Teen who inspired with 'All of Me' cover chosen as Special Olympics ambassador
A Toronto teen who lit up the Internet earlier this year with her rendition of John Legend's hit "All of Me" has been named the ambassador of the 2015 Special Olympics World Games.
Madison Tevlin, who has Down syndrome, covered the chart-topping song earlier this year with the help of her vocal coach. The video was uploaded to YouTube in January and quickly went viral.
It has since been viewed nearly 7,140,000 times -- and even caught the attention of John Legend himself, who retweeted a link to a story about Tevlin's video. The rising 13-year-old YouTube star has also caught the attention of industry executives.
Tevlin has been chosen to be the ambassador of the Special Olympics, set to take place in Los Angeles from July 25 to August 2. She will also be the "voice" of the games.
Tevlin was recently in a recording studio to sing the Special Olympics' anthem "Reach Up" with songwriters Cody Simpson and Marc Roberge.
"She embodies this anthem that is about courage and determination," CEO of Special Olympics Canada Sharon Bollenbach told CTV Toronto.
Unlike most aspiring singers, however, belting out a tune is not just about hitting the right keys for Tevlin. According to the National Down Syndrome Society, children and adults with the condition generally face communication challenges, such as composing sentences. Tevlin's vocal coach says those with Down syndrome may also have tonal issues.
"They have problems with hearing and shouldn't be able to memorize as easily," Marla Joy said earlier this year.
Despite the challenges, however, Tevlin seems to be winning fans wherever she makes an appearance.
Over the weekend, Tevlin got the star treatment on the Much Music Video Awards red carpet.
"I have Down syndrome but that is the least interesting thing about me," the teen said.
Tevlin and her sister Zoie Tevlin -- who managers her Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube Pages -- will be travelling to L.A. for the Special Olympics World Games opening ceremony. Tevlin will also perform "Reach Up" in front of more than half a million people.
"I just want everyone to know to reach for your goals and go for it," Tevlin said.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Dana Levenson