Madison Tevlin, a 12-year-old performing artist, is challenging those who claim people with Down Syndrome can't sing with her cover of "All Of Me." This is the first song that she has posted to YouTube, and already it has becoming a hit, resonating with its message, "Down Syndrome is only a part of who a person is — it does not define them." Madison and her family say that they hope the video of Madison defying the limitations imposed on her and pursuing her love of music will inspire other people to do the same.
A quick biology lesson on what Down Syndrome does to the vocal chords: according to Down Syndrome Educational International, "Very few people with Down Syndrome will be able to sing." Genetically, their voices tend to be much deeper than the average person's, and it takes twice the standard vocal energy for people with Down Syndrome to speak, making singing even more of a challenge. They also tend to be more prone to hearing loss, and have difficulty remembering long strings of information. In order to prepare herself to cover the John Legend hit, Madison took voice classes and practiced tirelessly to remember all 348 words of the song, and even performed it with a sinus infection. I can barely get out of bed when I have a sinus infection so Madison is an impressive person by any standards.
Madison's sister Zoie, who runs all of her social media accounts, says that "All Of Me" is Madison's favorite song—and it absolutely shows in the joy on her face when she sings it: