Another Lindale Native Sings On National Television

Whitney Rodriguez, the latest big voice from a small East Texas town, is set to make a name for herself on national TV.   In the past three years, Lindale has contributed two Nashville Star finalists, Miranda Lambert and Casey Rivers, both growing their own fan base from the show. Now, make room for number three.

Whitney Rodriguez, 12 says she's been singing her entire life, and she has the trophies to prove it.

"I sang at the East Texas State Fair, and I got first in that one," said Whitney. "About a year or two ago I sang at East Texas Idol, and I got second in that one." Whitney says she started singing in church. That's when her parents knew their daughter could sing.

"When she opens her mouth and music comes out, the thing that gets me is that she's 12 years old, a small 12 and the voice that comes out that little body, that's what gets me," said Rudy Rodriguez, Whitney's father.  Whitney says singing runs in the family. Her father says she gets it from her mom.

"I can't sing a lick," said Rudy Rodriguez. "My wife she can sing. She has a pretty voice, but she won't sing in public." Performing in front of thousands of people, not a problem for Whitney.   In May, Whitney opened for Nashville Star Casey Rivers at the Lindale Rodeo.

"It was really cool," said Whitney. "I got on the truck and we rode around, and I sang my songs and we got off and he hugged me, and then we walked and then we went and signed autographs together." Last month in Las Vegas, Whitney sang at the MGM Grand Hotel hoping to make the television show, USA World Showcase, which airs next week.

"You should watch because top prize is $50,000.00," said Whitney. "I got picked that night and all the people that got picked performed on the show, and our picture is on the Internet and you have to go and vote." Whitney also got 1st place in the country division, so I guess you could say she's on her way to being Lindale's next Nashville Star.

"I really want to sing in the Grand Ole Opry," said Whitney. "So many great singers have sung there and it would be really neat to be able to sing there." With her voice, this 12 year old girl has a good chance getting there.

The USA World Showcase airs this Monday at 11:30 a.m. on the PAX Network. After the show, you can vote for Whitney on the show's web site.   You can get there by going to our homepage and clicking on the Know More On 7 link. There you'll find Whitney Rodriguez.

Molly Reuter, reporting.