Falmouth's Liam Gregory a Finalist in KIDZ Star USA Competition

Liam Gregory - Liam Gregory

When he heard him singing pop songs in the back seat of the car, Robert W. Gregory figured his son, Liam P., sang like every other boy in middle school.

“I assumed all kids could sing like that. That must be what all kids sound like and I figured it just goes away,” said Mr. Gregory. “But in this case, it kept getting better and better.”

Better to the point that Liam, now 14 and a freshman at Falmouth High School, will be flown out to California this weekend to sing on the Full Throttle Stage at Six Flags Magic Mountain on September 28, singing to judges and to a Saturday afternoon crowd at the amusement park.

Liam, of Seneca Road in East Falmouth, is one of four finalists out of 27,000 other young singers around the country competing to become the next KIDZ Star USA. If he is the winner, he will land a three-year recording contract with RCA records, perform with other KIDZ artists on television commercials, and as Liam said, give him some exposure to help launch a singing career.

“It is awesome,” Liam said. “A win opens up tons of opportunities for me.”

Kidz Bop is a music brand featuring children ages 5 to 15 singing edited pop songs, such as songs by Lady Gaga or Macklemore, which are recorded to album. These albums have earned top billboard chart positions and regularly reach number one on the Kids Album Billboard charts.

Singing in public is “scary,” he said. “But I perform better under pressure.”

If Liam wins, he will get the chance to tour with other Kidz Bop singers, shoot music videos, meet celebrities, like Jeanette McCurdy who will judge the Six Flags concert, and continue what he loves doing.

Liam got his start performing the national anthem for the varsity volleyball team at Falmouth High when he was 10. His mother, Michelle L. Gregory, the coach of the team, asked if he would like to open a game after hearing him singing around the house.

Initially Nervous

At first, Liam was reluctant. “I was nervous,” he said, but decided to give it a chance, with a stipulation. Instead of standing at center court, Liam wanted to sing behind closed doors. So, behind the glass doors of the weight room adjacent to the volleyball court, he sang the national anthem. The outcome, he said, was great. People were cheering, but they did not know where the singing was coming from. Liam continued to sing behind closed doors for four or five more times before taking on the challenge of singing in front of an audience.

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Singing in public is “scary,” he said. “But I perform better under pressure.”

From the volleyball court, his local singing career took off. He began singing the national anthem around town. Several times he has opened a Falmouth Commodores game, he began singing regularly at the high school basketball team’s home games, and occasionally he would perform a paid gig, including the opening reception at the Falmouth Yacht Club earlier this year. Two years ago he was the winner of Cape Idol, a singing competition for youth held at Bourne High School. 

Last year, he sang the national anthem to a full crowd for the last home game of the Providence College Friars hockey team before their playoffs began. “That was awesome,” Liam said. “I’ve never sang to an audience with that many people.”

His local success has inspired him to try out to sing the national anthem for the Bruins, which he did last week; he is one of 16 waiting to hear back. He has also tried out twice for the “X Factor,” a nationally televised singing competition.

On his first attempt, when he was 13, he lasted through four rounds of judging before being voted off. Earlier this year he was not as lucky, but after the performance, while in New York, he sang on the streets of Time Square and earned himself nearly $100 in a span of three minutes, Mr. Gregory said.

The Kidz Bop competition started last year when Liam submitted a video of himself performing the Bruno Mars song “Talking to the Moon.” The song landed him on the top 10 list and a video of his performance of Kelly Clarkson’s “Because of You” earned him his bid into the final four.

Liam is confident of his chances and said he is better singing to a live audience because there is no room for error.

In addition to singing, Liam is a hockey player for a local Bantam team, waking up for 4 AM practices and will play for the JV team at the high school in the winter. He is also currently playing for the JV soccer team.

Asked if he would rather be a platinum-selling pop artist or play for the Bruins, Liam said that he would definitely prefer being a pop singer. 

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