The 15-year-old singer-songwriter — who won America's Got Talent in 2016 — released her new single, "Ur So Beautiful," on Friday

By Brianne Tracy
June 28, 2019 10:00 AM
Products in this story are independently selected and featured editorially. If you make a purchase using these links we may earn commission.
Advertisement
Jamie McCarthy/Getty

Despite having an America’s Got Talent championship title and millions of fans (including Taylor Swift and Selena Gomez!) under her belt, Grace VanderWaal is leading a surprisingly normal life.

In between touring and working on new music, the 15-year-old singer-songwriter — who dropped her latest single, “Ur So Beautiful,” on Friday — attends high school in her upstate New York hometown and says she still has to abide by her parents’ rules like most teens her age would.

“I have to do everything everyone else does — go to school, have my mom yell at me to clean my room, fight for a later curfew,” VanderWaal tells PEOPLE. “Literally, everything everyone else experiences, I experience.”

Though music has remained a hugely important part of VanderWaal’s life since her 2016 AGT win, she keeps her career out of the conversation when she’s just hanging out with friends. “I don’t talk about any of that at school!” she says.

“Ur So Beautiful” follows the release of VanderWaal’s moody track “Stray,” which was released in February and was her first new music since early 2018.

“The inspiration behind ‘Ur So Beautiful’ is pretty much exactly what it is,” she explains. “‘Ur So Beautiful,’ I think, can be referred to yourself or others or to anything you want.”

“It’s just fun,” she continues. “I don’t want to make it serious, but of course, it’s very important for everyone to have self-love. I think a lot of people need some help with that. My song — hopefully it will bring a smile to someone’s face.”

This summer, VanderWaal will take her music on the road with her headlining “Ur So Beautiful Tour.” Kicking off in Kentucky on Aug. 10, the tour will make 23 stops across the country before coming to a close at the Wonderfront Music and Arts Festival in San Diego in November.

While VanderWaal has opened for greats like Florence and The Machine and Imagine Dragons in the past, she admits she’s a little nervous about touring on her own again.

“I’m a little scared,” she says. “I haven’t really done anything on my own in quite a while.”

Recently, VanderWaal also got to show off her acting chops when she landed the title role in Disney’s Stargirl, a film adaptation of Jerry Spinelli’s best-selling young adult novel of the same name and one of the first original films to premiere on the company’s upcoming streaming service to be released in early 2020.

“I’m pretty nervous, honestly,” she says. “I’ve just been ignoring it and trying not to think it about it. I couldn’t believe I was able to do it — I still can’t believe I did that. It’s kind of crazy.”

Grace VanderWaal

Regardless of where her career takes her next, VanderWaal says she’s just thankful to be doing what she loves.

“I can’t believe that I’m still able to do this after America’s Got Talent,” she says. “A lot of people maybe can’t, you know? I think that’s really cool and amazing, and I definitely want people to know that I’m aware of that. I’m really grateful for that and to see that I’m continuing to grow.”

She adds: “As long as I’m able to do what I love, I’m good.”