Paola Guanche Nuviola, a 14-year-old singer and daughter of a Cuban family of gifted musical artists, pledged allegiance to the United States during a naturalization ceremony in Miami on May 7.
But before that, she displayed her talents by singing the U.S. national anthem.
“It was something very special for me,” said Paola in an interview just before she sang The Star-Sapngled Banner. “Everything we have accomplished as a family, we have done it in this country, a place I definitely consider my home.”
It was not the first time Paola has sung in public or drawn applause and cheers from an audience. In 2013, when she was 12, Paola won the 13-week La Voz Kids on Telemundo delivering a stirring rendition of the song I Will Always Love You.
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Paola’s naturalization marks one more major milestone in the life of the talented teen.
“We are a musical family,” said Paola’s mother, Lourdes Nuviola Suárez, in a telephone interview earlier this month. Lourdes’ sister Aymee Nuviola recently played Cuban singer Celia Cruz in the biopic Celia that was broadcast on Telemundo.
The two sisters gained some early fame in Cuba when they appeared on a TV variety program called Todo el Mundo Canta and won a show singing contest.
The sisters then joined a Cuban orchestra that traveled around the world putting on shows. During one of those trips, the Nuviola family stayed in Costa Rica and later resettled in Cancún, a Mexican beach resort off the Yucatán peninsula.
It was there that Paola was born in 2001. She started singing at the age of 3, according to her mother. She was 5 when she first appeared on television in singing contests. She was one of the child stars on the landmark Spanish-language TV show Sábado Gigante.
The family moved to Miami in 2005.
“Besides being a super-talented girl, with great attributes and qualities for music and art in general, I think she is a young woman with principles who knows what she wants in life,” Paola’s mother said about the teen.