Here’s a video guaranteed to pull at your heartstrings. An 11-year-old girl with autism whose parents once thought she may never speak took the stage to sing ‘Firework’ with Katy Perry during a recent Comedy Central benefit for autism services that airs on television this weekend.
Jodi DiPiazza, a student at Mannes College of Music Prep School, sang lead on the duet and also played piano as she and the multi-platinum pop star traded vocals in a touching rendition of the song. The audience gave DiPiazza a standing ovation when she finished and shared a big hug with Perry.
The performance was set up by a video package describing the difficulties Jodi faced after being diagnosed with autism at age 2. “We were afraid she would never speak, never dreaming that she would sing or even be able to understand,” Jodi’s dad Tom said in the clip. Jodi’s appearance at the benefit served as an example of how autistic individuals can achieve if given the opportunity. Find out more about this amazing little girl on her website.
Hosted by Jon Stewart, ‘Night of Too Many Stars: America Comes Together For Autism Programs’ airs on Comedy Central on Sunday, Oct. 21 at 8PM ET. Carly Rae Jepsen and Sting are among the other pop stars who performed at the taping, while comedians Tina Fey, Amy Poehler, Stephen Colbert, Louis CK and more appeared at the benefit as well.
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