but family wouldn't divulge where. However, Toronto station Virgin Radio 99.9 FM was promoting a live performance by Maria on its breakfast show this morning at 6 a.m. CST. And while her repertoire is growing quickly, she'll sing Born this Way.

That gig is small potatoes for what could be in store for her.

There's a huge push by local DJ Ace Burpee of Hot 103 FM to land the talented Winnipegger on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

The music-loving talk show host often features YouTube sensations on her program.

Early Thursday afternoon, the Ellen show tweeted "Thank Gaga I saw this" in reference to Lady Gaga's glowing endorsement of Maria.

Maria made a visit to the Hot 103 studios over the lunch hour Thursday for a special interview and performance with Burpee, who picked her up from school in a stretch limo. While in studio surrounded by local media, she showed a tremendous amount of poise as she sang the Bruno Mars song Just the Way You Are for radio listeners.

Maria said she's been singing since she was three years old, but is only now learning to read music.

"For my videos, I don't have music sheets for them. I just taught myself," she said.

She says she chose to cover the Lady Gaga song because of the important message she believes the much more famous songstress is sending about staying true to yourself.

"(Lady Gaga) doesn't bother about hearing what everybody else thinks. She just does what she does and she's successful with it," she said.

Maria, who lives with her parents, Bienvenido and Mitchilin, and three siblings, said she likes to draw and create things, and admits she loves school. The well-spoken girl credits her family with fostering her creativity, and says they've worked hard to get her videos seen.

"There was just so much excitement," said her cousin, Wayne Santo, who escorted her to the Hot 103 studio in downtown Winnipeg.

"We just never would have thought it would have taken off like this."


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Updated on Friday, February 18, 2011 at 8:47 AM CST: View count updated from 700,000 Thursday night to nearly 1.4 million Friday morning

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