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Juneau girl, 9, entertains on 'Ellen' show

Mary Catharine Martin
MICHAEL PENN / Juneau Empire archive 2008

A 9-year-old Juneau girl got some international attention for her creative talents Thursday.

Anna Graceman -- that's her stage name -- played the piano and sang an original song on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show."

The 9-year-old said she was contacted about two weeks ago by representatives of the show, which airs nationally and in 18 other countries.

"What happened was I'm on YouTube and they put me on the front page, so I got a lot of views," she said via phone from Hollywood. "They found me, and that's how I got on 'Ellen.' "

Prior to the show's airing, the video of her performing a song called "Paradise" had more than 500,000 views.

Anna said she wasn't nervous performing on the show.

"I was, and then I wasn't," she said. "I had confidence that I would be good."

Anna played "Paradise," a song she wrote advocating care for the environment.

"It's about nature, and that we should take care of our home, because we have a beautiful home and a beautiful Earth and we need to take care of it," she said. "We only have one Earth, and we're not taking care of it."

The audience gave her a standing ovation.

DeGeneres asked her questions about her musical history (singing at 18 months, playing the piano at age 4, and song-writing at age 6 or 7) her favorite thing to write about (love, because she gets so much from her family and her friends) and her role model (Taylor Swift).

DeGeneres said Swift will be on a future show and promised to fly Anna back to Los Angeles to meet her.

Anna is no stranger to performing in public. She recently performed at the Alaska Folk Festival in Juneau.

She said she'd like to keep writing her own music and stories.

Her music and videos are available on YouTube by searching "Anna Graceman." She also has MySpace, Facebook and Twitter pages, as well as MP3s for sale online.

Video: Original song "Paradise" (YouTube)
Video: Performance on "The Ellen DeGeneres Show"
By MARY CATHARINE MARTIN
Juneau Empire