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Sask. singer awarded golden buzzer — and $25K — at Canada's Got Talent

Rebecca Strong proud to represent Denesuline culture

Rebecca Strong rocks the house singing a cover of Demi Lovato's Stone Cold on the Canada's Got Talent stage. (Submitted by Canada's Got Talent/Citytv)

A Denesuline singer from Prince Albert is off to the next round of Canada's Got Talent after receiving the golden buzzer from one of the judges.

In the episode that aired Tuesday night, Rebecca Strong belted out a cover of Demi Lovato's Stone Cold, bringing audience members to their feet and winning high praise from the judges.

"I was overcome with a lot of emotions," Strong said in an interview on Wednesday. "I was crying the whole time. I immediately started crying after I was done singing. Just seeing everyone come together was crazy."

The competition is judged by Canadian performers Howie Mandel, Lilly Singh, Kardinal Offishall and Trish Stratus. Each judge can give out one golden buzzer each season, and Singh gave hers to Strong. It comes with $25,000 from CIBC and a direct entry to the live shows.

"I am a believer that every person on this planet has a purpose," Singh told Strong during the episode. "You're here on this stage, proving to yourself you're a singer, showing exactly who you are. Right now, this moment, this is your purpose."

Strong said she was shocked when Singh leaned over and pressed the golden buzzer.

"I came there with the mindset that I was just going to entertain some people, and have a chance to just go on stage," Strong said. "I fully was not expecting the golden buzzer, so it was just pure shock. I don't even know how else to explain it. I was overwhelmed with love. It was so exciting."

Her parents, Joan and Glen Strong, were with her at the taping in October and got to come on stage with her after she won the golden buzzer.

Strong's family is from Stony Rapids, Sask. — a small community 80 kilometres south of the border with the Northwest Territories — and they currently live in Prince Albert. Strong said she started singing when her dad started a band with her and her sisters, and she has continued, posting videos to YouTube.

Strong said she hoped her appearance on Canada's Got Talent would be inspiring.

"I wanted to go on such a big TV show to inspire Indigenous youth," she said. "I've been telling everyone that I want to prove that Indigenous people can do anything, and especially the youth, if they really put their heart into it and just put themselves out there."

Strong said she was 'very, very happy' she could touch so many people's hearts. (Submitted by Canada's Got Talent/Citytv)
Strong said she was 'very, very happy' she could touch so many people's hearts. (Submitted by Canada's Got Talent/Citytv)

Strong says she has not seen a lot of Indigenous people on the show, so she hopes she is opening a door. She says she has been reading every single comment and is "so thankful and grateful" for the support.

"I had just seen a post that my sister reposted, and she had said, 'Proof that one person can move a whole nation.' And I thought that was very kind, it made me tear up a little bit."