The "Home" Performance On 'The Wiz Live!' Proves Shanice Williams Is A Star — VIDEO
Shanice Williams has had quite a journey. The 19-year-old actress auditioned for The Wiz Live! not thinking much of it — and ended up landed the part of Dorothy, the role of a lifetime in the live NBC musical, which aired on Thursday night. Shanice Williams sang "Home" to close out The Wiz Live! and it closed out an impressive live production that made me feel all the feels — admit it, you did, too. The New Jersey native slayed the solo number and just like that a star was born. Williams commanded the stage by herself and proved that in a cast of big names — including Uzo Aduba, Mary J. Blige, Common, Ne-Yo, and Queen Latifah — she is an amazing emerging talent.
"Home" is a show-stopping tune and a popular, beloved one at that, so the pressure was on for Williams get it right. And boy did she. Her emotional rendition of the song was so engaging that for awhile, I forgot there wasn't anyone else on the stage. Williams gave it her all in her first professional role and she did not disappoint, showing her ability to carry the musical, based on the 1975 Broadway show that won seven Tony awards.
And to add to that pile of emotions, Toto reemerges to close out the song — after being absent for most of the show — and I was just like:
I mean, I'm fine. I don't need these tissues anymore.
There's a high bar for "Home" for The Wiz fans. Stephanie Mills, who played the original Dorothy on Broadway — and Aunt Em in The Wiz Live! — perfected the song that has touched many. Queen Latifah (who plays The Wiz) told the New York Times that she sang the song in her school's seventh grade production of The Wiz and it influenced her to become a performer. There's a YouTube video of Beyonce singing "Home" at age 7 and absolutely killing it like you know she would.
And now "Home" just made star out of Williams. Watch her amazing performance of "Home" below.
Images: Virginia Sherwood/NBC; Giphy (3)