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When 11-year old actress and singing sensation Jamia Simone Nash performed at the Oscars Sunday night before a worldwide audience of one billion people, she sang her way into the Academy Award history books as the youngest African American performer ever for Hollywood's biggest night.
Jamia, who's from Atlanta, was featured with the Impact Repertory Theatre of Harlem in the performance of the Oscar-nominated song 'Raise it Up' from the film "August Rush." Written by Jamal Joseph, Charles Mack, and Tevin Thomas, Jamia Nash reprised her performance in the film when she sang live on the Academy Awards telecast.
“It was great,” said the 6th grader who wowed the audience with her strong vocals. “Unfortunately we didn't win, but it was great and we all gave God the glory. It makes me feel wonderful that God chose me out of all the people in the world; he chose me to do this awesome job so I'm thankful for it.”
You would think singing in front of a worldwide audience would make the child prodigy nervous. Not Jamia. She's mature beyond her 11 years, very poised and well packaged.
Before the show started, Jamia made her Oscar red carpet debut all decked out in $27-thousand in diamonds and jewelry by Natalie K, a Swarovski handbag and a pink designer gown. “We went for an age-appropriate but high style look for Jamia," said stylist Arturo D. Chavez. "We selected a couture gown by Ella Zahlan that had a fresh, youthful color but very glamorous, elegant details that was perfect for her Oscar red carpet debut."
The little girl with the big voice was real impressed walking the Oscar red carpet, being on stage and seeing all the Oscar nominees and winners. “I got a chance to see everybody get their awards and they were crying.” Like most pre-teens these days, she was most excited to see Miley Ray Cyrus, also known as, Hannah Montana. Smiling real big, Jamie got a chance to take a picture backstage with Montana, an Oscar presenter. “My wish came true. She's a great role model for kids. She was great and her whole personality is amazing. She was just like what I thought when I met her.”
She added, “When I saw Mr. Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, and Mr. John Travolta, I was very excited.” Jamia had met Travolta before. She sang at his 50th birthday party. How many sixth-graders can say that?
The 'tween singer so impressed Oscar producers and host Jon Stewart that they added her into another one of the comedy bits with Stewart. In the sketch, the show returns from a commercial break and Jamia and the Oscar host are playing the Nintendo Wii on the biggest screen ever.
“It was fun doing the Nintendo skit,” said Jamia. “We were playing tennis and trying to make it seem like we're playing it (the game) without the crowd looking at us.” Jamia and Jon Stewart's little moment drew big laughter from the Oscar audience. “It was funny and it made me laugh too,” she said.
Jamia has been wowing world audiences since the tender age of five, showcasing her talents on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, Showtime at the Apollo and the CBS Early Show among others. The talented pre-teen has even performed for such luminaries as John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey and the President of the United States, who called her 'the definition of the future.'
A year ago, Jamia co-starred in the Lifetime Television movie “Life is Not a Fairytale: The Fantasia Barrino Story.” The movie was based on the life story of “American Idol" winner Fantasia Barrino. Jamia played Barrino as a ten-year-old. Seattle Post-Intelligencer critic Melanie McFarland applauded her scene-stealing turn as young Barrino, noting, “The young Fantasia (the charismatic Jamia Simone Nash) has a commanding talent that becomes the center of attention whenever the family band performs together.”
As for her plans for the future, Jamia has a reality show in the works with The Popular Entertainment Group and quite frankly, she hopes to return to the Academy Awards one day - this time as an Oscar-nominated actress.
“It would be a dream to return one day to the Oscars for my work as an actor or singer. But up until then, I’ll just enjoy today. It’s been a great day.”
For more info about Jamia Nash, visit www.thepopularentertainmentgroup.com.