Darci Lynne was just 12 when she made her NBC debut America’s Got Talent with bunny pal Petunia in 2017. The two swapped voices during a “Summertime” duet, and although Petunia tried to cover Lynne’s mouth, judge Mel B was so impressed she awarded the ventriloquist interpolated a coveted Golden Buzzer, catapulting Lynne into the finale and toward a destiny of performing on stages in Las Vegas.
Lynne is 17 now (turning 18 in October), headlining the same theater inside the Mirage where her idol Terry Fator was booked for his first residency. One of the youngest contestants to win AGT in the show’s history is now positioned to help nurture ventriloquism and move it forward by introducing the next generation to the art of speaking through portable companions.
She already reigns supreme as the most-watched ventriloquist on YouTube, thanks to AGT chain and performed at Planet Hollywood Resort and Caesars Palace. Lynne has the highest profile of any female voice caster since the late Shari Lewis warmed hearts with her beloved Lamb Chop. But where Lewis relied on comedy, Lynne sings with the maturity of a songwriter. She’s toured nationally, performed at the Grand Ole Opry, starred in her own NBC Christmas special and appears in an upcoming Ronald Reagan biopic with Dennis Quaid.
Veteran “vent” Jay Johnson gave a stamp of approval in a 2017 blog post on behalf of himself and household names Fator and Jeff Dunham as well as other torchbearers like Gary Owen.
“It’s not that Darci is just a wonderfully talented girl, or that her ventriloquism technique is nearly perfect, and her singing chops could stand on their own without the help of puppets,” Johnson wrote. “It’s that Darci seems to understand the long history and tradition of which she is now a part. Her dedication to art and her youthful spirit will influence a generation of babblers to come.
Le Mirage, 7 p.m. on April 29, from $39.99 plus taxes and fees. ticketmaster.com
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