Grace VanderWaal Explains What Simon Cowell Meant When He Called Her the “Next Taylor Swift,” Performs “I Don’t Know My Name”

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When Grace VanderWaal auditioned for “America’s Got Talent,” judge and music mogul Simon Cowell paid the 12-year-old singer, songwriter and ukeleleist the biggest compliment by calling her the “next Taylor Swift.” Since that comment was made, there’s been a lot of speculation about what Simon actually meant by that — was it looks, songwriting ability, voice, spunkiness, something else?

Well, during her most recent (and first ever) appearance on “The Ellen Show,” Grace finally revealed the meaning behind those memorable words.

“After the show, Simon Cowell called me into his dressing room and we talked. And he was just like, ‘And that’s what I meant when I called you the next Taylor Swift, not ’cause you look like her, not ’cause you sound like her,'” Grace explained in a fake British accent. “And he said ’cause he’s worked with Taylor Swift and she’s like, strong and knows her opinion and he said that’s how he feels about me.”

Grace then went on to perform the song that started it all, “I Don’t Know My Name” — and it was fabulous.