Tourist Knocks Out Lincoln Memorial Crowd With Anthem Rendition (Video)

WASHINGTON — A tourist from Florida at the Lincoln Memorial stopped dozens of visitors in their tracks earlier this month with a rendition of the national anthem she had to be goaded into singing.

She goes by the name G-Star Swain; The Washington Post identifies her as Genleah Swain, 34, an assistant principal from Tallahassee. On June 16 she and a group of family and friends were in the monument when she noticed the wonderful acoustics, she tells the Tallahassee Democrat.

“I said, ‘I could break out and start singing the Star Spangled Banner,’“ she told the Democrat on Monday. Naturally, her group couldn’t let that go — they urged her to sing it. She began singing, unaware that the minister of music at her church was recording it — probably a good thing, since she said she was nervous.

It didn’t come out that way, though:

Swain’s rendition is goosebump-inducing, but the reactions from her fellow tourists are part of the appeal. People approach her to offer congratulations; even the police, who seemed to be originally preparing for a disturbance, are impressed.

A lot of people are impressed, actually: When a friend from Swain’s college days in Florida A&M’s Marching 100 band posted the video on his Facebook page, it got more than 2 million views, the Democrat says.

Her pastor, Quincy Griffin, tells the Democrat he’s happy but not surprised that the video has attracted so much attention.

“I’ve seen her captivate audiences. I’ve been waiting to see her captivate the world,” Griffin said.

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