EARLY — Early High School student Brooklyn Richmond hopes singing talent takes her to Las Vegas as she competes to sing the National Anthem at the Wrangler National Finals Rodeo.

Richmond recently wrapped up a stint at this weekend’s Early Texas Showcase, where she performed Saturday afternoon and shared the same stage as country musicians Roger Creager and Sam Riggs, giving attendees a potential preview of what they may see if she takes the stage in Las Vegas in December.

“The voting cutoff yesterday for the top 30 and the top 30 go to a panel of judges,” Richmond said. “From that, the top eight are picked and put back on the website (www.nfrexperience.com/nfr-national-anthem-2018). On October 7, they will announce the winner. It’s pretty cool and sometimes it’s a little nerve racking. This is what I want to do and I’ve been singing for people my whole life so I hope it works out for me.”

Richmond described her singing style as country gospel. She said she has been singing all her life, but really honed her craft while attending Salt Creek Baptist Church in Early. 

“I really like country gospel and that’s what I want to go into doing. I lead my youth band at church so that’s a huge part of what I do and the genre I do. I really love country and always have so I just mashed those two together. I’ve been singing for as long as I can remember. I’ve performed for pretty big crowds. I never really know the number, but tonight is going to be nerve-racking. I have to tell myself, ‘don’t mess it up,’ but I know that I won’t.”

Tuesdie Richmond, Brooklyn’s mother, said her daughter has sang since she could talk, but she never gave it a second thought until closely paying attention to her while Brooklyn performed at 6 years old.

“When she was about 6 she started singing at church and if she could sing it she would,” Tuesdie Richmond said. “She would sing in the house all of the time. She is really getting brave enough to go out into public. Most of it has been in church with her praise band, special music at church, school through her choir department and things like that.”

As a mother, Tuesdie Richmond is nervous to see her daughter succeed so young but that anxiety comes from an excitement to see Brooklyn grow as a person and a performer.

“We’re kind of excited for her. We really feel she has a gift she can share with other people,” Tuesdie Richmond said. “She has grown up reading the stories of women with talents in the bible and she knows this is her time to share her talent. Some days, it makes me a little nervous because she’s my girl, but I’m also super proud of her. She is an amazing young lady and you can’t help but swell with pride.”