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Many girls grow up wanting to become pop stars and emulating their teen idols, but one eighth grader from Franklin, Tennessee, decided to take a different path.

As soon as Taylor could talk, her parents say their daughter started singing. Then, when she was 7 years old, Taylor picked up an instruction book and taught herself to yodel. Yodeling is an ancient art form that dates back thousands of years, and in just two years, she mastered the craft. "I immediately fell in love with it," she says. "It's so beautiful and unique that I thought I just had to try it."

Taylor rocketed to the top of the yodeling world by winning first place at the Yahoo! Yodel Challenge and performing on the Jerry Lewis Telethon and the Grand Ole Opry. Then, at age 11, she landed a spot on the hit television series America's Got Talent. "I wish everybody could yodel," she says. "It's a great way to start your day."
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FROM: Oprah's Search for the World's Smartest and Most Talented Kids
Published on November 17, 2008

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