Last December 17, 2018, in Syracuse, New York, three-year-old Drake Grillo made Carrier Dome history as the youngest National Anthem singer in the venue. He didn’t just set a record but also impressed everyone – 6,093, to be exact – in attendance for the Syracuse Women’s Basketball Team’s annual School Day vs. Niagara with his flawless performance.
His singing video has already amassed over 5.7 million views on YouTube and earned close to 70,000 likes and 4,500 comments. One account even said, “You’ve gotta respect this kid for remembering all the words of the national anthem at only age 3. Well done.” As another one pointed out, even adults sometimes fumble with the lyrics.
Drake came from Auburn, and according to his mother, Chelsea, he loved sports. In fact, he learned the lyrics to the Star-Spangled Banner by watching games on TV a year before. The Dome game wasn’t actually his first live audience. He had practice when he did the honors before for Auburn Doubleday’s baseball games thrice last summer.
He absolutely loved the experience and even liked asking his mom when he could perform again. Chelsea would simply tell him that he had to wait for his turn because other people wanted a chance, too.
Then, he got invited to the Syracuse vs. Niagara Game, which was a huge deal for him since there were so many people. Chelsea shared that Drake was too little to realize how big of a deal it was, so they just stayed calm for him. “We don’t ask him if he’s nervous. So then maybe he won’t think of that. I don’t [think] he really knows what nervous is yet.”
Drake strode out to the middle of the court, sporting a tiny No. 44 Syracuse jersey, and his mom was right beside him. The microphone looked so big in his hands, but he was familiar and confident with it.
Chelsea said he was always on top of his singing as he practiced with his toy microphone around their house. The anthem had been his go-to number, so it was no surprise that he sang it perfectly.
Watch Drake Gillo’s performance in the video below. It’s one minute and 48 seconds of your life that you’ll never regret!